Saturday, June 16, 2007
Recently, Robert Middleton, http://www.actionplan.com/ reminded me why we must get away from power point presentations, or as I call it the dreaded 3P!
We have found ourselves in the business world so concerned about being politically correct, well practiced and prepared for anything that we have forgotten that all presentations to be effective must be heard, they must be engaging, and they must be interesting enough to listen to when the speaker is delivering the information.
Middleton doesn’t use power point presentations (3P).
He has convinced me that I will not use them much any more either, except when I am faced with the CEO who will have it no other way.
When making a presentation to our audience, even if it is an informational and educational piece, the objective should be to get the audience to understand and appreciate our point of view.
We are faced with the challenge of getting the listener to, at the least, understand our position and be sympathetic to it.
Power point presentation, no matter how well done they are, simply won’t accomplish that for you.
Middleton points out that this is what you must do to persuade the audience to your viewpoint.
Have a Purpose
The presentation must be an organized set of points. It is best told as a story, and certainly here in West Kentucky we understand the importance of good story telling. The story must have a theme (a reason) for being told and it must lead to a logical conclusion.
Start with a Problem
Your audience will listen to you, if you explain to them the problem at hand. What is at risk if the problem is not solved? Make it clear how the problem is not only your problem but their problem as well. What happens to them if they don’t fix the problem?
Direct Them Towards a Payoff
Remember our audience is interested only in the WIIFM – “What’s in it for them (me)?” If you can clearly explain what they can get out of doing, whatever it is you want them to do, and how it benefits them if they do it, then you have them hooked and will have their “buy-in.” Paint their future for them and explain the “payoff” clearly and how it will look, feel, sound and be different when they have completed the tasks.
Explain What They Need to Do
The main focus of the presentation should be this. Outline your approach in detail and how to take each step forward. This is where most people feel compelled to do the dreaded 3P. However, you don’t need fancy slides, or even any slides to get this done. Simply, think clearly, outline the points, use good logic and lots of engaging stories to make your points.
Ask for Action
Make your case and then ask them to take the next step forward with you. Ask the audience to adopt your position, take your stand, and take the next step as you have clearly outlined it.
If you have a good story to tell, that makes your case and a good presentation to give, you can stop being worried about being careful. When we are authentic with ourselves, and our audience, both parties know it, understand it, feel it, hear it in our language and see it in our actions.
Therefore, the dreaded 3P, as Middleton notes, is simply not needed.
Until next time.