Bill Cosby and why the Presentation is so Important

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Cosby-Show-Presentation One of my all-time favorite sitcoms is/was the Cosby Show.  I’m a child of the 80′s, so I grew up on the parenting of Cliff and Claire Huxtable. 

While there were 200 episodes, a few moments stick out in my mind: Cliff getting pelted with snowballs on the front stoop, Cliff and Theo learning economics with monopoly money where having a girlfriend takes all of Theo’s remaining money [first episode], and of course, the Gordon Gartrell shirt.  I often find myself thinking of one particular episode where Vanessa introduces the family to her new boyfriend, Dabnis Brickey, who happens to be significantly older than her.  Not only that, but for the first time Vanessa divulges they’ve been engaged for six months.  You can watch the introduction here.  While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Vanessa doesn’t do that great of a job with the presentation of Dabnis, thus Cliff proclaims to Dabnis, “We just don’t like you.”

Watch this video to see how Cliff explains why the presentation is so important.  Click here to watch it on Youtube [embedding was disabled], but make sure you come back!.  If you want to go directly to the quote, fast forward to 1:15.

“You see, it’s in the presentation.  That’s the way she brought you here…on a garbage can lid”

Many people have messages or stories that they want to share.  They are passionate about their message and can’t keep it inside anymore.  Like the porterhouse steak, they love it and know you’ll love it too.  Unfortunately, too often these messages are presented on garbage can lids.  The presentation can change the viewpoint of the audience.  While Dabnis seemed like a great guy, the engagement didn’t go over well because of Vanessa’s presentation of their new found love.

Some presenters may spend countless hours crafting and developing their story (and rightfully so!).  Unfortunately, they leave the practice and the presentation design to the last minute.  They may feel that they can throw the slides together the morning of the presentation and “wing it” since they know the message inside and out.  This leads to poor presentations that lack anything interesting, fail to engage, and are quickly discarded by the audience.

It’s tough to sell, educate, inspire, or spread your message if you’re presenting it on a garbage can lid.  Even if you’re as eloquent as Obama or as funny as Bill Cosby, poorly designed slides, minimal practice, and a general lack of concern for the actual delivery of the message can quickly sink your presentation.  Make sure you dedicate enough time on the presentation to ensure that your “porterhouse” is delivered on a silver platter, not a garbage can lid.  It could make all the difference.

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