Home » Presentation Paradigm

A presentation is not a cheat note,
it is for your audience.

If I would write a book, a title would be: “Out of the Presentation Box” of “Presentation Shift” or “The Next Level of Presentations”. Let me know what you think after reading this blog!

Breaking patterns

Every human being loves what he/she already knows or thinks it is more comfortable to hold onto what he/she already knows instead of changing and experimenting. That is no different when it comes to presentations. My clients, school and new interns: everybody is used to leaning on the first templates of PowerPoint… always the same structure; opening slide with title, date and logo, introduction, schedule and bullet points!

Of course, that is not really surprising. After all, we are taught this way ever since we were young. ‘This is how you are supposed to structure a presentation about bunnies’.

My mission is to break the existing paradigm on presentations. Everyone can create effective and attractive or even ‘next level’ presentations. In order to do that, we have to break the standard, … patterns! Why? The world is overloaded with information and to be able to ‘survive’, we all need to make a stricter selection of what info to absorb. How can you be of maximum value to your audience? Besides your interesting content, the surprising form has become more important, too.

“You make things better by making better things”

For your audience?

In my extensive research to the success of keynote speakers, amongst others, I found that presentations are often used as cheat notes. It seems as if the slides are there for the speaker instead of for the audience! I believe that it is your audience you want to remember your message. But how can you do that?

Creating memories

Whenever you create a presentation, you put a lot of time and effort into it. You are looking to create a lasting memory with your audience. Such a memory is the start of the impact you make. Thanks to a positive or touching memory, you can contribute. That is the only way your listeners will make other or better decisions thanks to your presentation. Your impact will come forward in the way in which they remember you and your message.

The question is, therefore, what it is exactly that you need to create memories. Think about it: what do you remember after a presentation during an event, seminar, workshop, training or meeting? Not that much, right?

So what do you definitely have to think about?

Something new! Introduce new information to keep stimulating the brain. In the book ‘Talk like Ted’, author Carmine Gallo this ‘Novelty’.

Something surprising! Use an element that the audience won’t expect. In that way, their brains will remain stimulated. You can choose to create interaction with your audience.

Something amazing! Present content that creates emotional impact, humour, a tear and amazement. Think about how you can work on the senses. Smell? Taste? At the Food Inspiration Days they do this during all their events!

Primers! Give their brains a base. Brains like to know on what they can anticipate. Therefore, guide your audience by offering a structure and prepare them on what is to come. This, too, will help to hold their attention and help them remember your content.

Change! Vary in content. Use both audio (play a sound fragment) and moving images (cinemagraphs). Maybe we need to introduce theater into the business setting a little more. Bring content alive and trigger your audience’s brains. A good example is that of the new year’s presentation by Guide Weijers.

To the next level

In case you’re thinking: ‘right, that’s easier said than done… here I am with my 2003 PowerPoint skills. How can I innovate/surprise/amaze?’

It is not as complicated as it seems. As long as you no longer use standard templates, your old patterns and don’t use slides just to give your story some structure. It is important that you think about the emotional/sensory impact that your presentation should have.

“You make things better by making better things”

You create impact by using content that is of true value. You don’t do that randomly but based on which piece of information needs a little extra support. For example, complex information often needs visualization to make things clearer (think about processes/concepts/models). The shape in which you visualize them is important, both on and off-screen. That is also something most people forget: using physical tools to complete the audience’s experience. For example, Bill Gates set loose some mosquitoes during a TedTalk he was giving on malaria. Take a look over here to see what impact you can create for your audience. Make sure you find the right balance!

Presentation experience like a star restaurant

We at Present Savvy always say: ‘the art and science of a successful presentation’ exists of a perfect balance between content (message), design (the shape) and delivery (presenter).

The CONTENT of a presentation can be compared to a delicate dish that consists of neatly composed taste combinations that amaze you. You also expect a dish to be arranged surprisingly and served on a complimentary plate. The way in which the table is set and what choices have been made when it comes to the colour and quality of cutlery, tableware, glasses and linen. Everything has been given lots of thought. That can be compared to the DESIGN of your presentation.

Je verwacht natuurlijk ook dat het gerecht verrassend is opgemaakt en op een complementair bord wordt geserveerd. De manier waarop je tafel is ingedekt en welke keuze gemaakt is qua kleur & kwaliteit van bestek, servies, glaswerk en linnen; over alles is nagedacht. Dat is te vergelijken met het DESIGN van je presentatie.

The DELIVERY – and that’s where the presenter comes in, the host or hostess. The one that makes use of the vibe and the surroundings, takes the type of guest into account. The presenter brings his/her unique star content to the table. It is the determining factor when it comes to the entire experience. The best food (content) in the prettiest restaurant on the nicest plate does not taste good when the host/hostess is not fit for his/her profession. DELIVERY = key.

The (presentation) experience has to be complete to create actual impact. The gift when you leave is the last memory you create. To create an entire experience, you have to work the senses, call on emotions, create balance and do all of that on a star level.

Can I challenge you to deal with presentations differently in 2019?