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Presentation Pointer: Find the magic 20

Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) was an Italian economist who noticed that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people, and that 20% of the peapods in his garden produced 80% of the peas.  He invented the 80/20 rule, more formally known as the Pareto Principle.

It’s now a common rule of thumb that many real systems have approximately this intermediate imbalance:  80% of profits come from 20% of customers, and 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

So how does the Pareto Principle work in public speaking?  What is the magic 20% that accounts for 80% of your speaking success?

The strategic intent of your presentation?

The information you provide?

The elegance of your visual aids?

The stories you tell?

I would say “none of the above,” despite their relative importance.  Instead, I believe it’s how you come across, how you connect authentically with an audience.

As Emerson said, “Who you are speaks so loudly that no one can hear what you’re saying.”

July 15, 2013 Comments (None)