Posts Tagged ‘Presentation Structure’

A COMPELLING PRESENTATION STRUCTURE INSPIRED BY TED

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 by Richard Tierney<
As I was recently inviting speakers to submit ideas for a TEDx talk, the question has come back: “how does a TEDx talk differ from a normal presentation?”

Firstly, I suppose I should say there is no “normal”, a sales presentation differs from a Keynote, this differs from an after-dinner speech, and this is different again from a motivational talk. What unites them all is an understanding of the audience, and what’s in it for them.

However, that’s a very incomplete answer so, allow me to share something of a little more use for your business presentations…

Many TED talks I have watched use quite a specific structure…

• Shocking opener
• Personal Story
• A bit of detail
• Link back to personal story
• Idea worth spreading

Whilst this structure is specific for TEDx presenters, it’s quite possible to apply this to your business PowerPoint presentation designs, and this is how…

Shocking opener
As I say in my book, (apologies for the blatant plug!) any presentation needs to start with something that really grabs the audience’s attention. Watch almost any TED Talk and you’ll see what I mean.

The thing to consider though, is that TED talks generally focus on extremely (non-business) thought provoking topics… so your presentation needs to find a suitable business angle to grab your audience’s attention immediately.

In my book, I took inspiration from Graham Davies rather excellent book, The Presentation Coach (imitation, with suitable attribution, is the sincerest form of flattery). Graham suggests that there are three elements to any presentation opening…

1. Establish the speaker’s credibility
2. Make the benefit to the audience crystal clear
3. Use an attention-grabbing statement

TED presenters have the luxury of existing credibility and the audience’s benefit is taken as read, all they need to do is be audacious in their opening real-world statement. As a business presenter, you need to state your credibility and benefit more explicitly.

Personal Story
The TED presenter will tell a personal story which might not immediately be connected to the opening. But it will usually be very personal. Growing up with a sister who suffered from …. Seeing my father bought down by …. A bit of tragedy seems all too often to creep in here.

A business presenter might not want to make things too personal… it really depends on how well you know your audience. If you are unsure of what tone to take, then Eyeful’s free Presentation Healthcheck service will provide you with an Audience Heatmap profile which helps you to analyse where your audience sit in terms of their visionary, factual and emotional bias…

A bit of detail
Now it’s time for the science – the clever stuff. In this section, you even get to brag a little. The important thing here is that although you know enough to fill several encyclopaedias, you just need to include the bits that the audience needs in order to understand what you’re talking about.

This advice applies to all presenters, TED or business…

Consider how long you have to present, this must be the driving factor that helps you filter out the noise and deliver only the key facts that will inspire your audience most…

Link back to personal story
This is where the audience should have the ‘Ah Ha! Moment’. Tie it all together and make the audience understand why you personally care so much about this topic. How does it affect your story? And how does it affect your business audience?

Idea worth spreading
This is the point of any TED talk. The presenter tells the audience the idea they want to spread and – by now – they should understand why it matters.

For the disconcerting business presenter, this is the call to action. This is your chance to tell your audience in crystal clarity what they now need to do to ensure they benefit from your solution and your presentation achieves your objectives.

Remember, this presentation structure is an observation from TED Talks, it’s a guideline, not a rule.

If you’re not sure it will work for your business presentation, fret not. Myself and the other consultants at Eyeful have an understanding of presentation structure that can make any presentation successful. Just get in touch and let’s chat about your next important presentation…

Richard Tierney is a senior presentation consultant for Eyeful Presentations in the UK.
Richard supports some of the UK’s biggest brands through Eyeful’s Presentation Optimisation TM process, ensuring they deliver the best possible presentation experience.

You can contact Richard on 01455 826390 or via email at info@eyefulpresentations.com

Key Message Headline – A Powerful Presentation Structure

Monday, December 5th, 2016 by Matt<

If you’re a keen follower of Eyeful you may well have recently viewed Eyeful founder Simon Morton’s recent webinar, The Technical Lab Surgery, where he discussed something called Key Message Headline…

Key Message Headline is a great presentation structure that you won’t find on any old generic advanced PowerPoint training courses, as it’s all about presentation structure and messaging.

It is an incredibly useful thing to have up your sleeve when planning out a potentially complicated presentation.

