These Top 3 Things Will Make Your Presentation Insanely Great Presentation

Posted on 20 Aug 2017 09:19 in Startups

This blog is about how to deliver an insanely great presentation in front of any audience.

How To Give an Insanely Great Presentation.

You’ll never see me give a rehearsed speech. I always prefer to speak from the heart. In my opinion, you’ll be better received if you put a bit of yourself when you talk. Also adapting to surroundings is another important thing to get your audience engaged.


But on other hands, I really rehearse my Presentations. I ensure my presentations are awesome every time I deliver them. I will tell you why, in this blog.


"A person can have the greatest idea in the world - completely different and novel - but if that person can't convince enough other people, it doesn't matter." Gregory Berns


Steve Jobs was the most captivating communicator in the business world. Jobs was a magnetic pitchman who used to sell his ideas with flair. He could turn prospects into customers, but that is not as amazing that he could turn his customers into evangelists.


Steve built Mac & then Apple faithfully, of course through amazing products, but equally through his insanely great presentations. A Steve Jobs presentations were an extraordinary experience in itself.


Watch Steve Jobs Keynotes


Steve transformed the dull technical presentations into blockbuster theatrical acts.


According to presentation guru, Nancy Duarte "Presentations have become the de facto business communication tool."




How can you deliver an insanely great presentation?


Can you become as good as Steve Jobs? Or if not 100% better than what you deliver today? Can you create and deliver your own magnificent presentation?


The good news is that YES YOU CAN!


Steve used some techniques and mastered them over the period. I have adopted them and used some of my own to deliver fantastic presentations that my audience loved. 


If I can, you can too!


You can also deliver excellent presentation whether it’s new product launching, pitching investors, closing deals or educating your audience.  


If you read so far, I assume you really want to deliver your next presentation like Steve Jobs. Jobs was relentlessly focused on improving every slide of his presentation, he was a hard worker and rehearse his presentations several times. He used to plan each of his presentation in great details.


But if you are the person who prepares slides day before, or gets your slides done by an assistant and never bothers to rehearse them before the presentation, next part of this blog is not for you. Because to be insanely great, you need to work on it.




Let's get started!


Today I am going to talk about three things, that can make your next presentation insanely great presentation.


1. Story - Create the story
2. Experience - Deliver the experience 
3. Improve & Practice - Work on every detail of your presentation



1. Story - Create the story


"The single most important thing you can do to dramatically improve your presentation is to have a story to tell before you work on your PowerPoint file" Cliff Atkinson stressed in Beyond Bullet Points.


I hate adding too many texts and bulleted list to my presentation. Your audience is interested in your story, your vision, your dreams not in a bullet list.


Bullet lists are good in documents and printed documents; they help to organize important points easily. But stories don't have bullets! 


Good stories have good scripts, work on the interesting script. In every classic story, there is a Hiro, a villain, and a victim. It is Hiro with his heroic act save the victim from the bad guy. The same storytelling outline applies to world-class presentations.


Here is the best example of script introducing big bad guy "Big Blue" during the Macitosh Pre-luanch in 1983.


Now think, who is playing what role in your presentation. Ask yourself, what your audience interested in, what matters to them most?


Answer the question that matters the most.


Aspiring entrepreneurs should able to quickly articulate their thoughts and ideas to grab the attention, engage their audience and provoke enough curiosity so they would want to stick around and find out more. 


Here is classic five-point plan -
1. Deliver engaging story to arouse the audience interest
2. Post problem or ask question that needs solution
3. Offer solution to a problem you posed
4. Describe benefits of your solution (Not features)
5. Let them know what to do next (Call to action)


Keep it simple, keep it short


Keeping it short and simple is the secret to a successful presentation. Throughout my long career, I’ve learned that audiences lose interest after 25 minutes or so, if not earlier.


People have very less span of attention, as an entrepreneur, you should able to describe what you do in ten or fewer words. Following are few examples -


"We decided to build world's thinnest notebook" Steve Jobs.


"Starbucks creates a third place between work and home." - Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.  


Of course, facts and figures are important but remember not to drown people in numbers. Keep it simple and think about how you can best sell people your vision and dream in shortest possible time.


2. Experience - Deliver the experience 


Don't Sell Products or Features; Sell an Experience

Steve Jobs never sold computers; he sold experience you get by using Mac!


Never deliver a presentation; offer experience. Here is how you can set the stage and deliver experience instead of a just PowerPoint presentation.

1. Simplify
2. Dressup Numbers
3. Use Simple Words
4. Add Demos
5. Holy Shit Moment



"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" Steve Jobs


Simplicity is one of the most important things for success. Keep it simple, and people will lesson. Simplicity can deliver the best experience than overdoing things and make it complicated.


Here is typical PowerPoint slide


And here is simple but effective slide


Keep your each slide super simple, remove all clutter, keep as less text on it as possible, your audience doesn't want to read your presentation. You can always distribute literature to read. They are here to listen to you. Add more visuals, don’t over load it with distracting animations too.



Dressup Numbers

Numbers are meaningless without context. If you need to add numbers to your slides, then discuss numbers in a context that is relevant to your audience. Again remove all clutter.


Rarely numbers make sense to your audience until those numbers are put into context that people can understand and relate them. For example, 5 GB storage in first iPod makes no sense to music lovers, but first iPod slogan was "1000 songs in your pocket" makes a huge difference, now number makes sense to the audience.


