What’s On the Menu?
I see a lot of presentations with too much content, presented badly, and without consideration of what the audience wants. Yuck.
I think it’s useful to think of a presentation as a plate of food:
- what you often get is the equivalent of a school dinner: unoriginal, over-cooked, and made with boring ingredients.
- what you should get is something creative, simple and tasty.
When you visit a friend’s house for a meal, it can be a disappointment when they serve up something they bought. On the other hand, if they cook something themselves (even if the recipe isn’t theirs), you appreciate the care they’ve put in, especially if the results taste good.
The same is true for a presentation: don’t be lazy by using overblown Powerpoint full of bullet points and stock photos like everyone else. Instead, interact with the audience and show that you’ve put in the effort to create something that they will really enjoy and remember.
When I think of my favourite dining experiences, they were dishes with few ingredients. What the chef did was to:
- only use the very best ingredients
- make the dish theirs
- present it with skill
Do the same with your presentations:
- strip the content down to the essentials
- put your unique spin on it
- rehearse the thing properly
Do your research to ensure your audience have a hunger for the information and message you’re bringing to the table (their reaction should be like Greg Wallace lifting an overloaded spoonful of chocolate cheesecake with a framboise sauce into his cavernous gob). If you’re presenting and people aren’t eagerly eating it all up, then for goodness’ sake stop and ask them why.