Presenting is hard. Presenting effectively is harder. Effective presentations your audiences actually enjoy is the Holy Grail of business presenters.
Why? Because business is boring. At least, it can be. The way most business presentations are structured feeds off that boredom, magnifying it through tables and charts that can’t be read and slides filled with 10 bullet points of compound sentences.
Enough! Let’s start making presentations that excite and motivate and communicate. Let’s tell stories!
So, think back to the very first story book you ever read — or did you “read” it? Probably not. Your very first story book was probably filled with big, colorful pictures that captivated your attention and stimulated your imagination. And what a wonderful story it was. Can you remember? I’ll bet you can.
Now, think back to the last business presentation you sat through. Do you remember much about it? Did it capture your imagination? Did it make you want to go do something? No? Why not? After all, it was filled with lots and lots of compelling data with headlines that told you everything the charts said. And those were supported with eloquent sub-bullets that explained each axis of the chart and every line on the graph, right? And the really important points got their own call-out box on the slide, with even more explanatory text, right? So, why can’t you remember what the point of all those charts and graphs and text was — much less what you were supposed to do as a result of them?
Well, you may not like the answer, but here it is. Your brain (and all the brains of the people in the audience you are going to be presenting to next week) haven’t really changed how they process information all that much since that very first story book. They still remember pictures and ideas better than they remember charts and graphs and bullet points of text.
Read on to find out how using pictures can make your next presentation — and you — the hit it deserves to be.