3 tips for presentations that stick

Dan Heath has done a fantastic job putting together a series of vignettes on stickiness. Watch this clip on presentations that stick.

Let me add on to Dan’s 3 tips with a few examples we’ve seen in our programs recently:

1. Be Simple: Force yourself to prioritize. Boil down your message into one (yes, one) phrase that signifies the single biggest change in how you want people to think or act about your idea, topic, initiative, product or service.

A veterinarian from our messaging program was trying to convince pet owners that they’re overusing protein in their pet’s diets. This could easily turn into a PowerPoint nightmare of chart-by-chart comparisons of the recommended dietary allowances for carbs, protein, vitamins, etc. Instead, she focused her message and took a page right out of James Carville’s playbook, and created the Point Of View: “It’s the calories, stupid.” And then she went on,Protein alone is not the answer. It’s a balanced diet that your pet needs.”

2. Show something: One participant said that rather than decorate his slides with bullet points, and complex diagrams, that they would begin to “Deckerate” them instead. That means simplify – to the point that you might not even need a slide. Remember that slides are supposed to be a support for your presentation, not to be the presentation.

Of course, the best example of showing and not telling is all things Apple. Man, that iPad is beautiful, and yes, I want it. Apple is so good that they even get you to think that you need it.

3. Tease before you tell: Get them interested! In one of our programs last month, an exec from an insurance company announced that he was going to be doing his in-class presentation on work/life balance. Snooze. Like we haven’t heard that one before. But he began this way…first, he grabbed a flip chart and wrote “Key Clients” at the top. Then he asked everyone to write down their top 5 clients. “If those are your very best clients, you take their calls, right? You’ll let them interrupt a meeting, and always think about how you can add value.”Teaser accomplished. He continued, “Now, how many of you listed your spouse or kids on that list? It’s absolutely critical that you think of your own family as key clients.” Whoa. Mom guilt is in full effect. I’m in.

Your turn. Win a seat in our upcoming June 4 Decker Made to Stick Messaging program! Comment below with a good stickiness story and we’ll draw a winner!