why presentations suck?
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Alexei Kapterev WWW.KAPTEREV.COM
GOOD PRESENTATIONS ARE HARD TO DO.
THEY MIGHT SEEM EASY.
BUT OF COURSE THIS IS JUST AN ILLUSION. IT’S ALL HARD WORK.
BUT WHAT EXACTLY MAKES THEM SO HARD?(oops, wrong picture)
BUT WHAT EXACTLY MAKES THEM SO HARD?(yep, that’s me)
to I DECIDED
I asked ~40 people “What makes preparing
and delivering presentations so difficult?”
Disclaimer: I am not a sociologist, this is by no means scientific. If
you want to research this subject properly — please do contact me.
They named 3 reasons each.
This is the analysis of their replies.
Setting goals (12)
Presentations aren’t important (9)
No content (10)
Presentations culture (7)
STRUCTURE Structuring (15)
Focus on the core (11)
Design skills (12)
Lack of taste or visual culture (7)
Fear or anxiety (10)
This is the amount of complaints in this category
Surprise #1:MOST PROBLEMS WITH PRESENTATIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH PRESENTATION SKILLS.
beca"ePEOPLE DON’T WANT TO DO THEM
YOU SEE, ON ONE HAND, IT’S HARD WORK. ON THE OTHER HAND…
OH, WAIT, WHAT’S ON THE OTHER HAND?!
“This presentation is just a formality, you know…”
“All important decisions are made behind the scenes anyway…”
“Everybody admits — secretly — that it’s just a waste of time…”
PRESENTATIONS AREN’T IMPORTANT
PEOPLE DON’t SET MOTIVATING GOALS
“There was no clear goal…”
“There is no real goal, they just do it
because they were told to do it…”
“They don’t understand that they have to SELL their ideas…”
TRY SETTING GOALS THAT MOTIVATE YOU
WORK ON THE END FIRST (IT’S WHERE YOU ASK PEOPLE TO DO SOMETHING!)
Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. !
Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
Pixar, Inc.Storytelling Rule #7
SOMEHOW COMMUNICATE THAT PRESENTATIONS ARE IMPORTANT
TOP PRESENTATION AWARD WINNER OR SOMETHING
TIP #3for managers
INFORMATIONIS THE MOST IMPORTANT
The main point is obscured by lots of irrelevant detail.
Source: PowerPoint® Presentation Flaws and Failures: A Psychological Analysis (2012) by Stephen M. Kosslyn et al
THE SINGLE MOST COMMON AND ALSO THE MOST ANNOYING PRESENTATION PROBLEM
STRUCTURING & PRIORITISING
“I want to tell them EVERYTHING but
there’s never enough time…”
“They don’t structure the information
so it’s just incomprehensible….”
“Presenters don’t focus on what’s most
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY THE CORE? YOU NEED TO ORGANISE YOUR INFORMATION
LEARN TO USE MIND MAPS OR CONCEPT MAPS FOR PLANNING PRESENTATIONS
* OK, no surprise here
Editing slides for most people
is really, really
for most people
is really, really
Editing slides is hard
“I am not a designer so it doesn’t come
“Most presentation programs require a tutor to use them…”
FORGIVE ME FOR BEING CAPTAIN OBVIOUS BUT SOFTWARE & DESIGN TRAINING HELPS
1. Do I really, really want to make this presentation? Why? Get to the bottom of it.
2. Mind mapping helps a lot. This is probably presentation skill #1.
3. There’s still no decent slide editor, both powerful and easy to use. This is an opportunity.