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Crown the Content King of Your Presentation


Lee Aase of the Mayo Clinic was the opening keynote speaker at the Georgia Healthcare Summit this morning.  I just watched most of his keynote through the website Learn It Live .  (I’m not sure if copies of the keynote will eventually be posted there but if they are, I’ll update this post with that information.)


Lee spoke about the fascinating ways that the Mayo Clinic is using social media.  My favorite quote from his talk – “Applying social media in health care isn’t just inevitable: it’s the right thing to do in the interest of patients.”  The examples and the content of his presentation back up that statement.


You can see the slides from his talk today here, though it’s not the same of course as hearing the talk.


Two quick observations…


Content Will Always Be King


The late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was a dynamic speaker with energy and enthusiasm for his topic.  Lee Aase does not have the dramatic presence of a speaker like Zig Ziglar – nor should he try, it’s not his style.


But Lee captivated his audience because the content of his message was compelling.  He shared the journey of using social media at the Mayo Clinic.  He shared stories of times that their efforts made a difference in the lives of real patients.  He shared numbers.  But most importantly his content was relevant and meaningful to his audience.


If you’re preparing for a presentation, content always has to be king.  You may have a message to get across that is important to you.  But how is it important and relevant to your audience?  If you don’t have a message with a story and numbers that are meaningful to your audience, you really don’t have a message.  Find meaning for your audience or cancel your presentation.



Slides with Words Tell the Story When You’re Not There


OK, so if you’ve read this blog or heard me speak in person, you know that I’m all about presentation slides with visuals and few words.  Yet today, before I found the live feed to Lee’s presentation, I visited the site where he’d posted his slides.  While most of his slides were very visual, there were some that were the traditional bullet points with lots of words.  I could read those slides and get the gist of his talk.  When I found the live feed, I decided to invest the time in watching the keynote because I found value in those bullet points.


When we share postings of our slides, maybe we also need to share more context for the slides.  I’m not sure the best way to do that.  Do we add notes under our slides when posting them?  Do we add intervening slides to help illuminate on our points?  Do I need to get over my aversion to slides with bullet points?  No, that can’t be it!


I don’t know what I think about this or what the answer may be.  What do you think?

Add your suggestions in the comments below!


Lee - Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment above. Very cool story about Guy Kawasaki. Thanks for sharing the link with the interview so those who come by this blog can learn more about the subject too! Thanks for sharing your story with at the Georgia Health Summit. I hope those in the audience can now start their own campaigns to take important health messages to more people just as you've done in the Mayo Clinic. Best wishes, Kelly

Lee Aase
Lee Aase

Thanks for your review, Kelly. I'm glad you enjoyed my presentation. I think your key element is right, in that passion about the subject is essential. If you're not excited about the material, how can the audience be? But if it's not relevant to your audience, the enthusiasm will be short-lived, because nothing drains energy from a presentation like negative audience body language. When the material and the audience are a good match, though, the energy increase. You're also right that everyone needs to develop a personal style that fits. Zig Ziglar was one of my favorites. Guy Kawasaki has his 10-20-30 rule, and Steve Jobs used very few words. I can't be any of them. I generally like to have images, and I have found that my pace is typically about 3 slides per minute...although I have some sections in which I will spend two minutes on a slide and others where I may go through 15 slides in a minute. I think bullet points should be used sparingly (and the speaker should NOT read them), but sometimes a few words can help reinforce points. Speaking of Guy Kawasaki, I did a presentation a few years ago that mentioned him, and someone in the audience tweeted him and included the link to my slides. Guy found the slides interesting and embedded them in his blog. But the funny thing was a couple weeks later he sent me a follow-up email and said people were interested in more context, so we ended up doing an interview by email that he published in a subsequent post. Here it is: https://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/the-world/article/how-to-use-social-media-an-interview-with-lee-aase-of-mayo-clinic-1/ At any rate, it reinforces the point of making slides available for sharing...because you never know when it will lead to an opportunity.