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.

Delete your slides

I received a question via Twitter about #presentationskills and where I might focus beginning the journey of improvement. As with so many things, the more I considered the issue the deeper the answer became. I think a good place to…
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Design affects function

Simple design changes in the supportive media  make dramatic differences to the audience’s perception of value in a presentation. The overall value of a presentation (p cubed) is the product of the story (p1) x the supportive media (p2) x…
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Never say, “I’m sorry.”

There is no place in a presentation for apologies. There should be nothing in your preparation that would cause you to apologise and nothing in your delivery that you should apologise for. Apologies are an expression of contrition and of…
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Something they will always remember

My drive is for presentations to be remembered, so that the amazing things people have to share and teach and talk about will not be “lost in time like tears in rain.” One way to help the audience is to have…
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Spare some time guv?

We look past them, we try to avoid eye contact or politely but with a degree of embarrassment refuse their request. Our reasons for doing so are multiple but the reality is most of us could spare more than we…
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It’s a presentation not a…

Take your phone out and have a look at it. You could use it to hammer in a nail. You could use it as a coaster for a hot coffee cup. You could pop it under a wobbly table leg…
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Plan analogue

A major step forward in improving presentations is creative planning. The majority of presentations delivered are constructed within the presentation software; data is simply entered, re-organised and read out. The key to a successful presentation is in planning the message….
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What are you talking about?

Seriously, what are you talking about? If you can’t explain in less than 3 sentences what your presentation is about, then you don’t know. Sadly, many presentations are just a list of facts in no particular order and not getting…
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What sort of a presenter are you?

The quality of a presentation is the product of the three basic components of p cubed : p1 story, p2 supportive media and p3 performance. It is proposed that a presenter themself might be classified according to the predominant component…
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The gift of time

One of the reasons there are very few really great presenters is that it is hard work! It’s important to recognise that giving a great presentation is not a gift but a skill, nurtured and developed. Great presentations take planning,…
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