Let's say you received two identical gifts. Only you don't know they are identical. One is wrapped in a plastic grocery bag and the other is wrapped up beautifully in paper and ribbon, which one would you choose? Obviously looks aren't everything but packaging is something. It can elevate the ordinary to special status.
I was reminded of the allure of packaging this week when a dear friend sent me cookies for my birthday. I'm a fan of cookies in most any variety but these cookies from Sugarwish took the cake! (Mixed metaphor? Ha). They arrived in a joyfully colorful box. Once I opened that box, each cookie was presented in its own individually wrapped package. And, best of all, there was a card included from my friend along with a picture of us together. Regardless of how the cookies tasted, it felt so special! (The cookies tasted fabulous, by the way)
Packaging can help make your presentations stand out too. How you dress, act, the tone of your voice, your introduction - all of that sets the stage for your remarks. Your "packaging" can truly set you apart from the start. Your audience will anticipate your content differently based on the packaging.
What can you do to elevate your "packaging" when it comes to your next public speaking opportunity? How can you get your audience excited and intrigued by what you have to say? Here are three simple ideas:
Dress the part. Dress one step up from your audience. For example, if it's casual Friday and people are wearing khakis and polo shirts, come in slacks and a button down shirt, no tie. You don't want to overdo it with a suit but dressing one step up sets you apart. You are the assumed authority just by how you're dressed. You show that the occasion matters.
Speak in a loud and confident tone. You want your audience to be able to hear you. They shouldn't have to work to understand what you're saying. Consider doing some quick vocal warm-ups before you speak. Humming is a great warmup. So is saying a few tongue twisters. Get you voice ready because your voice is delivering the words you've put so much thought into.
Provide a written introduction. If you're giving a formal presentation, thoughtfully craft your introduction. Get your audience eagerly anticipating what you have to say. Let them know why it's important to them and why you are uniquely qualified to speak on the topic. Set yourself up for success.
Think about the "presentation" of your presentation. How can you elevate the "packaging"? It's easy to overlook but the attention you pay will reap benefits. And hey, if you also want to hand out free cookies with your talk, no one is objecting!