There are no presentations, only stories

A lot of people wonder what went wrong with their presentation after it was delivered – “I had all the data, I had used a lot of graphics, the slide design was very good”..wonder why I could not capture the audience’s attention!

The thing wrong with your presentation is that it is a presentation! If you want to get the audience hooked, you need to give them what they like hearing: A STORY!

Just as a movie cannot hit the Box Office with only the plot, you need a strong narration to back your data. Remember the following:

1. Understand what your audience is interested in:
That’s the key to a successful presentation. Your entire narration will depend on that – stepping into the viewer’s shoes is a necessity if you want to tell a good story. Likewise customize your presentation accd. to who’s going to see it – If it’s a PE player, he’s probably interested in the raw numbers – market cap, growth rate, cash flows etc ; for your boss, probably an overview of the entire scene would be your best bet; for your mom, a block diagram might suit the most.

2. Focus on what you want to say:
Going around in circles might not be a good way to tell your story – be direct : save your effort, their time and the possibility of the audience losing interest

3. The Insight:
Every story is supported by a series of strong insights. Those are what blow your audience away. Make sure you highlight the key insights and build your framework around it.

4. Frequency of Insights:
Insights should keep coming at regular intervals or monotony might set in. Also bombarding your viewers with insights might not be a good option either. One major insight for every 2/3 slides is good enough for a 15 slide presentation.

Hope this helps.  And the next time you open up MS PowerPoint, put on your writer’s hat and go write a story instead!

You may check out the following links to some articles I found useful
–          Check this link out
http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/06/six-slides.html

–          Here’s a brilliant presentation by Paul Adams
http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2

Also let me know of your thoughts and feel free to add more tips in the comments

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