What can we learn from movie subtitles?

86040Last year, I went to see the film, The Intouchables, a French movie with subtitles. I hadn’t been to a subtitled film in awhile and I was delighted to see that they now have the words large enough on the screen so there is no struggle in reading and keeping up.

Also I realized that films are scripted to have simple, short, non-complex sentences easy enough for an audience to follow.  So what does that mean to us as persuasive business presenters?

  1. Keep it simple. Use short sentences.
  2. Avoid complex language.
  3. Pace it well enough for your audience to pick up on what you are telling them.
  4. Use silence. Moments of pause is a gift to our audience. It’s in those blessed moments that they get to feel, absorb, and get on board to our message.  It’s only then can they begin to buy-in to the intent of our pitch.
  5. Keep to your story. Structure it to have a flow from beginning to middle to end.

(NOTE: These techniques work well with visual aids using PowerPoint and other media.)