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MBA Information Sessions: What is Your Dream?

What will go through your mind on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?

For many, the soaring rhetoric of the civil rights leader’s “I Have a Dream” speech will resonate with every tribute and celebration.

Stylistically the speech has been described as a political treatise, a work of poetry, and a masterfully delivered and improvised sermon, bursting with biblical language and imagery.

But what exactly makes it so powerful?

Nancy Duarte, persuasion expert and bestselling author of Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences and slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, has studied Dr. King’s speech to determine the “magic that makes it memorable.”

That magic includes the rhetorical device of repetition, metaphors, and visual words.

In addition, Nancy argues that the structure of every great presentation alternates between:

  1. What is
  2. What could be

And ends with a “new bliss.”

Martin Luther King, Jr’s speech follows this exact pattern.

Watch here:


As Nancy describes,

What Dr. King did is he reached into the hearts of his audience.”

As you prepare your information sessions this year, are you reaching into the hearts of your audience?

Are you tapping into their dreams?

Think of how you can make the structure more like a great presentation to touch prospective students intellectually and emotionally.

Instead of describing program features, consider incorporating a pattern that alternates between “what is” and “what could be” and ends with a new bliss.

Elevate your information session to an inspiration session.

Here’s one example:

What Is

  • Status quo (job stagnation, boredom, frustration)


What Could Be

  • More choices, extended network


New Bliss

  • Freedom, security, happiness


Nancy shows us how great speeches can move people to change the world.

Your next information inspiration session can do the same.

Schedule a 20/20 Brainstorming Call