Ban the laser pointer

There I was sitting in the boardroom with a team of seasoned professionals. There were more advanced degrees in the room than hours in the day. Amongst the group there must have been over 400 years of experience in science, computing, math, engineering, and some areas I didn’t even recognize.

So when I suggested that we ban the laster pointer from our presentations, you could hear a pin drop. Suddenly all eyes were on me. I realized I was challenging a long held belief. But I was brought in to help them prepare for a significant presentation – worth millions of dollars – and they knew I was going to challenge them. So they put down the laser pointer.

With the very first speaker I could see the vulnerability and realized how much the laser had become a crutch. And soon the others in the room could see why I had asked them to try this odd little exercise.

At first as each speaker took their place in front of the room they were awkward and didn’t know what to do with their hands or how to point to the place on the slide without the laser pointer. Then the magic happened. As I gave each person feedback on their particular style and message, they began to use their body instead of the laser. They started to MOVE!

There is nothing more boring than a speaker who stands very still, talks in monotone and uses a laser pointer to avoid moving in any way. Do you want to bore your audience? No!

You want to engage them.

You want to connect to them.

Connecting takes emotion.

Movement creates emotion.

Movement increases YOUR energy which then increases THEIR energy and facilitates the emotional connection.

Your audience WANTS to connect with you. They are in the room thinking that you are talking only to them. Each word you say, each message you express, is to them and only them. If you move with your words to show emphasis – your passion will automatically begin to show.

Before you start to think of all the reasons you shouldn’t try this, let me say I’ve heard most of the excuses. It’s not going to work in every situation, but it may work for you and it may give you that extra edge over the competition. Isn’t THAT worth giving it a try?

Sure it takes a bit of practice to let go of the laser and let your energy out, but practice is what brings out your unique ability to change the world with your ideas.