Finding patterns is an ancient human survival skill. Put it to good use to engage with your audience in your next presentation.
Susan says, “I found myself looking closely here. All those different random buttons. But, just for fun, did any match? Were there duplicates? I quickly found all the light blue buttons.The orange buttons with white hearts just seemed to leap out at me. Then all the buttons with black figures on them. Bonus finds: two Batman buttons, three Frenchie buttons, two swans a swimming, two llamas llamming. Does this have anything to do with presenting? Yes, this whimsical image contains messages about design and our innate curiosity about what lurks within. We come by this curiosity naturally. It’s a brain function: finding patterns, looking for changes, finding things that don’t belong there. It’s a survival thing.
Engage Your Audience to Find Patterns
You can use this ability to get your audience’s close attention. Challenge them to find the matches; to see what isn’t immediately obvious; to seek the patterns if any exist. It’s a game, of course. To find the most, to be the first, to find the unusual, the only, the variations, the red hearts and so forth. Find all the llamas. More dogs or more cats? Do you see the whales?
Why are We So Good at This?
Yes, images have enormous power to sustain interest and create something that is memorable. There is an added bonus in using a photo like this in a presentation because it invites audience participation – winners and a bit of silliness. In truth, we humans are good at this stuff because we are skilled at seeing the details, finding the patterns and the anomalies. This ability kept us alive in the ancient days when we were food and needed to find food to live. Using an image like this one gives your audience an opportunity to show off those innate abilities, largely unnecessary today, and have some harmless fun.
So, What Good are Patterns Today?
P.S. Here’s another idea. Look at this image as a scrambled depiction of data. Without any order to the buttons it becomes obvious that data without organization is simply a distraction. If these buttons were organized, even minimally – say, by color, you’d be able to draw conclusions quickly. There are more blues than greens; orange hearts are popular. Without order, you will spend time looking, but there is a frustration, too, because you can’t draw any conclusions without great difficulty. Who knew buttons could be such an inspiration”
The Alluring Powers of Whimsy
Lucia says, “At first I noticed the overall design – patterns of colors, shapes, and circles on squares. But it was actually the non-patterns that compelled me to capture this scene. The horizontal lines are straight because the buttons are placed on a wooden rack. So it’s the vertical lines that I like. They don’t line up creating whimsy and a bit of chaos. Add to it that there’s no rhyme or reason to the order of the buttons. This is a terrific marketing strategy. You can’t Take it in at a glance. You have to look at each button make sure you buy the best one for you. Maybe while looking through them, you’ll find more than one that appeals to you.
Using a Photo to Add Fun to Your Presentation
From a presenter’s standpoint (as Susan has already gone over in great detail), this unassuming photo is a gold mine of possible audience engagement. It goes to show, you never know where you’ll find the impetus to inspire your audience to get involved and have some fun. Having fun during a presentation is a good thing. Don’t you think?”
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