The Holy Trinity of a Strong Performance

The Holy Trinity of a Strong Performance

In cooking, many cuisines start with a base of three ingredients, their holy trinity, that create the foundation of their dishes flavor and unique taste. In Cajun dishes, it is celery, bell pepper, and onions. The French use celery, carrots, and onions. While the Chinese start with a base of scallions, ginger, and garlic. In each case, it is the strength of the combined ingredients that form the basis of an outstanding dish. Just throwing them together is not enough. Knowing when and how much of each to use, and the quality of each, all contribute to the ultimate dining experience.

Let’s take this concept and apply it to business communication when we need to deliver information to a group of colleagues, for example. Let’s move the bar and talk specifically about sales or a training presentation.

The Holy Trinity of a Strong Performance

What you say

The speaking portion of the performance is the most important of the three ingredients. In many cases, it can make up for the other two components, if they are lacking. However, if the oratory part of the presentation is terrible, then the whole pot is spoiled.

What you show

These are visual aids to the presentation. It may be PowerPoint slides, video or even the eLearning interface. Visual aids should entice and appeal to the participants. People eat with their eyes.

What you give

Handouts, workbooks, participant guides. Participants in a presentation need to come away with materials that they can reference when they want to revisit what was said. These elements can take the experience from 3 stars to 5.


What makes this Holy Trinity work?

Keep them separate

What you say, show and give need to be different from each other. That is what makes them work as the holy trinity that gives your presentation the distinction of being outstanding and memorable.

Hold audience attention with visuals

Think of the last meeting or training you attended. What was the topic? What was on the slides? Notice how your visual memories trigger recall of essential points. Or not!

Handouts matter

A handout provided at the start of the session serves the dual purpose of note capture vehicle and future reference. Time and again, studies show that taking notes by hand forces the brain to engage in a way that fosters both comprehension and retention. Hopefully, the presentation will trigger a light-bulb moment or two, and attendees should have a place to write those down. Moreover, they need materials to reference back to after the fact.


That lingering taste that makes you want more

Just like a great chef, you want your presentation to be memorable, and you want your audience to come back for more. Whether you are meeting to review the numbers for last quarter, or teaching new hires, or talking to potential new customers, you are selling. No matter what the goal is, how well you manage the holy trinity will determine your degree of success.


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