Tuesday’s keynote at the Presentation Summit was delivered by Mike Parkinson of Billion Dollar Graphics.
Mike’s keynote topic was “Listen, Learn, Share, Succeed”. He started with a video directed by Brock Mitchell of Shot at the Dark about a young man who had to decide to let his mother go and live every moment of the remaining time he had with her. This awesome video was the beginning of a learning session.
Mike explained that real stories are felt, not heard. He also emphasized that emotions bring change.
He then asked people with children within the audience to raise their hands. And then he asked about their friends who had no children, especially those who freely give them advice about how to bring up their children! They don’t have a clue, and yet choose to provide advice that is not required. Presentations are the same — what gives anyone the right to tell others how to present, emphasized Mike.
Emotions can be happy and sad — if we create milestones for all the happy and sad moments in our life, and create a lifeline, then how would that be? Mike actually created an amazing lifeline that looked like a line chart — only this was not a line chart but a lifeline of Mike’s life!
For this lifeline though, Mike shared so much about himself. There were poignant moments, sad times, rough days, relationship issues, violent happenings, weird and wacky experiences, and he also shared amazing changes, life-changing moments, successful results, and good relationships.
The reason why Mike shared his lifeline with us was that personal experiences can benefit professional challenges. He said that advice confuses fact with opinion.
When human beings give advice, they use the word “you” much more often than the word “I”. And that’s the reason why we should beware of the word “you”, especially when people are giving advice without any experiences to back that up. Advice should be based on experience, and that would imply that more of “I” needs to be in the advice than just “you”.
He then asked the audience to find someone they have known for a brief time. So everyone found someone they did not know too well, and conversed with them.
Mike then asked them to converse following these guidelines in 15 minutes:
- Share your challenge.
- Ask questions to pick a relevant experience.
- Present your experience. Avoid the word “you”, and use “I” to be honest with others. Remember that “you” sounds preachy.
At the end of the 15 minutes, members of the audience felt that the limitation on using the word “you” made a difference.
Mike said, “Experience trumps advice”. He also said that when someone gives advice, ask them for an example. And when you are the one giving advice, think that you are not the expert — and you can only share what you have learned through experience.
He then showed a video of a very young Steve Jobs who said that it was almost never that a person he called did not help him — and remember this was from the days when Steve Jobs was not “the” Steve Jobs.
Mike ended with his own quote, “In my experiences, we have a mastermind. If we want, we can find solutions. Our solutions are sitting right next to us.”