Wow Moment

Close up microphone on stage in concert hall or conference ball room.

In a recent TED talk, Bill Gates highlighted his Foundation's efforts to reduce the spread of malaria. At one point, Gates picked up a jar, opened the lid and said "Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. I brought some here so you could experience this. We'll let them roam about the auditorium a bit." (Thankfully, they were non-infected mosquitoes!)

Carmine Gallo, a Harvard University Instructor in communication references this WOW moment in his article What it Takes to Give a Great Presentation. We agree. For years, Eloqui has been encouraging speakers to include novelty and surprise in their presentations, since audiences are so easily bored. Listeners are always looking for what's new, especially if it's a challenge that contains an element of danger. Surprise prompts the brain to record the necessary details. And if you've incorporated the unexpected into your presentation, you become memorable.

Don't worry if you can't shock an audience like Gates. Pull something dramatic from the headlines for an opening. Pick up a prop and make a connection with it to your topic. Intersperse colorful visuals with text slides in your PowerPoint deck. Tap into the brain's capacity to recognize and record novelty. There's nothing better.

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