What Presenters Can Learn from the SuperBowl (and Madonna)

More than Madonna’s half-time performance during the SuperBowl this Sunday (which was awesome by the way!), it is the game of football that grabs our attention and make us watch it season after season. This is because teams play for the crowd and play hard to please them; you never know who will really win until the game is over; and no matter how hard each team prepares for the big day, there are just so many other extraneous variables they have to consider like the weather, the reaction of the crowd, the skills of their opponents and all of us get to watch it all very closely.

So as presenters and speakers, how can we learn from all of this?

1.  Speak for the audience, not for yourself or your company. I’ve mentioned this again and again that presentations and speeches are all about your audience, not about you. Give the audience what they need. Is it suspense? Excitement? Motivation? Inspiration? Information? Give it to them and your presentation or speech will be a success.

2.    Be unpredictable.  If your audiences already know what you have to say, then they won’t have to listen to you anymore, do they? Tell a story but tell it in a way that they don’t expect; don’t use slides if they expect you to; ask them questions; make them think and get them excited.

3)    Be so well-prepared that you can immerse yourself in the environment, the audience, the atmosphere. This means be passionate about what you are presenting. Your sincerity and passion will rub off on them and the audience will love you for it. Don’t overdo it tho. Just be real.

P.S. On a related note, Madonna also did all these things during her 12-minute half-time presentation. She gave what the audience wanted (superb performance); she was unpredictable (no one guessed what the list of songs would be); she was very prepared. I had goosebumps watching her half-time show and I loved her for it! 

For more insight on this matter, please head to:

Why Speeches Should Be Like Football Games

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About presenternews
I write about presentation skills and provide news from the presentation skills blogosphere.

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