The Most Important Presentation Principle: Instructing with the Edge

A student of mine recently spoke of his distaste for practicing. I asked him why he had such a bad taste towards this timeless art. The problem was just that, he didn’t view it as a timeless art, but a chore. This is something that concerned me immediately by asking him how it could be made better. His answer astonished me, and made sense: He bluntly stated that the whole idea of practicing would change for him if it was fun. Fun, I thought, why didn’t I think of that?

Children, young-adults, and grown-ups all want to have fun. “Fun”, as defined by Dictionary.com as the following:

Noun
Enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure: “anyone who turns up can join in the fun”.
Adjective
Amusing, entertaining, or enjoyable: “it was a fun evening”.
Verb
Joke or tease: “no need to get sore—I was only funning”; “they are just funning you”.
Synonyms
noun. amusement – joke – sport – jest – lark – entertainment
verb. joke – jest – banter – jape – lark

If you notice, the word “amuse” comes up the most (3) out of all of the descriptive words used to define Fun.

When you define “amuse”, via Dictionary.com, you receive the following:

Verb
  1. Cause (someone) to find something funny; entertain.
  2. Provide interesting and enjoyable occupation for (someone).
Synonyms
entertain – divert – recreate – tickle

If you notice, the word “entertain” comes up the most (2) out of all of the descriptive words used to define Amuse.

When you define “entertain”, via Dictionary.com, you receive the following:

Verb
  1. Provide (someone) with amusement or enjoyment.
  2. Receive (someone) as a guest and provide food and drink.
Synonyms
amuse – divert

After looking this over, you will now see that we have made a circle, coming back to the word “amuse” as the primary word used in the descriptive definition of entertain.

This is interesting, could it simply mean that in order for one to have “fun” they need the following two components?:

1. Amusement

2. Entertainment

Arguing as truth, what does it take to give someone this sense of “fun” as you are trying to impart valuable information to them? The key word is, ENGAGEMENT. Look, I’ll give you the formula – step-by-step:

Step ONE: Understanding your core message. You should be able to narrow this down to 2-6 words, and 1-2 phrases.

Step TWO: Understand the way(vehicle)you are going to deliver the message. I.e. A game, questions, quizes, trivia, stories, etc. The question here is, “How am I going to disguise my message?” Think of it as when you were a child. Your mother didn’t give you straight medication, she disguised it via jelly or applesauce.

Step THREE: The vehicle must engage in order for longevity. Does your vehicle leave a lasting taste that will enable the listener the access to the information over a long period of time. This is why stories and games are really important.

 

If you are able to fill in these three steps for your next presentation, you will have a lasting impression on the ones that hear your instruction. When this is done correctly, the information you are imparting will go beyond you as an individual. This is the goal. When someone is able to say ten years from now, “Hey, remember that game we played in order to learn cell production and turn over rates? Yeah, that was a great game!” You see, they remember the game, but your information is tightly and securely wrapped right there with their solid memory that was fastened via an activity that required their engagement.

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