What Presenters Can Learn from Baseball…

“But then…something happens…and in that moment–awesome or lousy–
you are living something you will never forget, something that jumps out of the toneless roar of day-to-day life.”                                                                        Joe Posnanski, Sports Writer
The quote above was from a blog post about baseball, and how last night was one of the most memorable nights in recent memory–with 4 teams tied for 2 different Wild Cards for the Playoffs.  Posnanski acknowledged that–yes–baseball is boring…but it is in the moments where the unexpected happens (pitcher blows lead in bottom of the 9th; runner gives his all to 1st base on sure-out grounder–despite not needing to win the game (already clinched playoffs); pitcher shakes-off 4+ signals from the catcher, etc.) that makes it stand out  (jump out!) for us. 
For me–Posnanski’s point also makes the case that Presenters need to give their audiences the unexpected…jar them from their “normal” expectations…That’s what helps make things memorable:
*  If every presentation seems to start off with a bio about the presenter and a ton of slides with lots and lots of text–do something unexpected!
*  If the audience expects the Presenter to do all of the work (talking)–do something unexpected!  Get audiene INVOLVED!
*  If audience expects Presenter to be at Podium (or in front of room)–do something unexpected!
*  If audience expects Presenter to handle the summary of key “takeways”–do something unexpected!  
So, let’s commit to breaking out of the “toneless roar of day-to-day” presentations!  Consider the argument shared in a 2009 article by Shumpeter in The Economist: “There is no long-term comparative advantage in being forgettable.”