Accessories “make” an outfit in the same way the p2 (supportive media) “makes” a presentation. Consider the couple in the picture dressed for The Big Event. Both in their finest clothes pimped, plucked and polished to perfection each outfit is added to by their accessories. Importantly though, without the knuckleduster rings or the armour (!), both are beautifully presented. The media behind a speaker and behind their story should highlight, complement and complete the ensemble but, if it wasn’t there or failed due to technical issues, then Cinderella surely, would still go, beautifully, to the ball.

For the majority of presentations delivered, the supportive media IS the presentation. It’s the whole outfit. In fact, it is everything. Rather than an accessory, it has become the purpose. All the information is within the .pptx file. it is complete of itself. That’s rather like getting all dressed up, taking lots of selfies and not bothering going to the event. The p2 cannot be the purpose of a presentation. There has to be more to a presentation than simply the supportive media.

To expand the analogy though one should not minimise the value of accessories worn at a ball. Think of the necklaces and earrings, watches and cufflinks. Or body armour. Accessories complement the “look”. They should be chosen with care to fit with the planned ensemble. They should add value and interest. They should not, however, distract or detract. Their purpose should be to draw attention to the whole in a pleasing and engaging way. Not purely to be the focus of discussion. And so it should be with supportive media at presentations, they should be accessories. They should complement the message but not be the message. They should be chosen and constructed to fit with the message, not distracting or detracting from it. Their purpose is to keep the focus on the message in a pleasing and engaging way, not distract or be the focus of discussion.

Accessories complement an outfit. The supportive media should do the same for a presentation. If the perfect earrings (or body armour) can’t be found, the outfit still works. If IT fails at a presentation would your presentation still work? If it wouldn’t, or you haven’t prepared in this way, you are placing too much emphasis on the supportive media. Accessories accessorise, they shouldn’t be everything.


  1. Marie-Pauline

    thank you for your excellent post again; I would like to add though, that despite the perfect match of accessories the couple doesn’t look to radiant about it; maybe a speaker’s engaging and inviting appearance is the most important accessory of it all?
    greets from the Netherlands and keep up the good and inspiring work!

    1. ffolliet (Post author)


      What a valuable point. Stretching the analogy it is of course true that no matter how wonderful the story (p1), how perfect and co-ordinating the p2 if the presenter gives the impression that they would rather be elsewhere, the audience will filter the information through that and see little value in the piece overall.


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