Recently, I read “Presenting to Win”. It was excellent. It was so good, that if you ever have to give presentations on a regular basis, you should read this book as soon as possible.
This book is particularly targetted toward selling presentations but applies in a much broader way to any presentation. The result of a presentation that follows these guidelines is likely to be met with an emotional response by the audience. The author’s background is in cinematography and so his instruction is very much about creating a story for the audience to follow. More than that, keeping the audience in mind for the entire presentation.
His four primary questions:
- What is your Point B? [What do you want your audience to understand/believe/do by the end of the presentation]
- Who is your audience and what is their WIIFY? [What’s In It For You (Them) – What do they want from the presentation?]
- What are your Roman Columns? [After doing a mind map/brainstorm of the presentation, identify the key points that the audience needs?]
- Why have you put the Roman Columns in a particular order? In other words, which Flow Structure have you chosen? [How do you want to tell the story?]
One of the primary points that is made is to keep your audience from thinking. Don’t show slides that force your audience to leave the presentation mentally (stop listening and start reading or trying to figure things out). Slides which are too complicated will force people to have to think through why they are there and will stop listening to your presentation. Anyway, it’s very worth the time to read it.