Some thoughts come. Others go. And then there are those who actually turn into posts.
Many companies want their presentations to stand out. Standing out is great. But then what? What happens when you are in the spotlight for a brief moment? When the room is silent and all eyes are on you? Then you need to maintain that focus. But how? And even if you manage to get your audience to listen to you as if mesmerized for many minutes, what comes next? A closing of the sale? Or a memory of your presentation?
In public speaking, you often hear that you should include both facts and emotions (storytelling) in your speeches. To appeal to different types of personalities. But don’t facts also trigger emotions? “Today will be the hottest day of the year” might trigger joy in some listeners because they want to spend the afternoon at the beach. Others are not so happy about it because they have to work outside. So does a fact create its own story with each person in the audience as the protagonist? Wouldn’t it be much more difficult for us as speakers to control these individual stories to trigger the emotional response we intend?
The bigger the audience, the more pathos is accepted and even demanded. So does it mean the smaller the audience, the less pathos we should integrate into our speech? Could we pull off an “I have a dream” moment in a one-on-one conversation? … without it being awkward?
To market their presentation tool, Prezi uses the fact that 90% of all information we take in comes through our eyes. Does a beautiful font persuade you more than a soothing voice? A simple chart more than an alluring fragrance? Does the quantity of information beat the quality of it?
Music is the silence between the notes. On stage, it’s the pauses that make our speeches special. Only our presentations intermittently light up the room. Here’s a crazy hypothesis:
Presentations are the darkness between slides. … ?
How often do you use the “black” button during your PowerPoint? How many black cards do you put in your deck?
When designing presentation slides, we usually never care about the screen size on location. True to the motto “One size fits all”. But does it really? Does a PowerPoint in a conference room on a big screen work the same way as during a web conference?
Suspense is the anticipation of the outcome of a future event. This event does not always have to be in the future, but has to be resolved in the future. Common business presentations rarely use suspense in their slide designs. Yours as well? What would your slide deck need to be more suspenseful?
According to research, the ending of a story has a huge impact on the memory of it. Shouldn’t we then put a lot more effort into our final presentation slides? Is a “Thank you for your attention” enough to decorate the memory of our time on stage? How do you celebrate the ending of your presentation?
Movie posters try to capture a film’s spirit into one single visual. Like a book cover, it can have an impact on our buying behavior. Imagine the event manager would like to print one for your speech or presentation as well. What would we see on that poster?
Chapters in books are a smart way to group information elegantly. For a chapter title, often a whole page is being sacrificed. This usually creates a visual break for the reader. These pages are perfect for taking a mental pause. To use it as a starting point for the next reading session. How much time do you as a speaker spent with your audience on your title slides? Does your slide deck even include any?