In “Unlock Inner Genius,” Catherine Mattiske, a global business educator and author/creator, introduces the concept of Inner Genius Archetypes — a set of 12 learning and communication profiles everyone fits into — and provides tips on how to instantly appeal to, connect with, and powerfully influence each profile — especially during meetings and presentations!

The following are Catherine’s Six Tips for capturing attention right from the start of meetings and presentations, along with the Inner Genius Archetypes whose focus will be turned on by each:

1) Stop Talking About Yourself. Remember the presentation where the leader began by talking about herself, the activities she did that morning, and the great restaurant she was at the night before, never previewing the benefits and advantages of what she would be presenting, and everyone was in rapt attention? No, we don’t either.

2) Start Traditional, Then Dive Into the Big Picture With a Story. You can state your name and who you are, but then dive into a story. Articulate the end goal and big picture of the program by tying it into a captivating tale.  Three Inner Genius Archetypes whose listening perks up when hearing the big picture are The Decrypter, The Narrator, and The Catalyst!

3) Capture Attention, Then Go Formal. Start with eye-catching quotes, facts, and figures that get them thinking.  For example, you can say, “Over the past two months, we have lost 35% of our market share to our closest competitor. If we don’t act soon, we will go under in over one year. This is not an option for you and me, which is why we must come together to craft this new future. You are a key player in this victory, which is why I am ready to show you what we need to do today. Are you with me?” Three Inner Genius Archetypes who have special interest in identifying the reason for learning are The Decrypter, The Narrator, and The Catalyst!

4) Do Your Prep Work. You should be preparing for this presentation days in advance so that you are ready to perform when the lights are on. Send out reminders to people who are joining and make the reminders fun with a quiz or two. Three Inner Genius Archetypes that appreciate step-by-step processes and plans are The Scribe, The Valedictorian, and The Horologist!

5) Start Before You Start. The presentation begins when the first person arrives in the room (whether virtual or in-person). Think about welcoming someone into your home — you’d never just ignore them until the “official start time” of your dinner or party! Design an activity for them to engage with. Ensure that you greet everyone individually (as much as possible) and welcome them personally to the meeting. If you hide away waiting for the start time, THAT will become their first impression, which is not something you want to promote. Three Inner Genius Archetypes that like activities, puzzles, and drills and want to dive in right away and start doing are The Cartographer, The Composer, and The Mason.

6) Be Completely Unexpected. Music, lights, singing, dancing, weird GIFs on the screen, home videos, you name it: If it is unexpected, do it. For presentations conducted online today, you need to ramp up the energy and the shock factor since distractions are at an all-time high. Three Inner Genius Archetypes that are visionaries and experimenters and may love this are The Futurist, The Energizer, and The Explorer!

About the Author:

Global business educator and author Catherine Mattiske is founder of TPC — The Performance Company, a leading training and consulting organization that has worked with Fortune 100 companies around the world. Established in 1994, TPC has offices in Sydney, Los Angeles, New York, London, Singapore and Basel (Switzerland). The author of more than 30 books, her latest is “Unlock Inner Genius: Power Your Path to Extraordinary Success” (September 2021). Learn more at