October 20, 2011 6 Comments
Every time I go to a conference, there is a wide spectrum of quality in the speaker presentations. We all know the drill – some speakers hold our attention and draw us into the content, others leave us cold and drifting.
Speaker Perspective 1: I am not here to re-hash facts and stats. That is Google’s job. I am here to provide context, insight, and motivation to change.
Speaker Perspective 2: I need to tell a story. Slides are background to help tell the story. The slide deck is not the presentation. I am.
Speaker Perspective 3: The audience will be able to retain and act on one or two clear messages. Maximum impact, not maximum content, is the goal.
Now, embracing those perspectives, here are your first four steps.
1. What’s the point? For the moment, put aside all materials, including prior slide decks. What is the ONE THING you are trying to get across to your audience? Summarize it in ONE SIMPLE SENTENCE. You are not ready to progress with presentation design until you can clearly articulate the point of the whole exercise.
2. How can I turn this into a story? Remember, you’re not there to do a data dump. The attention – and memory – of your audience members is going to be captured by a story line.
3. What do I want my audience members to do after this presentation? Fast forward to the end of your presentation – as people walk out of your session, what is the clear call to action that needs to be ringing in their ears? The entire presentation needs to aim at that.
4. What resources and advice can I bring forth to enable that action? Motivate, and equip. Inform, yes – but with a purpose.
Don’t even think about firing up Powerpoint and dumping data into slides until you go through this exercise. Then, you will see that your slide design becomes the handmaiden of your presentation – you aren’t the handmaiden of your slide deck.
Those are my “start here” tips – what are yours?
Hire Steve Woodruff if your identity and message need clarity (Business Identity Therapy)
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