Why Presentations Miss the Mark
The reason why I think we miss the mark most is because we follow tradition. How do all of you think about your presentations? What is the way that you present? Especially if you work for a company. We watch the person who did the first presentation when I started at that company, and that's what I do. I've actually worked at a company where somebody, after a presentation, came to me and said, "Ooh, their presentation "was really lousy," and then a month later, they presented, and they used the exact same deck. They walked up the exact same way. They actually gave the information in the exact same way, because that was our tradition at the company. This is how you present. So we learn that. We also have these crazy traditions which are, "This is how you should view the audience." Right? We've all heard that. "View the audience in their underwear." I don't want to do that. No offense to everybody. But we get these traditions in our head. Speak loudly, make sure you're speaking to the ba...
ck of the room. So if I do that, and I speak to the back of the room, you get one voice modulation, it's monotone, and over time, you all start dropping off. So I have to pay attention to what traditions we have out there, and I have to look at what works and what doesn't. Have all of you been to presentations, and there were things you really loved, and there were things you didn't really like? I need to take those and make them into an effective presentation. That's what growth is for me. I don't want every presentation to be the same. Otherwise, I rely on what I know, or I rely on the fact that now it's gonna be over. We started, I'll be done soon. Then I move on. But I want to be here right now with you, and I want to talk about what we're doing, so it's really, really important. Here's my impression of what a tradition is for presentation. (speaking loudly) Thank you so much for having me here today, I'm really excited to give you a presentation this morning, about presentations. Believe me, I'm not lost in the fact that I'm literally giving you a presentation on presentations. (class laughs) You're welcome. So today we're gonna do some things, I'm probably gonna walk up nervously, 'cause I haven't warmed up. I'm gonna start slow, 'cause I want to make sure you like me. I may bore you at times, which is okay. I'm gonna tell some bad jokes to try and make you laugh to get you more engaged. I will avoid answering the tough questions, and then I will literally finish awkwardly and run off the stage. (class laughs) Is everyone ready for our presentation? That's tradition, right? We see that, and that's what something in my head says, "This is how people told me to present." Put an agenda slide together, tell everyone I'm gonna do, but you can all read. So I don't need to. This is a point of reference. But the point I'm trying to make is, what we see often is someone puts their decks together, and they just read everything. Do you all know Guy Kawasaki's example of how to put a good pitch slide deck together? He uses the 10/20/30 method. It's very famous, and he talks about maximum 10 slides. 20 minute presentation. For those of you, we're gonna make it a little bit longer today. But no smaller than 30 point font. It's a great way for you to start to understand that if I just put everything on the deck, I'm actually not presenting. I'm just reading. I can read you all a story. How many of you have started to put information on there and be like, "Oh, I might forget that point, "so I better put that on there," and all of a sudden your fonts go (squeak). And then all of a sudden, what happens is you just have this gigantic bit of information. I have a rule of thumb, which is the higher people go, the less information on the slide. Because when you present in front of people who are executives, they're on their phones. They're really busy. They're working, so if you put a bunch of information on there, they absorb none of it. I don't do anything less than 45 point for something like that. That's what you get. It's up to me to present and be engaging. Because people are definitely gonna avoid it.