I stopped writing because, after reading 5 books, none of which were particularly inspiring, I did not have the burning desire to wax poetic. Dreary may be the best descriptor of the recent attempt at expanding the mind. Much as with Lorentz’s “The Einstein Theory of Relativity”, ( see http://mrwcurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2010/11/einstein-theory-of-relativity-ha.html) where I hoped to finally understand travel at velocities near the speed of light, I plowed into Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story, by Jerry Weissman, hoping to give a better PowerPoint presentation. I had recently given a presentation which I perceived to not be well received. I was looking for a new direction. 288 pages later, I gleaned a few tips which I will share.
I cannot now sit through a PowerPoint without being very critical of others; seeing them commit the “Five Cardinal Sins” listed here: 1- NO Clear Point. 2- NO Audience Benefit (you don’t want the audience to ask” so what”)3- NO Clear flow.4- TOO Detailed (the most common and I think greatest mistake made.) 5- TOO Long. (Usually a direct result of #4) There must be a million people writing mediocre books like this one. One hears tell, it is impossible to get a publisher to look at your manuscript. (or screen play if we use a Hollywood analogy). Weissman not only got it read, also published. The writing was uninspiring, predictable and rather obvious. The editing was poor; Way to many word contractions and if you think I am wordy or like the run on sentence, Weissman could be my mentor. Here are the rest of the nuggets.
“The art of persuasion must be balanced by Audience Advocacy: convincing your audience that what you want will serve their interests, too.” ...“It’s never enough to present the Features of what you’re selling; every Feature must always be translated into a Benefit” ...“Every communication has as its goal to take the audience from where they are at the start of your presentation, which is Point A, and move them to you objective, which is point B”“This crucial concept of starting with the goal in mind hasn’t penetrated our thing about presentations. …What’s the point” . “In business, when the point is not crystal clear, and when the benefit to the audience is not vividly evident, the investment is declined, the sale is not made, the approval is not granted; the presentation fails.” “The overwhelming majority of business presentations merely serve to convey data, not to persuade.”288 pages. Other key concepts, less is more, you are the presentation not the slides. (unless you are pitching your graphical slide making capability)
All good points. Not enough to inspire serious navel gazing or contemplations of the universe and my place in it.I did think I could do a better job of un-cluttering data on slides and focusing more on me (as the story teller) of the presentation rather than the slides.