Use Simple Words

Use plain language and add humor to keep your audience engaged.


Use simple words, free of jargons. Simple, clear and straightforward language free of complexity, which ordinary people can understand. This will make your presentation interesting and easy to get your message.


Add Demos

Whenever possible add demonstrations to your presentation, demo plays important roles. Demos can help people quickly understand your product or concepts.


Keep your demos short, simple and only try to show most relevant feature or idea that matters the most to your audience.


Holy Shit Moment

Make them feel amazed!


Create that one unexpected dramatic moment in your presentation, to create maximum impact. Plan this moment meticulously and work on it.


See this Steave Jobs video unveiling MacBook Air


People will forget what you said, what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. 


These five points will help create that amazing experience, during your presentation. Your presentation will stand out from those mediocre presentations.


3. Improve & Practice - Work on every detail of your presentation


So far we have learned how you can plan your presentation. What to include and avoid in your presentation. We have discussed, how to create a fantastic script and plant the Holy Shit Moment in your presentation. In this final and important step, you will learn how to Improve and Practice your presentation every time you deliver it.


To deliver an Insanely Great Presentation, you should not only prepare engaging presentation script, amazing slides but also you must command your presence on stage.


You must continually work on your voice, gestures, body language, confidence, and energy. Every word you speak should reflect unbeatable enthusiasm.


"Practice isn't the thing you do once you are good. It's the thing that makes you good." Malcolm Gladwell


Here are five things you should work on to deliver a world-class presentation.

1. Master the stage presence
2. Look effortless
3. Dress appropriate
4. Speak to audience
5. Have fun


Master The Stage Presence

What you say is as important as how you say. Which words you select, how you deliver them. How you use the stage. All this make a difference. 


Here are five things you should work on to master the stage presence.


  • Eye Contact
    Great communicators always make maximum eye contact with their audience. They rarely read their slides. Make eye contacts to your audience, not with your slides. Don't read your slides. Most speakers read each word on their slide, that is the worst thing you can do. 
  • Posture
    Keep your posture open, excellent communicator hardly stands behind anything or fold their hands during the presentation. They prefer nothing between their audience and them.
  • Gesture
    Use hand gestures to complement your sentence, to emphasize your point. Gestures help to connect audience. Be natural, be yourself.
  • Voice
    Change your infections by raising or lowering your pitch of your voice. Use different tones. Imagine you are giving an entire presentation in same voice tone.  Use different voice tone to emphasize, amaze your audience. Lover and raise the voice to add drama.
  • Pauses
    Nothing is dramatic than well-timed pauses. Don't rush into the presentation and start and finish all. Pauses help you to recompose, and audience grasps your points. 


Look Effortless

To look effortless, you have to be at ease, and one can be only at ease if he practices and gets familiar with surroundings, to contents, to thoughts. 


Most of the ordinary speakers get their slides done by an assistant and see them for the first time during their presentation or just hours before; they are bound to read presentation. You must know what you are talking about and why you are saying it. Then how you will say it.


"The lesson is simple but requires lots of hard work. Practice is essential, particularly if you want to sound spontaneous." Celia Sandy, Churchill's granddaughter.


Greatest cricketer Sachin Tendulkar looks effortless when he plays, but before he comes on the ground, he spends many hours in net, practicing bat.


Dress Appropriate

Wear the clothes that are suitable for occasion and culture. Know your audience well, make sure who they want to see you. Dress like a leader. Dress little better than others; all great leaders dress a bit better than everyone else in the room.


When you dress according to the occasion, your confidence boost.


Speak To Audience

Speak to your audience, not to your slides. Don't read your slides word for word, if possible don't read at all. Your slides should have only keywords and pictures or other necessary minimum data, that supports your talk. 


People are coming to listen to you not to read your slides, talk to them, make eye contact. To help you during the presentation, you can have few pointers or keywords written in the presenter's note.


Have Fun!

Have fun! Yes if you don't enjoy your presentation your audience will not. Use humor, stories that reflect your personality, it makes you more human, interesting and natural. 


All great presenters take help of humor and stories, to make their presentation interesting. See this Steve Jobs keynote: 


That is all ...


If you want to be next Superstar performer; practice, practice, and practice more. Don't take anything for granted, review your every slide, every demo, perfect them and practice hard. You should exactly know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.


So when next time you do a presentation, let your passion shine through by being yourself and allowing your points to come across naturally. 




Actionable Points


Check your earlier presentation and -

  1. See if it has that interesting story.
  2. Remove bullets, add more photos (If possible real, not stock photos)
  3. Remove all clutter - long sentences, graphs and numbers which no one can read and understand.
  4. Use readable fonts, but use only keywords on your slide.
  5. Use humor, stories, and demos to make your presentation interesting.
  6. Deliver experience, don't sell products or services.
  7. Plant that "Holy Shit" moment in your presentation. Amaze your audience.
  8. Dress well. Look effortless.
  9. Talk to the audience, don't read slides.
  10. Practice, practice and some more practice.




Over to you


Thanks so much for reading this blog!
I hope it will be useful for you in your next presentation.


I shared my experience as I mastered my presentation skills. I continue to practice and improve my next presentation. 


I did love to continue the conversation with you.


Here are few things I am curious about:

  • How do you make your presentation engaging?
  • What do you think about techniques I discussed here?
  • Do you have some different ideas to deliver Insanely Great Presentation?

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