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You've Got 8 Seconds by Paul Hellman

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|CHAPTER 10|

Presentation Tricks

“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.”

—RALPH WALDO EMERSON,poet, essayist, lecturer

Open with Flair

No one in the audience spoke Japanese. But that didn’t stop the speaker. His non-English opening lasted several minutes and stole the show.

The U.S. audience (senior leaders at a global company) looked spellbound. “I experienced,” the person next to me said later, “what it feels like to work outside our U.S. headquarters.”

True, the speaker also used slides, in English, to translate. For the audience, it was like reading subtitles in a foreign film. But many people avoid foreign films precisely because they dislike subtitles.

So what made this opening work? Well, it was different.

When you stand up ...

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