Amy Schumer, Presentation Icon
Comedian Amy Schumer seems to be everywhere. Her “Trainwreck” movie with Judd Apatow follows the end of her third Comedy Central series season, which just picked up an Emmy. Amy is on talk shows from Ellen to Jimmy Kimmel. The Portico Blog is no exception to what is becoming the Year of Schumer.
While the connection between a talented (if not controversial) comic and corporate communication might not be readily apparent, Schumer’s Cat Park provides an example of a compelling presentation in a conference-room setting. Please note: the execution of these presentation tactics ranges from questionable to cringeworthy, but for our purposes they will make them that much easier for you to remember and apply.
- Establishes credibility. Amy explains why her colleagues should give her proposal serious consideration; she’s the daughter of the company founder.
- Brings the audience into the idea. She asks questions, looks for participation, and even passes a bottle of bubbly around the table in celebration of her concept. Amy invokes a TED-talk tactic of inviting her colleagues to “imagine a world” with . . .a Cat Park.
- Effective use of visuals & multimedia. The flip chart with sketch gives the feeling of being somewhat impromptu, while the video offers a (yes, I realize. . bizarre) perspective, if not a bit of cognitive dissonance, to the Cat Park idea. Also, Amy does not use a PowerPoint.
- Answers the ever-important “why now” question. Many of us give presentations, whether to colleagues, board trustees or potential clients because we’re competing for resources. For any pitch to be successful, we need to be able to answer the urgency question so that our audience can prioritize our call to action.
- Provides a clear Call to Action. This meeting ends in an up or down vote to approve funding for Cat Park.
From the “what not to do” perspective, when Amy responds to a colleague’s question, she goes on the attack, “Are you for real?” For a more constructive Q&A session, follow these 3 tips.
Again, this example is not quite the caliber of a commencement speech, product launch or TED talk. Finding examples in non-expected situations can help reinforce concepts. . .which means that while you’re watching Schumer’s “Trainwreck” or viewing her videos on YouTube, you’ll also probably be thinking a bit about your next presentation.