## Chapter 12. Numerology Of Presenting

*Fail*

Prep

One of my great fails was when I was 8 years old. My parents wanted to send me from a government free school to a private ‘public’ school. This undoubtedly changed my life for the better, but I almost didn’t make it. The government school didn’t teach us times tables & in the interview I couldn’t answer a single math question!

Dad

Luckily I could read well. Thanks mainly to Tintin books, I apparently had a reading age of 15 & this got me into the school; just. When my dad found out about the maths, he was furious. He had been top of his school in math. Later it turned out there was some genetic ability & I became better at math & went to university to study it.

Finance

That again didn’t go so well & I ended up dropping out of the university course after only a year. But my love of numbers as opposed to math study has always stayed with me & served me. After university I got a job in financial markets & analysis & have worked with numbers ever since.

Rugby

When I got into private school, I was introduced to something new, a sport called rugby, which became an obsession for many decades. Unlike soccer, rugby is divided up into numbered positions. My position & many people’s favorite was open side flanker, number 7. This therefore became my favorite number.

7 Steps

Later when I started to make & give more & more presentations, I realized the importance of numbers in presentations. Not only was I presenting numbers, numbers were important to how I presented. My favorite presentation number also ended up as 7 & this led to the system for making great presentations which has ‘7 Steps...’

*Numerology*

Bible

Numerology is a whole topic by itself. Many people are fascinated by numbers. Numbers have of course been used throughout history & some numbers have clearly been used more than others. You can now use this data to help you get better results for your presentations. For example the most common number used in the Bible is 7.

Survey

In recent years & with the help of the internet, a huge survey has been conducted about the world’s favorite number. You can participate & add your number choice here. Once you’ve voted & joined the tens of thousands of others who have done so, you will find out that the world’s favorite number is 7.

Seven

What is it about this number that’s so special? Perhaps it’s because it’s not too big & also not too small? In the Bible the world is created in 7 days. For Muslims there’s 7 levels of heaven or 7th heaven. In the real world there are 7 wonders & in secular Las Vegas the slot machine winning number is 7...

Three

The slot machine jackpot is 7, 3 times. As you already know from earlier in this ebooklet, there is the rule of 3 & it turns out that 3 is the second most popular number in the world after 7. In addition to the number of slots on a slot machine, 3 is morning, noon, night; the holy trinity, & Steve Jobs iPhone was 3 things, phone, iPod & internet browser.

Odd

Interestingly the world’s favorite numbers are almost all odd. The only even numbers in the top ten favorites are four & eight. There’s something magical & mysterious about odd numbers. Even numbers are too easy to divide up & therefore less interesting. Even numbers can also feel incomplete, 6 days is 1 short of a 7 day week.

*Time*

Journey

Numbers are also of course used for time & managing time is the first way the 7 Steps helps you by using numbers. A presentation is like a journey & you want to know how long it will take to get there. That means dividing things up to work out both how long it will take to make your great presentation & then how long to give it.

Calendar

The first way we do this is by making a calendar or plan. This focuses in on the event at the end, with some basic questions about what type of venue it will be, how many people will be there & how long you will have to present. Then you fill the calendar backwards, allowing a period of time to complete each of the 7 Steps, so you know how long it will take to prepare.

Theme

When you then move on to brainstorming your theme, there will be the number of people who help you to brainstorm with. At this stage you will do research & look at data & numbers to decide what you want to say. You will also decide which of the 3 types of presentation you’ll give. They all use numbers; a story has a number of sections, a list is a list of numbers & the 3x3 is pure numbers.

Script

Next you will write a script & the length of your script will depend on how long you’re going to talk for. The script is made up of the major points, which are then divided into 3 sub points each. Each sub point is written as a tweet. A tweet is 280 characters. An average word is 4.5 characters, so 280/4.5 = 60 words for or tweet or sub point.

Audience

When you are presenting, you will speak at the rate of about 100 words a minute. When you’re allocated time to speak, first discount it by 30%. 10 minutes becomes 7. 7 times 100 is 700. Divide by 60 is 11 tweets. That’s 3 points x 3 sub points plus introduction. & conclusion, which is a 3x3 presentation. You’ll finish perfectly in time & your audience will be delighted.

*Presenting*

Odd

80% of the world’s favorite numbers are odd & you should use this useful fact in your presentations. Odd numbers just seem to work so well & there’s something magical about them which will attract your audience’s attention. Use odd numbers for your presentation title, for the number of data points in a chart, for the number of bullet points on your slide.

Three

Three works very well & this is the number we use most of the time in our presentations. A three point chart, with a three word title. Apple now uses 3 screens when they present, with smaller ones on the left & right, & the bigger one in the middle. We divide the presentation script up into 3s for each point. This ebooklet is 3 parts; introductions, the 7 Steps & the conclusions.

Seven

Then there’s the 7 Steps themselves. Just in case you have forgotten them, there’s a calendar, brainstorming your theme, writing out a full presentation script with pouts, sub points & tweets. Then there’s turning data Into simply great charts. Then plenty of attention grabbing media, the slides themselves & practice & preparation.

One

Although it’s not the world’s favorite number, the third important number for your presentations is the simplest, one. Chose only one theme for your presentation at the beginning. Put only one idea on each slide, one chart, one photo. If you can, when using data, bring it down to just one strong, easy to remember number.

More

For a longer presentation you can turn your theme into chapters & have a separate 3x3 presentation for each one. Recently I’ve been doing training for the 7 Steps in company offices & over lunch hours. The time allocated is usually 90 minutes, I shorten it to 77 & make 11 different 3x3 presentations (each one is 7 minutes). Presenting like most things in life is a simple numbers game.