Jake Trent

Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations

This is such a great distillation of formulas for talks to give. The book is short and powerful.

In it, learn the 3 truths:

  1. Always tell the truth, it’ll communicate heart to heart
  2. Tell it with a story, it’ll be unforgettable
  3. Tell it with pictures, we’ll communicate with clarity

Truth can be factual (data), appeal to emotion (heart) or the head (intellectual).

We remember that there are 3 buckets to fill in talk prep:

  1. My idea: thoughts, impressions, data, anecdotes, ideas
  2. My self: my goals, worries, hopes, insights
  3. My audience: experiences, aspirations, demographics

We have to be clear on the truths of each aspect of teaching. If we can fill the buckets, we can start seeing our idea and envision a story to tell it.

A good story will make sense of everything and bring the audience along. There are 4 storylines:

  1. The report: exchanging information, deliver facts
  2. The explanation: show us how, increase ability or knowledge
  3. The pitch: get us over a hurdle, change our actions
  4. The drama: breaks our heart, then mends it, changing our beliefs

Each type of story addresses a different purpose for the talk.

Pictures are the best medium to tell a story. And I love the case he makes for hand drawing.

Interestingly, our mind only works in 6 modes when learning and questioning, and these can be matched with types of drawings:

  1. Who? What?: Portrait
  2. How much?: Chart
  3. Where?: Map
  4. When?: Timeline
  5. How?: Flowchart
  6. Why? Equation

They usually also come in that order for our various storylines.

If I could put this into my mind, which is a great distillation of how to envision talks, I’d be able to better prepare and deliver talks. This one’s recommended for any speaker or teacher.