What do Valentine’s Cards and a love struck teenager have to do with presenting?
When I was a teenager I had an enormous crush on a guy who lived about half a mile away. He went to the all-boys school across the road from me and I would gaze lovingly in his direction – but he never even noticed me.
One year for Valentine’s Day I sent him 3 valentines cards. Yes not 1, not 2 but 3 – as I said, it was an enormous crush! The 3 cards were as follows:
Card Number 1: Sent to arrive on the 13th, a day early. Inside I had written “The early bird catches the worm”…. how corny was that!
Card Number 2: Sent to arrive on the 14th – just a normal card, nothing notable written on the inside.
Card Number 3: A blank piece of paper in an envelope. Nothing on it at all.
By sending 3 cards I was trying to appeal to him in 3 different ways. Now you might be wondering about 2 things – firstly, what has the story of these 3 different Valentine’s cards got to do with communications and secondly, what happened next between me and the object of my desires?
When we are delivering a message it is really helpful to try to appeal to your listener in different ways. For example, in a presentation try varying the content of your presentation. Include graphs, images, videos – even using the whiteboard or flip-chart; anything that breaks away from the sameness of slide after slide.
The other relevance of the 3 cards is the use of “3’s”. When giving a presentation – 3’s are the business! The blog “What does a triathlon have to do with your Presentation?” goes into this in more detail but, the short story is that the brain just loves 3’s.
What happened next?
So, what happened between me and the object of my desires? Absolutely nothing – I never even spoke to him! The only point of interest is that he is, apparently, a teacher in that school across the road – no doubt he is totally oblivious to the existence of that love-struck teenager from many moons ago!