Saturday, January 16, 2016

How to Create a Compelling Presentation Instead of Making Slides

Most people think of presentation software as a way to create a series of "slides" to help outline a talk. However, instead of thinking about presentations as giving information through talking and "slides", think about presentations as storytelling. Stories have drama, characters, conflict, and resolution. Stories can present an idea or make a point in a compelling manner. Stories grab attention.

Presentation software helps illustrate what your saying. But it can also be effective in the art of storytelling. For instance, most people present stats in two basic ways:
  1. numbers and text, or
  2. graphs and charts
But what happens when a number is coupled with relevant photography? Or that graph dynamically populated itself according to a certain feeling or mood? Maybe that chart literally illustrates what you are talking about? What if animation gave new life to a statistic?

Why does this work?

People are influenced when information makes sense to them. And they are persuaded when they feel something about it. However, people are not interested in your information. They aren’t interested in your product. They don’t care about what you want them to do. None of these is what the audience initially cares about. However, they want to know why they should care.

Proper emotion can grab an audience's attention. Then the presenter’s character (credible, knowledgable, and likable) helps hold the attention of audience to find out where she’s going. But there has to be a logic to the presentation. (Okay, the speaker is likable, but does he make sense?) Storytelling brings together a logical structure and an emotional appeal. Storytelling puts the audience into the story. And when they feel it, they will respond to your presentation — as long as the information is well put together and logical.

The key to a great presentation strategy is to structure your story/presentation first. Then use presentation software to illustrate the story, not just the information.

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