- Speaker walks up to the front of the room and thanks everyone for being there;
- Runs through a black and white PowerPoint Presentation with about 60 to 75 crowded slides in 55 minutes;
- Rushes through a 5 minute Q & A and;
- Skates out of the room at the end to catch a plane or car.
I have been to a million (okay a little exaggeration) of these and in the interest of full disclosure, I have planned (guilty) many, many more.
But what’s the problem? There are many problems with this, but most importantly, these presentations are cliche, expected, and boring. Quite honestly, we have become comfortable with this method of presenting just like that pair of fuzzy warm PJs we refuse to throw out. But it is time to CHANGE!
Think about it. Powerpoint presentation equipment came to the forefront of speaking methodology in the late 1980’s. That is over 20 years ago! Now, we have interactive technology tool rentals that can provide color, sound, light, and audience response, without breaking the bank.
So how can we motivate our attendees so they don’t sleep through the next presentation? SUCCESs! Dan Heath and Chip Heath wrote a book called Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die… and they outlined an acronym that they believe will motivate attendees. Powerpoint doesn’t have to die, but it definitely needs to be retooled. So here are some suggestions using the SUCCESs model:
- Is the slide and presentation SIMPLE? Back in the day, presentation services audio visual equipment was meant to aid the presenter, not replace them. Somewhere along the way, we lost that concept. Stick to the 6 x 6 rule. No more than 6 lines on a slide and 6 words across.
- Is the presentation UNEXPECTED? Do something different. Do Q & A upfront for 55 minutes and presentation for 5 (check out our most recent blog, The New Way for PowerPoint, PechaKucha). Rent iPads and pass them out at the beginning of the presentation so attendees can be involved. Put the room in a circle, get rid of the tables. Be bold. Attendees will be buzzing about your words long after the meeting.
- Is the presentation CONCRETE? Is the facilitator or speaker giving facts, or their opinion? Audiences today are hungry for actual facts, not fluff. Use data with graphs and color. Your presenter doesn’t need to connect the dots, let the audience do it.
- Is the presentation and speaker CREDIBLE? More than ever, people will Google the presenter, check out their website and social media, and see their message is consistent among the platforms. Make certain you know they are an expert in the area they are speaking about.
- Is the message EMOTIONAL? If attendees are going to get motivated, they must be emotional. What is the call to action for the attendee?
- Lastly, does the presenter tell a STORY? What is the story that is going to motivate the audience to buy this product or service? Attend this benefit? Go to this city for the conference? We need stories sprinkled in the presentation because they they make the speaker very credible and if told right, become emotional.