marginal gains

Marginal gains across all aspects of a presentation will bring significant improvement in the perceived value of a presentation. This is about the maths of the p cubed concept where the value is the product of the component parts, remembering that for an individual audience they only see the one presentation. Strive to make marginal gains and the overall result will be significant.

marginal gainsMany presenters feel overwhelmed by the difference between their current state and that of their presentation heroes. The changes required to move from a standard powerpoint and delivery to keynote level delivery can seem monumental. It is important to understand that it is by incremental and thus marginal gains that such heights were achieved. Rather than expecting to leap directly to the mountain tops one should consider the next step in the process.

The first step in improving p1 is to reconsider the object of a presentation. It is about learning rather than teaching. Consider who the audience are, what are their needs of the information and this will change the construction of the message. Importantly though, this change must occur before setting off. The marginal gain is purely in turning to face a different direction. Extending the analogy of the mountain, it is about an entirely different route to the summit.

Marginal gains in the p2 will be achieved at the outset by considering purely illustration of the message rather than annotation. A constructed p1 will be supported by p2 if it adds to the message. Simply considering what might be added to that message will lead to construction of a p2 that is radically different than attempting to deliver a handout or a script or some horrible combination of the two.

Delivery of any presentation is improved by confidence. That confidence will principally be the result of practise. The marginal gain is achieved simply by this rehearsal; so very few presenters undertake effective, if any practise, most being confident only in their ability to ad lib from the bulletpoints on a screen. Confidence is felt in the message, in its illustration and expressed in its delivery. That confidence is transmitted to the audience and they will better respond and receive the message.

Marginal gains in the construction of the p1, illustration in the p2 and confidence in delivery of the p3 will bring about significantly improved presentations. Small changes are undertaken but they must be before the piece is constructed as attempting to re-route once half way up a mountain is never easy. Determine to make those changes in your next presentation as part of your route to excellence.

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