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.

Elevator pitch

In business there is a concept of the “elevator pitch.” Effectively, if you happened to get into a lift with a potential customer, could you deliver your pitch within the elevator ride? And yes, elevator rides are short. This applies…
Read more

Your “powerpoint” is not the message, it supports the message.

I did a little talk in late November 2013 at TEDx Stuttgart. I am hoping to write a few posts around the construction and delivery of the whole thing but it is pertinent once again to highlight the role of…
Read more

@ffolliet would be proud…(2)

More pride as more friends and colleagues make better and better presentations and suggest that I am at least partly catalytic in the process. I do keep encouraging them that it is their own decision to make the move towards…
Read more

You’re boring me.

Seriously, I’ve heard this all before. You need a presentation on your cv/portfolio. You’ve asked the boss who said, “please review my last x cases of” something not very interesting. You’ve managed to find x-y and, after subtracting z because…
Read more


“Could you give us a talk, about 30 minutes?” “Sure,” you reply, “no problem.” The facts are clear. The nature of the audience will affect the precise message to be delivered but, let’s fire up Powerpoint, drop in a pile…
Read more

Edward Tufte makes me feel guilty.

I’m currently reading “Beautiful Evidence” by Edward Tufte, a giant of critical thinking and a commenter on data and presentation, amongst many, many other things. In the introduction is a line that surely stands as the metre by which all…
Read more

PechaKucha :Twenty, 20 sec tips.

I recently had the opportunity to present at a PechaKucha event. The word itself means “chitchat” in Japanese and is a presentation format with a strict structure; twenty slides, each moving forward automatically after twenty seconds. I thought I would…
Read more


This applies to your story (p1)This applies to your supporting media (p2)This applies to your delivery (p3)If you consider the arc of the story first (please do) then instead of attempting to deliver all known facts, consider the audience and…
Read more

My Boss won’t like it…

This isn’t another post persuading you to give up bulletpoints; if you’ve come this far and still cling to them, then you are deluded. This is a post about why it can be difficult to give better presentations. Sadly, not…
Read more

This is a blog post

This is the introductory paragraph. It is difficult to understand the origin but a combination of the perfect script and the perfect handout has led to the annotation of absolutely everything in a presentation.This is the second paragraph. Your audience…
Read more