Here are the 5 top elements of the most boring presentations (rings a bell?):
But wait! There’s something so painful that we should all work to put an end to this cruelty, so agonizing for audiences that some decide to give up on the corporate life rather than have to face another day of meetings with this type of presentation - so unfailingly bad that medieval torture techniques are too light to punish the inflictors…
It is the Data Dump presentation.
The data dump is an excessive, meaningless, shapeless outpouring of data without purpose or plan, with not one single moment’s thought from the presenter about the existence of a listener, a human being with a life, needs, goals, dreams…
How to clarify a communication objective
First of all, define your objective prior to starting to prepare any communication. This might sound too basic to be important, but it’s fairly guaranteed that more failure in communication occurs because the requester really has not clarified what they want and thought about whether it is realistic to expect.
Finish this sentence: “When I have finished speaking the listener will _________________”
The sentence must be completed with a call to action. “meet on thursday”, “phone me immediately”, “vote for me”, “visit my web site” are all CTAs. “understand more about the situation” is not a CTA. Honestly, most communication fails at this step – a lack of clarity of the realistic, do-able, specific next action that will move you closer to your overall objective.
When you write this sentence, it will force you to think about the audience. What do they need to know, feel and believe in order to take this action? This immediately puts you in their point of view and clarifies what is important.
And Please. No more Data Dump Presentations.
Let me know what you think!
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My name's phil mora and I blog about the things I love: fitness, hacking work, tech and anything holistic.
Head of Digital Product
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