The Winning Voice

Best in class communication techniques from Michael Kelly

How do you ‘Compose’ your presentations?

In remembrance of two composers born in May – Johannes Brahams (7/5/1833) and Pyotr Tchaikovsky (7/5/1840) – this month’s theme will be on ‘composing’ your presentation.

What can you learn from musical composers, to help you compose your presentations?

More than you’d think.

Below are key concepts and subsections from the article How to Compose Music to help you improve your presentation composing career. Some of the information won’t apply to your presentation planning. Skip over these sections.

  • ‘A great corollary to learning to compose is found in the Greek method of the Trivium. The Trivium follows three distinct phases of learning:
  1. Grammar: A solid grasp of the fundamentals.
  2. Logic: The ability to create logical arguments.
  3. Rhetoric: The ability to persuade.’
  • How to Compose Music, Part 4: Start Composing Now!  Here’s a passage from this section.My absolute favourite way to start a composition is to just sit down, and start writing as many short, two and four bar phrases (for presentations: ideas, anecdotes, sentences, phrases) as I can. This is great because the best ideas usually only come after focusing for about 15-30 minutes. Once you write a phrase, move on to another. Try not to get caught up trying to play around with them just yet. You’ll be surprised what you come up with.’

Own the Conversation

For the next seven days in preparation for any presentation (short or long) choose one of the ideas from the above points. Reflect on the results of doing this. For example, consider what is the best composing sanctuary for you.


p.s.  The measure of the impact of a speech or presentation must be viewed within the context in which the speech is given.

With this thought in mind, and with regard to former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard’s re-entry into the public eye, check out this prior post entitled Julie Gillard. In the end, dignity.

p.p.s. ‘No one can step outside the shadow of his own character.’ Robespierre

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