What sort of presenter are you?

One of the tests of a descriptive model such as the p cubed concept (p3) (that a good presentation is a combination (the product) of the story (p1), the supportive media (p2) and the delivery (p3)) is that it bears interrogation and works beyond its original purpose. I have spent a long time discussing this with presentation expert Nicole Gugger and our proposition is that using the model one might critique and classify presentations and presenters.

In each presentation one can see the relative parts played by the three factors. The ideal presentation has a perfect balance of all three. A presentation that is simply a script, read out verbatim, with little enthusiasm or passion and with little or no supportive media would be p1. The standard, “Death by Bulletpoint” presentation, limited in its story by construction in the media and similarly limited in delivery would be p2. A presentation delivered off the cuff, with no structure and little supportive media would be p3. Recognition of the imbalances within a presentation will allow the presenter as they practise to make adjustments and improve their overall performance (p3).

The Sensei, Garr Reynolds is clear in his various books that his original work was around the nature of the media presentation (p2). The last book, “The Naked Presenter” however dealt more with the nature of the delivery (p3) whilst Garr’s latest seminar that I was lucky enough to attend in London last year dealt principally with storytelling (p1).  

Along these same lines one might also classify presenters as p types to critique and coach them towards improved presentations. The differentiation between critique and criticism is essential, this is not about denigrating performance merely quantifying.There are those who are natural story tellers such as Andrew Stanton, the writer behind the “Toy Story” movies and the writer/director of “WALL-E”. His excellent presentation at TED was a great story, what else, but a struggle for him to deliver, relying heavily on his teleprompter, a p1. Hans Rosling, perhaps the most famous data presenter of our time, has a data slide

show that kicks everyone else’s butt. You might classify him as p2 but he has a great story to tell and his delivery is enthralling too. Whereas Robin Williams pitched onto stage during a BBC debate stalled due to a technical hitch is unrehearsed, unsupported and yet captivating; a p3 delivery.

The model may be stretched almost to breaking point but recognising our natural or principal strengths leads each of us to present with a weighting towards that with which we are comfortable. Identifying our weaknesses is part of the process of improvement that will lead to even better presentations.

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