You are Yoda. Not Luke Skywalker.

Yoda, Luke Skywalker, audience, presentations,

Yoda: small, fierce, and effective

As 2012 winds down and we start thinking about 2013, here’s something to ponder: For your dreams to become reality, you need to channel your inner Yoda.

Nancy Duarte makes this point as it relates to presentations. In her TEDx talk, she points out how easy it is to think you’re the hero when you’re standing on stage delivering a presentation. The really good presenters, the ones that have the audience wrapped around their proverbial finger, take their audience on a journey in which they, the audience members, are like Luke Skywalker (or Princess Leah)–on an adventure, kicking butt, taking names and generally being and feeling awesome.

When you give people the opportunity to be awesome, they get on your side.

You have the opportunity to let people be heroes all the time: in your website copy, in your annual appeals, in your annual reports, in your newsletters, at meetings, in speeches, and every time you pitch someone on your idea.

We could add this as a fourth reason to the three already offered as to why bad pitches happen to good people: you act like Luke Skywalker instead of Yoda.

Yoda may not have youth, big biceps and good hair on his side, but he’s who you want to be like if you want your ideas to take hold, your donors to give, your clients to buy, or your kids to listen.

Let them be the hero. Show them the path and get out of their way.


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  1. I love your point, and you are absolutely right – let’s hand over all praise to the donor! But may I comment – that having an analogy of Yoda and Luke Skywalker only appeals to a certain niche… (Was that Star Wars…. or Star Trek?) so the message is somewhat lost. I think it’s really easy for communicators to get so caught up in our message that we forget the basics of communication, which is making it easily digestible and relatable to everyone that reads it 🙂 Love your blogs, keep ’em coming! 🙂

    • Erica Mills says:

      Yes, the downside of analogies is not everyone will understand them. Fair point, indeed! Whenever I use an analogy, my hope is many know the reference but that everyone gets the point, i.e. getting the point isn’t contingent on getting the analogy. I promise to keep the Star Wars references to a minimum, Rhonda. Thanks for the input!

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