Presentation Rock Stars: Powerful Stroke of Insight

Tips to Help You Influence When You’re in the Spotlight

An astounding thing happened to this quirky brain researcher – she suffered a massive stroke and studied herself as her brain functions shut down, one by one. In this remarkable TED Talk presentation, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor reenacts exactly how it feels when your brain fails you.

Even more powerfully, she crafts an unmistakable call to action that could alter the course of your life. That’s what makes this unassuming, unpolished doctor my selection as this month’s “Presentation Rock Star.”

I’d encourage you to watch this brief video because you’ll gain insight from Jill. But if you’re in a hurry, please read my actionable tips below to discover how you can command any room and influence your world, no matter what topic you’re delivering…

How to Rock an Audience Like This Star:

1) Be a naked presenter. No, Dr. Bolte Taylor is not sans clothing. She’s devoid of pretense. She doesn’t slip into formal presentation mode or try to impress the audience with “doc talk.” Yes, she has some unique delivery quirks, but she’s not trying to be slick so you embrace her as the authentic professional that she is.

You can have this impact if you:

  • Suspend your fear of criticism. Confidence is situational – make that choice. Accept that your expertise deserves a spotlight.
  • You are worthy. Be you, not a pretender.
  • Chase away your evil twin who thinks you’ll impress people by being formal and slick.


2) Share a jaw-droppingly relevant visual. Did you feel the energy in the room shift when she revealed a real human brain on stage? Sure you did. Afterwards, her body became the only visual necessary. Slides be darned.

You can do this if you:

  • Ask yourself, “What’s the most impactful visual I could share in person?”
  • Move mountains to secure it. It may not be a human brain, but a relevant visual will instantly engage and improve the dynamics in the room.


3) Know exactly where you’re taking the audience. Dr. Bolte Taylor developed her presentation with a clear, simple intention: she wanted you to choose to live more from the right side of your brain. Her efforts paid off – she received a rare standing ovation from her TED Talks audience.

You can impact an audience like this if you:

  • Develop your message upside down. Start with your close. Ask yourself, “What, specifically, do I want this audience to do as a result of this talk?” Once you’ve settled on this critical but often overlooked element, then you can go back and develop your open and middle.
  • Hold off on opening PowerPoint. Software programs are linear and will take you down the information track, not the influence track. Decide where you’re taking the audience before you let your software influence your mission.

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Globally recognized as the leading voice in leadership influence, Connie Dieken helps C-suite and senior executives use scientific insights to elevate their influence and presence.


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