Killer Presentations – Part 2

When putting together that killer presentation, the 2nd thing on your checklist should be “Mash the Monotone”.

Webster defines monotone as a succession of syllables, words, or sentences in one unvaried key or pitch. Exactly as the word describes: Monotone. It means you sound boring.

And for me personally, I know it is one of my biggest weaknesses as a public speaker.

You think I am bad now, you should have seen me 20 years ago. I have to constantly work on getting better at it. I will put specific check points in my presentation to mash the monotone if I feel it creeping in.

We all have seen it over and over again and most of us do it when we present.

This movie clip is funny because it is so close to what we really experience in school and the business world. I swear this guy was my Calculus teacher.

Watch this Video

Yeah… he was my calculus teacher and he represents the majority of business presentations styles out there.

So how do you Mash the Monotone ? Try to learn from some of the great ones. Now when I say that most people think of some of the most influential speeches in history, like Winston Churchill’s’ “We will fight them on the beaches.”

No actually his speech is very monotone, but it is one of the most famous speeches in the world because of the emotionally charged content. If his message was about this year’s budget, he would have bombed.


Yes words by themselves can make a killer presentation, but they only work by themselves if the content is astronomically good. Your content and mine in most situations won’t make the top 100 of all time, so we need more help. Getting rid of the monotone is part of the recipe to create that killer presentation.

To kill the monotone we need to use timing, silence, inflection and animation.

In my mind one of the best people to emulate is a comedian. I am not talking about making your entire presentation a standup comedy routine. Yes you need humor in your presentation, but don’t overdo it.

What I am talking about is look at the use if timing, silence, inflection, and animation.

So mask the monotone and look to comedians for clues on how to do it right.

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