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10 steps to awesome presentations
Most presentations are pretty okay, but a few are outstanding. Even fewer stay memorable over time and produce extraordinary results.
Most presentations are pretty okay, but few are outstanding. Even fewer stay memorable over time and produce extraordinary results. Why is this the case? It’s the multiplicity of presentations that make them so hard to perfect and many factors and variables working together to create a stronger whole.
The content-playWhat you have to say needs to shine through, here are some pointers:
- What is it you really want to say? Often the verbal pitch is better than the actual presentation. Plan your verbal content first, and then build the presentation to follow the lead and empower your message.
- How do you start? Is a teaser or a summary, the best way to introduce your content? Experimenting with different openings to your presentation matters, variations can be good.
- Where to surprise? Where can you add a twist, a new turn, a provocation, a question, or a pause? Don’t only deliver what is expected, create thought-provoking content.
- Don’t go down the middle road. There is a lot of noise out there: people grabbing attention. If you choose to go too mild and neutral in your approach you won’t stand out. Be bold and inspire action.
- Don’t only present it, engage. A common mistake, in i.e. a sales meeting, is to have your pitch take 80% of the time and leave only 20% for dialogue. Your presentation should be about creating dialogue, engaging your audience to move a decision forward. A presentation monologue may impress, but it may not get you where you want to go.
Storytelling is the key to success in any kind of presentation
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- Visual Harmonisation – Great visual consistency makes presentations easier to follow and less distracting. When reading Vogue, each page is part of the same style creating a consistent visual narrative, and consistency is king. Harmonized presentation material is easier to mix and match for future reuse, and is greatly underappreciated.
- Visual authenticity – When possible: create your own visuals. If using collections of images ensures the visuals enforce your messaging, create your own visual world by using consistent colors and styles across presentations.
- Visual branding – is it obvious how your company is unique? How do your presence and signature branding assets create a clear visual identity?
- Reinforcing visuals – out of a 10 to 20-page long presentation, how many pages have visuals that greatly support your messaging? There’s a reason magazine or newspaper cover pages get so much attention, they set a visual tone for what to expect.
- How good can it be? With a bread and butter approach to presentations, it often doesn’t matter if the material is perfect or not, after all, it’s about getting through the meeting. However, if consistent excellence could cut down the number and cycle of meetings, earn more support for your message, and generally create more excitement: going from good enough to great changes everything. Being more ambitious about the quality of messaging, the visual appeal, and the structure of your message there are only strong rewards. All you can do is try us out: see what comes out of “excellent” over “on par with your last presentation”.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satified is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
– Steve Jobs