Edit for presentation impact

by Dan Bond on 25th March, 2013

Too often presenters feel that the opportunity to speak is an chance to tell everybody everything. Almost as if they are lying on the analysts couch they  unpack the whole story just to be on the safe side.

Board room Directors who must frequently listen to presentations by managers complain of presentations full of unnecessary detail that obstructs the headline actionable proposition.

A great example was identified by a director of a large manufacturing company.  A manager was presenting the new packaging for a well-known washing powder to the board.  The presenter opened with “before we show you the 2010 packaging for Jazz brand detergent we would like to take this opportunity to show you the 13 iterations that caused us to arrive at this final design”  Every board member thought the same thing but it only took one to say …. Can we just move on to the new packaging?

An audience needs informational ‘Match of the Day’ highlights that represent what the audience must know for the presentation proposition to be understood and auctioned.  Don’t clutter things up with nice to know or even should know information especially if ‘Maybe they should know’ because this indicates you have not done your research.

You can only give an audience the right information  if you have done your homework.  Therefore you need to ask them beforehand: What interests you about this subject? What do you already know about the subject? What would you like to be the result of the presentation? Only then can you start to evaluate what information is relevant.

There are occasions when it is just absolutely impossible to get information due to the tender processes.  However, if you can talk to the recipient of your presentation you must so you can understand them and identify what you can cut out. Remember some presentational elements can be more effectively left to post presentation discussion.  When was the last time you left a presentation saying “That was just not long enough”? So, edit for Impact!

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