Guest blog- once you’ve tried p cubed, you never go back

Once again it is a pleasure and privilege to have had submitted, without prompting, another guest blog discussing personal experience with the p cubed concept. This comes from Alistair Hellewell, a Consultant Anaesthetist with a long-standing interest in Education, High Performance and Decision making. “Once you’ve tried the p cubed approach, you never go back.”


It was some time ago that I stumbled on the twitter feed of @ffolliet and his musings about the p3 concept. Only recently did I have the opportunity to explore the concept in more detail and take the plunge to use it for real. I liked the simplicity of the concept and the fact that it really made me think about what I was attempting to achieve with my presentation.

I am lucky to have the opportunity to present on a reasonably regular basis but not necessarily had the time to reflect on the way I created and delivered my presentations. The p3 approach nudged me into doing this. I not only enjoyed the reflective process but also the creation and delivery of my next presentation. To quote the late Steve Jobs, ‘Plan in analogue and present in digital’. I have always started any piece of work on paper with the creation of a Mindmap™ but using the p3 concept to create a ‘storyboard’ allowed a better transition from pure ideas to the framework of workable presentation. Using the storyboard it then become clear what supporting media i.e. p2 ‘sprang to mind’ as illustrations and/or representations of the ideas for each new slide. Finally by combining p1 and p2 the story I was intending to tell took on a clear shape and the resulting presentation had a real narrative feel to it.

I was reminded of a comment my wife made to me sometime ago now when I was preparing and practicing my presentation for my consultant interview. She said, ‘Stop trying to remember the notes for each slide and just tell me a story’. As soon as I tried this the thing flowed better and sounded much more natural. Once I had created the presentation I practiced and practiced it, refining it as I went until the day I was due to present it. Although I always present without notes I felt oddly quite exposed just standing there and telling my story. On the other hand it was very liberating for it to be just the audience, my story and me. I thoroughly enjoyed delivering my presentation and it seemed well received initially judging by the questions posed at the end. I was very pleased with the follow-up feedback that the presentation had engaged, interesting and well delivered.

I have been variously challenged and enlightened by using the p3 concept but have enjoyed the process of creating and delivering my first presentation with it. I would recommend anyone who has a message that they need to convey to give it a go as I believe that, yes, you will be challenged and, yes, you will be enlightened but will deliver a better presentation because of it and like myself will never go back.

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