Today I found a little black dress.

There it was hanging on the clearance rack, all unassuming, half-dangling from the hanger, slotted in the wrong size, looking plain, simple and even a bit forlorn.

In my desperation to get a dress -any dress-  for an upcoming special occasion, I grabbed it, raced to the fitting room, threw it on, tugged it down, double-checked the ridiculously low price and declared that it was “fine.”

As a woman, there’s almost nothing worse than looking “fine.” Now “fine” is not bad. But, trust me, “fine” is not good.

More importantly, “fine” is not “wow.”

Not by a long shot.

Fortunately, I tried the dress on once again; this time at home, accompanied by the appropriate unmentionables and my most spectacular bejeweled necklace.

Wow.

What a difference a little polish and finesse makes.

I look great.

Not the dress.

Not the accessories.

Me.

I look and feel amazing.

And so it is with your presentation.

A presentation that’s “fine†will probably help you get the gist of your message across. It may even have a humorous anecdote or an interesting tidbit. It may be well received by the audience in the moment. It may even have been your best effort to date. But a “fine†presentation will lack a crucial element — the wow factor.

To guarantee a wow factor you must create a total presentation package that includes:

•An idea worth sharing

•An opening hook that shocks, surprises, invites, cajoles or otherwise instantly engages the audience

•A cohesive story threaded together with rich examples and vibrant stories

•A well-practiced, natural presentation style that transcends venue, circumstance or audience bias

•Visual and verbal presence

•A provocative or thought-provoking ending

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