It’s not about the content

 In Presenting, Realizer Blog

When you go to a presentation, what are you expecting? Personally, I’m expecting the presenter to do two things.

I’m expecting them to…

  1. a) tell me something I don’t know that’s
  2. b) useful to me.

It’s a social contract. In return for my attention and time, you give me a useful insight.

So let’s turn the tables. If I am now the person creating and delivering the presentation, then I need to create a useful insight for you.

That means I need to start by understanding what you currently know – only then can I find what might be insightful and useful to you.

But that’s not the way most people create their presentations. Most people – and I speak from the position of having coached and trained hundreds of leaders and managers – create presentations about the content, not the audience.

The world already has enough content. Enough data. Enough PowerPoint slides.

To make a presentation that’s about the audience, you need to take them on an interesting journey. And you do that by using insights. Things that are useful to me, which I didn’t already know.

Insights are like bridges. They connect your audience’s problem to your recommended solution. They connect the audience’s current situation to their desired future.

Here’s how we’ve learnt to make presentations that are about the audience. It’s our 3.5 step planning process. Before writing a presentation, we answer these 3.5 questions:-

  1. What does the audience think, feel or do now?

  2. What do you want them to think, feel or do after the presentation?

  3. So, what insight do we need to give them to take them from 1 to 2? and 3.5 (And how can we deliver that on Zoom?)And that’s how you can exceed your audience’s expectations: by writing a presentation that’s about them, not the content.
         3.5 (And how can we deliver that on Zoom?)

And that’s how you can exceed your audience’s expectations: by writing a presentation that’s about them, not the content.

Rob Pyne