I recently read about Adam Bryant’s (co-founder and CEO of Dropbox) cheat sheet for life where he discusses the importance of three essential items:

1. A tennis ball
2. A circle
3. The number 30,000

Quite random, right? Interestingly, they all have a purpose.

He explains that in order to have a great life you need to embrace the following in relation to them:

1. A tennis ball
You should have an intense focus just as his dog does for a tennis ball – always curious and always glued to one core thing.

2. A circle
You are the average of your five closest friends. Plain and simple. Choose your friends wisely.

3. The number 30,000
Life is short, and never forget that the average human only has about 30,000 days on this planet so each day must be maximized.

cheat_sheet

So, it got me thinking?

If I were to use the above as inspiration to develop a cheat sheet for presenters, what would I include? After some initial thought and some reflection, I landed on these these three critical items:

1. A bag of dirt
2. A children’s book
3. A racing bib

1. A bag of dirt
The best presenters are gritty. They dig in. They grind it out. They understand that presentations at their core are hard work. For instance, if you were to give a 45 minute presentation on a random topic like giraffes, that is at least an 18-22 hour investment of time and energy. Yet, so many presenters think 2-4 hours will be sufficient. Presenters must not be afraid to get their hands dirty.

2. A children’s book
This point is two-fold. For starters, every person has a story to tell and they should never forget it. But more importantly, everything you say and present visually on stage always needs to be kept simple.

3. A racing bib
I want to paraphrase Bill Gates here. He once shared this paraphrase when asked about his life and technology.

…there is no finish line.”

It fits not only for life but presentations as well. Presentations are always going to require your best effort and it is a continuous race. It’s a craft that will never be perfected and should be worked on until the day you retire or beyond.

That’s my presenter’s cheat sheet. What would you include in yours?


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