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Sometimes, the best way to explain an emotion or a concept is a good image.

Here is a fantastic tribute to Polaroid. Pure genius. It is from Phil Jones, a designer from Minneapolis. He was inspired by this article about the slow death of Polaroid.


Click on the picture for a larger version.


Words are strong. Images are stronger.

The next time that you prepare a speech, look at your slide. There will probably be too much text. Reduce it and replace with strong picture. You will have a better emotional connection with the audience.


Share with me: Which genius illustration have you used or saw lately?


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It is hard for the human brain to conceptualize huge numbers. It is simply out of reach. If you present huge numbers to an audience, you have to keep that fact in mind.

As a speaker, we need to translate those numbers into something more concrete, understandable, digestible.

Today, I came across this illustration of the size of the Internet. It gives the answer for the question: How big is the Internet? It is named: If you printed the Internet. It is a good example of huge numbers translation.





Those illustrations are effective because they translate the numbers in something we know. Minutes, days, years.

Sometimes, the numbers are still too big after being transposed. We need a second transposition.  3 800 years doesn’t mean anything to me. It is too big.  Imagining Ancient Babylonians with inkjet printer is more effective. That comparison is talking to me.

While presenting data in a document or, while speaking, we must translate it to be reachable. We have to put it at audience level.

Best, adapt the example to your audience. If you’re talking to car dealers, tell them: If you printed the Internet, you will have enough paper to fill the trunk of 12 000 cars (I am guessing). How big is 12 000 cars? Bumper to bumper, it is a 66 km long file. THAT means something to car dealers.  (Adapting your speech to an audience – blog post: Put your audience glasses)

In your next speech, make your number digestible and adapt your example to your audience.

Other illustrations in the complete post of: If You Printed The Internet …


Share with me: What good adaptation of huge numbers have you done lately?


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Source: @DesignerDepot

Presenting Data can be boring for the audience.

I often see speakers shows rows and rows of plain number. Zzzzzz! I can hardly stay concentrated on the presentation.

To help our audience stay focus and understand the data and we better use data visualization.

I already discuss about charts in “To boldly go beyond pie chart”. Today, I want to share some examples of creative data Visualization.


  • How Different Groups Spend Their Day – The New York Times

It is an innovative display of data and it is fun the play with the different category. Click on the link and try it

Creative chart from NYTimes

Thanks to @presentationzen for inspiring me this post with his tweet about the NYTimes.


  • Dozens of Data Visualization examples | Smashing Magazine

For dozens of cool examples of data visualization to inspire you, visit this post by Smashing Magazine: Data Visualization: Modern Approaches

Here a few examples:

Data 1 Data 2

Data 7 Data 8


Share with me: How do you visualize the data for your audience? Are you creative?


Posted by Denis François Gravel

Related post: To boldly go beyond pie chart.


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The world is different than what we see. Everybody sees it through glasses. Glasses representing education, profession, values, etc.

  • As a result, everybody perceives thing differently.

I had a teacher who defined her role this way: “I’m giving you new glasses to see the world. Nobody will see it like you will”. And she was right. I see the world differently than you.

The same is true when you speak to an audience. They are wearing some kind of glasses. Is it a professional association? A corporate meeting? A congress? A school seminar? Their perception of the world is tinted by their glasses.

We must try to put the same glasses as them. It will help us avoid mistakes. And our communication will be more adapted.

  • We will better “connect” with the audience.


This image is a good example of glasses effect. It was used on Gizmodo site to recruit writers. [Image Credit]

How can we put audience glasses? Here are some hints:

  1. Do search on your audience.
  2. Read publications, blogs, tweets on the subject.
  3. Interview some of the leaders.
  4. Assist to the presentations before you.
  5. Ask questions.
  6. Be open minded.
  7. Etc.


Share with me: What are you doing to have your audience glasses?


Posted by Denis François Gravel

Why? Because you are not as beautiful as you want, you don’t know how to tell jokes, you are shy, you are boring, you have a physical handicap, you have a speech impediment, etc.

Don’t waste your time and ours. Run away from stage. Period.


Change your mindset. Audience is not there for you. You are there for THEM. Change the focus from you to them. You are there to help them. You have somethingspeakschmeakheader2 to share. Forget what is “limiting you”.

I found an interesting testimonial from speech coach Lisa Braithwaite. Is a  speech impediment an impediment? She has a lisp and it has never impeded her progress as a speaker.

As she says: “we all have insecurities”. But, it is a part of our uniqueness. Don’t let it paralyze us. Good testimonial.

In the last days, there was a big buzz around BritSusan Boyleain’s Got Talent Susan Boyle. She is more “the girl next door” than a top model.

That did not stop her. She went to the show and blown away the judges and the audience whit her talent. Wow! What a good signer.

Click on the picture to see and hear her.

Get over your imperfections and your fears. Think that you are there to help the audience.


Share with me: What did you conquered or fought to give speech?
Source: Lisa Braithwaite blog, Susan Boyle on YouTube


UPDATE: A Guide to Beating the Fears That Are Holding You Back. A blog post of Zenhabits. (via Guy Kawasaki on Twitter)


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