Winning a Tony for your Presentation


Tony Award.jpegWhen I coach presenters, I often tell them to

“Create the performance you would
pay to attend.”

There are many elements that go into creating an award-winning speech, workshop, keynote or presentation, but one that is worth considering is that of taking risks.

If you are watching the Tony Awards tonight, many of the shows, writers, designers and directors winning “the Tony” are those who took a risk, whether it be the producers of War Horse, the writers of The Book of Mormon or the costume designers for Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

What are you willing to do to stand out and move your audience to think, laugh, cry, engage and take action?

One of thecomedy-tragedy-theatre.jpg pieces I wrote early on and one I’d like to re-post is on taking risks.  Here is a section of it, below…

I can guarantee you that the performances you remember most – speakers, preachers, teachers, or professors – are the ones who did the unusual, the unexpected, and the creative. They had an idea and they made it come alive for you in some palpable, memorable way.  And you still remember it today.  What was it they did?  And what ideas have you had that you have ditched for fear that they were too silly, weird, or outrageous?

Why not do it? People respect risk takers.  As long as you use a certain amount of reason (you’re not endangering or being disrespectful of yourself or anyone – physically, emotionally, or socially/politically), you’re fine.  Why not bust out that secret talent of yours that no one knows you have? Break out that jump rope, that harmonica, that disco move. Tell your wild story about the marshmallows, the time you completely embarrassed the CEO in the critical job interview, the time you were so freaked out on your first blind date that you crawled out the restaurant bathroom window? Why not put on your favorite music when everyone’s coming in? Who said you couldn’t?

As I often like to say,

“Have fun, be yourself, and be outrageous;
it’s the only place that isn’t crowded.”


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