Most people who’ve been on a presentation course have been taught to “tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em; tell ’em; tell ’em what you’ve told ’em”. And then the internet came along.
Whether you want to get a song on your iPod that you’ve just heard on the radio; download an ebook onto your Kindle or find something out you can can do it in seconds. No waiting; no build up; no preparation just click, click, click, done.
The upshot of this is that our attention spans have been slashed. We’re not quite sure what we want but we want it now and we want lots of it!
Back to presentations then. Start a presentation with an agenda screen followed by one about your company and you’ll have the audience reaching for their Blackberry’s faster than you can say “and we have 9 offices throughout the UK”.
Nnnnnnoooooo!!!!!! Just face it, NOBODY CARES and if they do they’ll Google you.
Imagine Steve Jobs starting one of his famous presentations with an agenda screen and then telling us all about Apple. We don’t want to hear that – we want to hear about the next cool device Apple are going to bestow upon us and that’s exactly what he gave us. What we wanted.
So here it is folks; the 1st rule of High-Impact presentations: always start your presentation with something that they can relate to.
- A topical story with a message
- Something controversial
- A bold statement followed by a declaration that you’re “going to show how this is true”
- An audience participation exercise
- Anything but an Agenda or an About Us screen.
In other words if you were presenting to a room full of pussy-cats you’d start off by talking about goldfish. So the next time you’re building a presentation the first thing to do is figure out what their “goldfish” is and open with that!
This is the first of 7 blog posts all dedicated to the same end: delivering hi-impact presentations.