a p cubed presenter

A p cubed presenter* is surely the aspiration of any presenter; a presenter who has constructed a story with an effective message, illustrated it with media that supports and amplifies their message and supremely delivered with passion, engagement and clarity. That definition, or perhaps even accolade, comes not from individuals (or me!) but from their audience. It is the desire of every audience, attainable by every single presenter but exists only for a moment in time.

The basic analogy of presenter types has been discussed in earlier posts. A p2 presenter is based entirely on their “powerpoint.” The entire message is encapsulated in the slideset and is effectively read out to the audience. A p2 presenter is effectively useless if their media fails or rendered redundant by the phrase, “I’m sorry I missed your presentation, could you email it to me?” The presentation is a handout.

A p1 presenter has written an effective document. it may even be in print as a journal article. That is not a presentation. A p1 presenter will read their document to the audience, often directly from the script in their hand. They recognise the importance of the document but not its delivery, failing to understand that an audience finds it exceptionally difficult to receive a written document, read out, however excellent the document is. Unless it is a story. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to read perfectly and p1 presenters often stumble. A script is essential but must never be carried onto the stage. The presentation fails, not because of the stumble but because reading out a written document is not a presentation.

A p3 presenter believes in the passion of their message and its delivery. This may be at the cost and effort involved in planning, structure and timing. Convinced of their emotive impact they may forego the importance of a logical progression, single messages and fail to reach the climax of the piece within their allotted time frame. Passion is no substitute for content. However unprepared a standup comedian may seem, behind their delivery is a mountain of preparation, structure and practise. Their “spontaneity” is the result of this. The first delivery is never the best.

No presenter or presentation is perfect. Each of the examples given above will ring true not just as presentations seen but as presentations delivered. There are many reasons why presenters will choose consciously or otherwise one type of delivery over another but surely the goal is none of those but to be a p cubed presenter complete in the message, supported by the media and effective and passionate in the delivery. Some of those reasons and influences may be out with the control of a presenter. It is incorrect to either aspire to any of those styles or default into them as a justification for a good handout, data completeness or lack of preparation. The audience deserves more than this.

A p cubed moment is the aim of every presentation and the desire of every audience. The audience wants the information and the message and to be able to take something from its delivery. This should be the goal of every presenter and it is within the grasp of every single presenter. Previous success or failure has no impact on audience reception; each presentation is judged solely on its merits. This should be a huge encouragement as a first-time presenter may achieve this excellence with proper preparation. A previously excellent presenter may crash and burn without proper preparation. We can all deliver excellent presentations and be a p cubed presenter. For that moment in time.




*For clarity it is p CUBED, not p3. A great presentation is the PRODUCT of the three parts, it is greater than the sum of those parts.

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