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Making Presentations NOT Suck

At Crowdtap we’re doing presentations for brands and agencies literally hourly and working on how we can always be better. In addition we ask our candidates in the final stages of interviewing to develop a brief presentation on, guess what? Yup they present “Crowdtap” to us. So I wanted to put together a few tips and guidelines I’ve found effective in making your presentations “not suck.”

Instead of telling you the BS rules that you can find anywhere online like “start with the pain points” etc, I put together some real rules that are simple and will help you  actually make an IMPACT.

Here’s the quick version :

Provide Contrast: A great presentation shows key elements with a contrast in order to make things POP. You want to show the negative version of something directly next to the positive one for the audience to connect with what you’re saying and showing. It helps to make it emotional and memorable (which are key goals here).

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures: I can’t stress this enough. People naturally are better at learning and processing information visually. And the idea of a “presentation” is inherently visual. You can’t believe how many presentations we’ve seen that are simply a string of bullet points on slide after slide. BORING. You will lose the audiences attention after the first slide. I’ll throw in colors and graphics in here also since nothing’s as boring as bullets on a plain white background.

Tell A Story: Now this is one of the most basic elements of a great presentation. You’re telling a story which means there’s a beginning middle and end. Take the audience on a journey and bring things together at the end. A great presentation is way more then a collection of facts on slides in sequence. It’s educating the audience through a story, which is way more fun and interesting then just pure “stats”.

Not Everything is Literal: Use analogies to drive the key points home. People are better at processing a concept in a way they are already familiar with. For example instead of saying “we make things simpler” by showing your product or service perhaps you could show a complex math board (think beautiful mind) on one side and on the other a chalkboard with nothing but the words “simple”.

Shock Factor WORKS: While I’m not saying you need to go Gary Vaynerchuk on them and swear the entire time (not like that’s a bad thing) but you should find the key areas where you can inject some elements that grab your audience. There’s nothing wrong with being slightly edgy or provocative in the interest of keeping your audience engaged and making sure they’re paying attention to the story.

Do these things along with making sure you have the proper content, research support, and other basics, and you’ll be on your way to making your presentations actually interesting and EFFECTIVE.

Originally posted on www.30thousandft.com

Ian has over 10 years media experience and is currently the Vice President of Strategic Relationships for Crowdtap, a social media start up based in NYC that helps brands collaborate with their customers to build advocacy and gather insights.

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