Inception: The Key to a Good Presentation

Posted on October 15, 2012 by

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ImageOn July 16, 2010, something changed. Maybe the wind blew differently, compasses pointed south, or cats barked. However, even if those things did occur, they wouldn’t matter, for something huge was happening. Across the world, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to their theaters, paid twelve dollars, and then sat with their popcorn, as Leonardo DiCaprio woke up on a beach.

The movie “Inception” is the story of a team of people who steal information from the dreams of other humans. Then, they receive their biggest job yet: To plant information inside the mind of the young heir to a massive company. However, Cobb, their leader, has some unresolved issues, which jeopardize the group’s survival within the boy’s mind. The movie was wildly popular, earning $825,532,764 worldwide, $21 million on opening night alone. Peter Travers of “Rolling Stone” called it “a wildly ingenious chess game,” a phrase which understates the beautiful complexity of the movie. “Inception” won four of the eight Academy Awards it was nominated for, losing best picture to “The King’s Speech.” Overall, it was a truly fantastic film.

But, why?

That year, movies such as “Toy Story 3,” “Harry Potter 7:1,” “The King’s Speech,” “Black Swan,” “True Grit,” and “The Social Network” were all released, and went on to do amazingly well. All these movies had at least one big name actor/actress, were well made, and grossed over $100 million dollars. What separates “Inception” from all the other great movies of 2010?

For the originality. The majority of the high-grossing movies of 2010 were either sequels, adaptions of books, true stories, or remakes of movies. “Black Swan,” while falling into none of these categories, is a realistic story that could conceivably happen. “Inception” fills a void that has been lacking for many years: Pure imagination, packaged into something relatable (dreams), with a completely unheard of twist (manipulation of humans within their dreams). People love something new and revolutionary, and that’s what “Inception” delivered through it’s multiple innovative twists: a freedom from the void of cookie-cutter movies.

What goes into making a good presentation? That question is considered everywhere from board rooms to classrooms, and I propose that the solution is one simple thing: uniqueness. If your presentation stands apart from the others, it’s more likely to be noticed and listened to. A small interactive game, prizes, or theatrics can bring get an audience involved and interested. Humans are creatures that hate to be bored, so make your presentation appeal to them. Give them information in a way that makes them feel like they NEED it. You’re selling, and they want to buy.

On my last presentation, my partner and I did terribly. Even though we made an interesting powerpoint, the two of us weren’t very committed to our topic, causing our presentation on the Renaissance didn’t stand out from the presentations of other groups. So, now, the movie poster of “Inception” is in my class notes: To remind me that my presentation should ALWAYS stand apart.

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Posted in: Learning