Almost 20 years ago — 2001! — Seth Godin wrote an ebook called Really Bad Powerpoint (and how to avoid it). In that book he detailed all of the things that tend to go wrong in slide presentations.
Everyone creates presentations with the right intent — to communicate something of importance to a group of people. But then we do all sorts of dumb things to undermine their communication, don’t we? Like jamming it with bullet points so it can serve as a teleprompter, or throwing in every factoid we’ve learned about the topic to anticipate (and ward off) questions…
Remember the show Naked and Afraid? I loved that show. Two volunteers agreed to be dropped in the middle of nowhere with no resources but a few small tools they could carry (maybe a knife, or a fire starter) to see if they could survive for 21 days and ultimately make it to a destination that would take them out of their self-imposed wilderness. Or the show Alone, where the game was to outlast others and theoretically had no end (the longest survivor outlasted the others with 87 days). The interesting thing about those shows is that you realized that…
Here are all the stories that I’ve published on designing great presentations. This is an ongoing series as a companion to research I’m conducting and the book I’m writing.
If making slide decks is something you do on a regular basis . . .
First, imagine. You’re delivering a presentation that will decide whether a project you care about will go forward or not. You’ve got one shot. The leadership team — the deciders — are gathered and attentive, but they don’t have the benefit of knowing what you know. They don’t understand the complexities and nuances of what you’re bringing to the table. You’re an expert on the topic. You’ve immersed yourself in the data, thought through the countless scenarios, and are confident in the right course of action. All you need them to do is say ‘Yes.’ And so you begin.
If Zoom is your new conference room, this is for you. There are three things that you need to master in order to deliver a presentation over Zoom to get decisions, get agreements, and get the movement that you need to move your work forward. As a bonus, you’ll also be able to distinguish yourself as a key contributor.
Here’s how to deliver a great Zoom presentation in a nutshell:
Here’s the deal. With everything that we’re dealing with in the news…
In an age of information overload, your advertising needs to stand out from the crowd. Savvy consumers are no longer swayed by traditional ads or cold calls. They’re searching for answers to their problems, and as a marketing or sales executive, your job is to guide them on their journey toward solving that problem.
When you envision this consumer’s journey as a kind of story, it makes sense to develop your marketing efforts in the structure of a story. …
Making the decisions required to generate sales and organic growth can be scary, whether you’re the CEO or the CMO. There’s always a moment before you launch a new marketing program or campaign, or before you pitch a potential whale, or before you give the approval to update your brand promise, that you start second-guessing yourself. Maybe you back off a little. Maybe you pair down the offer to something you think is more achievable. Maybe you water down the message to leave more options open.
In Ryan Holiday’s new book The Perennial Seller, he says “We’re afraid of taking…
Things seem to be moving so fast, don’t they? We’re tempted to be faster, stronger, better. To outwit, and out-hack all of our competitors. There’s so much pressure to be on top of everything — all the news, all the trends, all the latest in growth hacking, and SEO, and PPC, and social, and content marketing. I could go on and on. How often have you thought, “if we don’t do this now, we’ll miss our window!”?
With all that NOISE, it’s easy to forget that great work is great because it’s durable. It endures beyond fads, beyond platforms (remember…
You know what I’m talking about — that powerpoint that you’ve been avoiding. If you do a good job on it, it could unlock the funding for a major project you’ve been trying to get off the ground. Or, it could secure you a few more headcount, or maybe even score you a promotion, or heck. Maybe all it will do is get you an inch closer to one of your annual goals.
Have you ever had the realization that the thing standing between you and millions of dollars, is a powerpoint presentation?
The simple fact is that ‘decks’ (or…
What is the purpose of all those To Dos on your list?
Why are they on there?
Are they the things you should really be working on?
For most (including myself) it’s a harder question to answer than it appears on the surface.
I want my business to grow, I want more clients, I want more money, I want more leisure time, I want more time with my family, I want longer vacations in more lavish accommodations. I want more, more, more. BUT, I don’t want to work so hard for all of these things. …