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Delivering a presentation - with or without bells and whistles

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 11 Oct 2012, 09:42

Develop the craft skills of a storyteller.

Use a creative brief from the outset to nail down the topic, coming up with ideas, flesh out a treatment and deliver a script.

Pace and variety are crucial.

The industry standard creative brief that I have used in a career in advertising, corporate communications and training is:

  • What is the problem?
  • Who are you speaking to?
  • What do you want to say?
  • How should they respond to this message?
  • What else do we need ro know?

Keep this to a single sheet of A4 then hand it to a professional writer/art director team.

Expect back a selection of synopses. Choose one.

Get a treatment from this.

Once approved writing the script is easy.

Only then think of execution.

It pays to have a professional graphics person who can make the platform used sing, or video production, or web design ...

Death by power point is far, far too common.

Be senstive to pace, have variety.

Rehearse and change stuff that doesn't work or is dull.

If in doubt a good presenter should be able to deliver without any AV support as it is the message delivered with conviction, authenticity and enthusiasm that is more important that how slides wipe, or the music track on a piece of video.

There's too much 'death by papermation' out there

Too long, long winded, rambling presentations with the artist trying to keep up and offering nothing at all new other than translating it - about as useful as having someone sign with no one in the audience with a hearing impairment. A literal expression of text is pointless - the imagination does a better job. Rather the images must juxtapose, complement even conflict with what is being said. You are trying afterall to get and retain attention - controversty, irony and inventiveness works.

The software never solves your problem.

Have something worthwhile to say first, then choose from a plethora of delivery mechanisms the one which has the most appropriate fit.

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