p1

p1 is the basis of the presentation. It is the data, the story, the message that the presenter wishes to deliver to the audience. This section covers blog posts that address any part of the construction of p1; taking the “what” of the data and converting it into a “so what” for the particular audience. In particular, this covers audience needs, the value of a single, identifiable message, an elevator pitch, the arc of the story and development of sparklines.

The cornerstone articles on p1 are below but please surf through the links to gain a deeper understanding of why p1 (the story) is the basis of your presentation and must be the starting point in construction.

1.Hysteron proteron – the place to start with a presentation is the message.

2. It is not acceptable or valuable to just talk, you must have a message.

3. The aim and objective of a presentation are not the same thing.

4. The best presentations are planned analog. Shut the laptop and be creative.

5. Consider principally “why” you are presenting, not what to present.

Lessons from The Sensei (3) beginner’s mind

beginner's mind

Do it the way you’ve always done it. You can do that, you’re not good enough. Where is the standard background? Not enough text. Use a pie chart. Make sure you put references at the bottom of the page. Read…
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Lessons from The Sensei (2) Turn off the computer

turn off the computer

Continuing the series of thoughts I learned from The Sensei on design issues, perhaps the most important is to turn off the computer. The rationale behind this is clear, the results are immediately observable and yet few people will follow…
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Lessons from the Sensei (i) effective visual message

lessons from sensei 1

I was privileged to spend time recently with Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen and really my Sensei (Teacher) in starting my journey in all things presentation. His books are compulsory reading for anyone keen to improve their presentations and…
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Why are you presenting?

The most important question a presenter should address is “Why am I presenting?” The answer has nothing to do with your status, your previous presentations or your knowledge and everything to do with the audience. Recognising this is central to…
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Less is more. Again

less is more

Less is more. “Clean, uncluttered lines” is a design motif that appeals aesthetically. The same should be applied to the story (p1). More words, more facts, more explanation does not make more clarity, rather the converse. The aim should be to deliver…
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

The best books, the best films and the best presentations start with an attention grabber. “Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. A retrospective review of prenatal ultrasound in South East Thames,” is unlikely to do that. If you grab the attention of…
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Acronyms rarely seem effective.

acronyms rarely seem effective

There are many effective and helpful tricks to maximising the impact of a presentation including the use of memes, themes, aliteration, analogy, allegory, rhetoric and repetition. Accronyms are a regularly used device but for them to be effective they must be memorable…
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On memes and themes and analogies

on memes and themes

When choosing to using a meme, theme or image in a presentation make sure that it is appropriate and easily understood for your audience. Improving the engagement and memorability of a presentation can be achieved by various tricks not the…
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Credit where credit is due.

credit where credit is due

In a previous post I recalled my sadness of hearing a colleague say “what he suggests is interesting, but I wouldn’t do it for an important presentation.” He was expressing the difficulty of change, the challenge of stepping out from…
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er…thank you?

A sentence without the final word is. A journey without reaching the destination is just tiring. Sadly many presentations simply reach a point where the presenter says, “thank you” and it is assumed that the suffering is over. Every presentation…
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