Knowledge Core

A picture paints a 1,000 words BUT 1,000 words will bore you to death


How many of you have been subjected to what could have been a magnificent presentation/product launch/change initiative which in fact turned out to be a less than ‘riveting’ monologue?

Picture this, two presenters both brilliant in their field, both possessing great ‘technical depth’ both with very little presentation experience. And when they did present, you would see them both either reading their notes in front of them or the text off the slides, whilst standing behind the podium trotting out their technical prowess.

So we have Steve who brilliant but when nervous speaks in monotonously, long sentences filled with looong words – proliferated with technical jargon, that could to some be construed as mumbling to himself rather than presenting to a group … the nutty professor comes to mind

Then there’s Nick, whose very nervous of presenting, considered intense by some in the office, who as he gets more nervous digs further into the detail completely missing the objective of the presentation.

The issue was that the company needed their presentation to connect, inspire, excite and motivate the audience to action, the stage was global, and, they only had ½ an hour.

Where it began, was a focus on the technical detail.  I bet that’s never happened at your organisation.

So what are the elements of a high impact presentation …

  • First and foremost, ensure the context is right for the audience,
  • focus on delivering a presentation that is outcome based, here is where you need to ask yourself, what do you want your audience to leave the presentation doing, thinking, believing, wanting more of, less of, differently or better
  • It really doesn’t matter what you want to say, it’s about what the audience needs to hear because remember unless it’s a technical workshop a large component of the presenter’s role is to inspire the audience, engage them in the potential and often create possibilities for them
  • We live in a day and age where imagery is rich, powerful and accessible, I’ll be blunt here, I’d recommend you use it

And lastly, for this level of audience with this kind of intent understand that you need to invest around 8 hours of preparation time for 30 minutes of delivery. Anything less than that a you will have undercooked it, risking that death by that 1000 words.

The Outcome

Oh and of those of you wondering how Steve and Nick went, their presentation was considered one of two of the best at the global conference.

For those of you who want to watch a perfect example of how not to deliver a presentation here is a fabulous video.