If experience is any guide for us, we can say that approximately 90 percent of our business presentations are delivered in 2-D fashion . . . stick-puppet presenting.
No, I don’t mean this literally in the sense that people become stick figures.
I mean that the typical business presentation is stripped of depth and breadth.
Stripped of humanity, stripped of the qualities that make it interesting, stimulating, and persuasive.
The potential richness, energy, vigor, and power that is provided by purposive movement is absent.
Crude Stick-Puppet Presenting
We are left with cutout figures, like stick puppets. You’ve seen stick puppets – crude, flat little figures pasted onto sticks and then used in a child’s display to convey a story.
This is truly an ineffective form of entertainment. This is as rudimentary as it gets. The puppets shake and move up and down as someone voices dialogue from somewhere offstage.
Today’s business presentations are sometimes no better than stick-puppet presenting delivered in 2-D fashion.
Think of this, quite obviously, as “Stick-Puppet Presenting.”
Stick-Puppet Presenting is characterized by a zombie-like figure who is crouched behind a lectern, gripping its sides.
Or a speaker who reads from a laptop computer and alternately looks at a projection screen behind him, reading it verbatim. If any movement occurs, it is unconscious swaying, rocking, or nervous happy-feet dancing.
Perhaps there is a bit of pacing back-and-forth to fulfill some ancient advice mumbled to the speaker years earlier: “Move around when you talk!” And so the stick-puppet presenter aimlessly wanders about the stage.
This is worse than no movement at all as it adds one more irrelevant distractor to an already deteriorating situation.
But we want movement . . . the right kind of movement. We want to accelerate from 2-D to 3-D presenting, and one powerful step in that direction is the addition of proper movement.
The addition of proper movement to your presentation can imbue it with energy, depth, richness, and enhanced meaning.
So in the next series of posts, we’ll analyze this component – “movement” on the stage in support of your presentation.
If you want to eliminate stick-puppet presenting and receive a full-bodied explication of the transition from 2D to 3D presenting, consult The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.