1. What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘presentation’?
Images, inspiration, stories
2. What’s something that automatically makes you think “No!” during a presentation?
There are several things that instantly come to mind. Big blocks of text and reading slides have got to be the top of the list though. Your presentation slides are there to support your ideas to the audience and should not be treated as a book full of words. Less is ALWAYS more.
3. Tell us about your new book called Amazing Things Will Happen.
It is the book that I’ve always wanted to write. It shares my philosophy on how anyone can live a happier and more successful life. I’ve been blessed that over the years I’ve worked with a lot of great people and I took all the advice they’ve given me as well as some of my own and put them down to help others. My motivation was I kept asking myself that if I wrote a guidebook for my kids on how I wanted them to live their life what would I put down on paper. That was the spark for the book.
It isn’t one of those self-help book that makes promises of fame and fortune. I’m very clear that if you are not willing to work hard for your dreams than you are doomed before even starting. I want people to realize that anyone can have the life they dream about, but they’ve got to put in the time and effort to make it happen. I can’t wait to see what the world thinks of it.
4. What role does storytelling play in your business life? How important is it?
Storytelling may be one of the most important skills in business and yet it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.Every day, no matter what line of work you are in, you are interacting with other people. Being able to think on your feet, tell good stories and articulate what you are trying to say is crucial.
I really wish our children were taught three additional things in school: improv comedy, public speaking and storytelling. They may not seem relevant, but anyone who has those skills knows that once you understand and appreciate the basics they help you in your daily life.
5. What qualities make a presentation particularly memorable to you?
The person giving it has to believe 100% in what they are saying. If they flinch for even a minute it takes me out of the moment.
When they know their presentation from start to finish you can feel it. Being prepared AND presenting great information is a killer combination. Even if I don’t learn anything new, if the person has personality and character, that shines through and leaves me remembering them.
6. If you could give a presenter just one piece of advice, what would it be?
Practice! Public speaking is one of those things that you can always get better at and will never fully master. Every audience is different. Things go wrong. The more comfortable you are with what you are presenting the better. Never be dependent on your slides. You should know what you are talking about well enough that if the projector breaks you can still get done what you need to without them.
7. What’s next for you?
2013 is going to be a very exciting for me as I’ve got a couple of new adventures I’m going to be launching. Amazing Things Will Happen is obviously a big focus for me because I want to make sure as many people as possible read it. I plan to do a big push around graduation time because I think it makes the perfect graduation gift and if anyone needs to read this book it is kids just entering the work force or trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives.
I’ve also just launched a new consultancy called The Cleon Foundation that I’m going to spend a lot of time growing. Our focus is going to be on helping make the world a better place through creativity. Hoping to do a lot of new locations for speaking as well. I’ve already got several lined up, but I’m also looking for new events to speak at.
C.C. CHAPMAN is a Boston based writer, photographer and professional creative. As a recognized leader in the online and social media marketing space he travels the world consulting with brands big and small. He’s a freelance digital lifestyle writer and photographer who has a passion for travel, technology, food, music and social good. He’s also a bestselling author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur and loving father. He’s always on the outlook for the next great experience life presents him with.