A red-hot presentation is like a good joke: captivating, fresh and well told. Good presentations have a takeoff, a climax and a short, crisp landing. This format creates anticipation and helps people stay with you during the presentation. It also helps them remember what you have said and encourages them to re-tell it to others.
For a good joke to work, you need to give people all the information they need to catch the joke – but no more. Too much information kills the funny. When pitching something, always take the shortest route to your destination. Long drawn-out irrelevant information is tiresome.
The punchline in a presentation is a single sentence formulation of the insight you want people to develop. This insight should be clear in your mind, or it won’t make sense to your listeners.
Like a good joke teller, you have the punchline in mind when you start the joke. In other words: don’t take off if you can’t land the plane.
After the climax, people lose interest quickly. Make your call to action short and sweet. Be clear about what you want people to do after the presentation. Focus on actions you want them to take over and over again.
My punchline: Presentations are never about bullet points but about stories that move people to action.
Nico uses his artistic skills and conceptual thinking to develop people’s ideas and to create and illustrate presentations. For examples of his illustrations – see this
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