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Archive for ‘Presentation Structure’

To be an Expert or a Master

By Tom Nixon

Any chart or graph can be a dense forest of data unless you deliberately create it with the goal of making the complex understandable. This double axis chart is a build slide with each component revealed as the presenter introduces them so that the audience can understand how the chart works without the initial confusion caused by showing the entire chart at once.

The goal here is to show how presentation technique and the complexity of the content work together to affect how the audience responds to the speaker.

The vertical …

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PowerPoint Slides are Changing, Thankfully!

 

By Kelly Vandever

“I don’t want to keep teaching people how to do better PowerPoints only to have them tell me, ‘Oh, we could never do that where I work.’ ”

This comment came from a colleague who was expressing his frustration about teaching people to present PowerPoints more effectively.

I’ve expressed similar sentiments myself over the years. But at this time of year, when we think of what we’re thankful for, I’m thankful that when it comes to PowerPoint slides in business presentations, times are changing!
Times Are Changing
While the statement above …

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Need/Don’t Need: 5 Categories of information for PowerPoint presentations

By Tom Nixon

Try using these 5 categories of information to label and use content in your slides. Consider going through your script, your outline, your content and categorize them from 1 to 5. These labels describe how a particular piece of information relates to the needs of the audience not how it fits into your content or to your understanding of the subject.

Your BIG IDEA. This is the theme of your presentation. The one central concept that all portions of your slides, handouts and talk must relate to.
MUST DELIVERS. These …

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Shoot Your Bullet Points

by Bob Goodyear

Recently I was asked to give a presentation on a topic that I had covered several years ago. I eagerly agreed because I remembered that I had the slide deck for it stored away in a backup. It would be easy to take that deck, update the information with current trends, and give the presentation with a minimal amount of work.

I found the backup and immediately downloaded the deck. Upon opening the file, I was shocked to see what I had done. The slide deck had 34 total slides …

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Check, Please

by Bob Goodyear

Imagine that a friend stops by and asks you to come along to help with some kind of an errand.  The first questions you may ask is where are you going and what are you going to be doing.  Wouldn’t you want to know that?

When we present, we need to tell our audience the same things.  We need to tell them where they are going and what they will be doing or hearing.  We need to give them a road map of our presentation up front.

A road map helps …

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The Wonders of Reduction: Creating a Pithy Speech Just Like a Cook Concentrates the Sauce

by Claudia Brogan

One of the perpetual quests of good speakers is to create and deliver a pithy speech that “packs a lot of punch” without taking extra time. A speech that makes its points clearly and engagingly without becoming redundant.

Ironically, the best speeches can sometimes be the shortest ones. Trimmed and culled. Just like the cooking practice that is called “boiling something down to its essence,” an effective speech takes its ingredients and cooks them together until they are concentrated, well-combined and full of zest. When a cook …

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The 5 C’s of Storytelling: A Follow-up

by Bob Goodyear

I just came back from a sales conference where I had the opportunity to train technical sales teams on various soft skills.  One of the techniques that was taught was the 5 C’s of storytelling, that I’ve written about previously.  After the sessions were over, I had several attendees talk to me.  The most common question I heard was “When do I tell a story in a technical presentation?”

The “traditional” technical sales presentation is considered to be a “data dump” and the expectations are generally very low …

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All Uppercase is Hard to Read

by Tom Nixon

Graphic Design 101: Text, especially in larger quantities, full sentences or small sizes must, above all else, be reader-friendly. It simply has to be easy to read or your audience will not bother to put the effort into digging through it. And to make text the most difficult to read, the most uninviting, set it in ALL CAPS. (When you see all caps in a legal document you can be sure the lawyer who wrote it doesn’t want you to read it).

Using all capital letters …

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How to Tell a Darn Good Story

by Natalie Gallagher

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, on a dark and stormy night, people used to sit around the fire at night and tell each other stories. In fact, we were storytellers long before we had even developed a written language; stories connected us, taught valuable lessons, and created a shared history.

Storytelling continues to be integral to who we are, and mastering telling a great story is a great way to connect with any audience.  But how do we craft a great story? …

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Information vs. Presentation Decks

 

by Bob Goodyear

Several years ago, I was asked to do a technical sales presentation for a Fortune 100 company that could lead to a very large software contract.  All of the technical decision makers for the company would be in the audience as well as the CIO.  This was a very important meeting for the sales team and I was being asked to come in as an expert to close the technical end of the sale.

As I prepared for the event, the lead sales executive …

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