That presentation would be so much better…if only it were longer.
…. said No One Ever.
Most presentations at work bore you to tears because they have nothing interesting going on. The presenter was far too important, busy or perhaps blissfully unaware to make the message more engaging to you.
This is not a new problem.
Back in the 1640’s the French mathematician Blaise Pascal was like a 17th-century Steve Jobs. Pascal not only rocked math but was also a physicist and religious philosopher, who laid the foundation for the modern theory of probabilities. He was writing a letter to a colleague that started like this: “I apologize for writing such a long letter — I had no time to make it shorter.” Coming up with a compelling message (i.e. one that is not boring) usually take a bit of editing and imagination.
Boring is the opposite of persuasive. You can’t win over someone who’s asleep on the inside, unless it’s with some undercover understanding that doing so will make the presentation end sooner. Technically that doesn’t count as changing someone’s mind and heart.
It’s not that you have to look like Justin Timberlake or be as funny as Tina Fey to give a good presentation. There is only one thing you need is to focus on…..your audience. (Meaning it’s not about you.)
It is true that some topics are more easy to engage people. Talk about the Kardashians, how you won the lottery or SEC football and you’re sure to drum up interest.
Your talk on network security, changing compliance regulations, design issues or even data integrity can be as interesting as you want….as long as you craft the message to what the audience needs to know.
Your ability to shape your future depends on how well you communicate where you want to be when you get there. Nancy Duarte
There are 4 types* of people in your audience and you want to include something for everyone!
The doers, logically, want to know what needs to be done. They are ones who get things accomplished, aka workhorses.
The influencers want to know who you really are so they can connect with you. They can evangelize for you.
The innovators want to know what is the new idea in what you’re saying. They are your more creative thinkers.
The suppliers control resources and want to know what is needed to accomplish your mission.
Even with 4 basic archetypes in any audience, the quickest way to become a more effective communicator is to make your presentation shorter. (Pretend you get $1000 for every slide you remove without losing essential information.)
And…I have even better news for you.
I have slaved away hours, weeks and years of my life to curate for you, in the most concise format possible, the best presentation tips in the world to get your point across without putting your audience to sleep.
It’s super easy to read, organized by topic and contains helpful templates so you can fill in the blanks and go bedazzle them.
Yay, it’s free. (It’s actually a chapter I’ve taken out of a book I’m finishing up that’s a handbook for all your critical conversations.)
This handbook is designed to make your life at work so much better. If you’re a regular reader, you’re already way ahead of the game in terms of quality presentations. But those legions of people in your company that need help with this….and they don’t even know it.
So to help out, I’ve come up with some clever ways to spread the word…without offending the people who need this the most.
Print out the No More Boring handbook and place a copy on their desk with a note on it. Below are options for what you can write on the post-it.
- Required Reading! You’ll love it!
- Boss says it’s the best ever! (You don’t have to specify which boss.)
- I’d love your feedback on this
- Recommended by 9 out of 10 dentists surveyed
- Upcoming best seller – read it now!
- Ignore this at your peril!
- This could totally make your career
Happy reading! May you enjoy presentations focused on what the audience needs, crafted with enthusiasm and imagination!
*The types are variations of the DISC system. Nancy Duarte presents them as doers, suppliers, influencer and innovators in her book, Resonate.