Every great presentation has a message, one single message. The common failing in many presentations is they are simply a pile of data, a ramble or lists, not a message. When constructing any presentation one needs to determine early on exactly what that message is and build around that. The message is what you want the audience to leave with.
Previous posts have discussed the difference between “covering” a topic, which is both an oxymoron and an impossibility and simply a delivery of facts or lists. The presenter’s craft and value is in determining the audience needs and fashioning a presentation to meet these in a manner more engaging or entertaining than simply, “Cinderella got married.” few of us would sit through that.
How then does one construct a presentation that achieves the goal but adds value for the audience? The answer to that is surely the reason writers and poets, cinematographers, photographers, painters and sculptors the world over wear a permanently pained expression. A great presentation is a piece of creativity and as such requires more than simply facts. How one achieves this is really up to the presenter. Many, faced with the blank page of creativity are too afraid even to start.
Few artists believe they have ever created the perfect piece. The same is true of a presenter. That fear of perfection however should not stop the beginning of the journey. What makes a presentation better than the last is that it is personal for the audience, that the presenter has seen and valued those to whom the presentation was constructed. The addition of emotion and passion are essential, physiological and too frequently curtailed. It is only because we care about Cinderella that her marriage is of value to us. If our presentation elicits nothing from the audience, no one cares about the Happily Ever After.
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