18 April 2011

The Zen of Presentations, Part 39: Unsaid

This is probably the most effective short presentation I’ve seen in a long time.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video here. But what you will see if you click the link above is American Congressman Joseph Crowley confronting the House of Repesentatives with nothing but an easel pad. (The clip is less than 90 seconds, so don’t be put off!)

He says nothing. But the expression on his face shows that he means every word he doesn’t say.

It’s powerful.

In a presentation, there is an almost overwhelming urge to fill up every second with your words. It’s easy to forget the power of silence. It’s as Claude Debussy said:

Music is the space between the notes.

A well placed pause can give emphasis. It can give someone the few second they need for something to sink in.

Sometimes, it’s better to shut the hell up.

Additional: Found a version of the video that can be embedded, though the linked version looks better.

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