Eyeful can’t claim to have invented the concept, as you’ll find it used in journalism, education and in wider business communication.

But, what Eyeful have done, is to develop it into a very powerful 7 slide presentation structure.

Applying the model in this way provides you with an invaluable process for taking a particularly complicated presentation topic and breaking it down into a simple structure that will keep your story, message and proposition clear to your audience.

Remember, confused audiences simply don’t take action…

Key Message Headline is all about focussing your presentation’s content into 3 clearly defined areas…

What…
This is where you give your big introduction…

Define what ‘new state’ you want to communicate with your audience, be that a change, an idea or vision.

How…
This is what makes it special, how it works and it’s how you’re going to achieve whatever it is your proposing.

Explain how the ‘new state’ is going to become reality. What measures need to be in place to deliver your change?

This is your chance to back up your idea and really drive home to the audience that it has legs, is realistic and, most importantly, achievable.

Why…
The reason for the ‘new state’. In short, the benefits associated with your message. Where possible, make these benefits audience centric (although this is not a prerequisite!)

This is where you can really drive home the problems that your audience are currently facing before explaining in no uncertain terms that your idea, product, or service is the answer to their problems…

Essentially this is where you paint the picture of the future and show your audience just how positively impacted they will be if they follow your call to action…

Download Key Message Headline PDF Now

By focusing on these 3 areas and encasing them in our 7-slide structure, you will be following a tried and tested presentation structure that will turn a potentially confusing presentation into one that is clear, engaging and understood by your audience…

We’d love to know if you use this structure and how you get on, so leave a comment with your thoughts below…

Seeing The Wood Through The Trees

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Simon Morton<

Regular readers will know that our (borderline pathological) obsession with presentations leads us to find inspiration in the oddest of places. In the past few months we’ve found help and inspiration for presenters on the Moon, behind the paint on a Picasso and on the side of the road.

Today’s inspiration is a little more accessible than a trip into space. Unless you are currently sitting in a windowless room in the very centre of a city there’s a good possibility that you can see a tree. If not, I’m almost 100% sure that you have, at some point in your life, seen a tree, so I shall press on.

There are, largely speaking, two types of trees, evergreen and deciduous and it’s the deciduous ones in particular that have got me thinking.

A well-established tree is, by and large, a sturdy, reliable kind of thing, and while it initially appears unmoving, it is actually in a constant cycle of change and adaptation.

At this time of the year deciduous trees are going through one of the most dramatic annual changes in nature. Their leaves are moving through a fantastic spectrum of colour before finally giving it all up as a bad job and falling gracefully onto the ground.

There’s a lot of complicated science going on here so please forgive my simplification. The leaves change colour because the tree takes back from them all the nutrients that they are producing and storing during the summer, this renders the leaves themselves useless and they are shed.

What’s left looks completely different, but leaves or no leaves the essential ‘treeness’ remains.

Great presentations should be planned, designed and updated in a very similar way, your key messages are the trunk and they create a solid base for everything that follows. So far so good, but it’s worth noting at this point that just a trunk does not a tree make (an attractive set of nesting occasional tables maybe, but not a tree.)

The next thing you need are stories, they act like the branches of the tree creating interest and providing a basis for further growth and adaptation.

Whatever happens from here on, if you have your messages and your stories sorted, you will always have a tree.

How your tree evolves should be up to your audience and understanding them can make all the difference to your success.

In the same way that different people find beauty in different stages of the annual cycle of change, different audiences will need to see and experience different things from your presentation. There are a thousand and one different types of audience but they largely fall into three distinct but not mutually exclusive categories:

Factual Audiences might be more than happy with the basic, essential tree, unadorned by buds, leaves or fruit.

Emotional Audiences could well respond better to an early spring version, with the captivating prospect of new life with unknown potential.

For Visionary Audiences you’ll need the whole kit and caboodle – leaves, blossom, fruit and colour in a time defying ‘all at once’ extravaganza.

Recognising and adapting to different types of audience can be quite a challenge at the beginning but as long as you take the time to identify and develop your key messages and stories you’ll always have a core presentation that you can rely on and adapt.

To find out more about how the Eyeful approach can help you make your presentations as reliable and adaptable as they need to be, simply take a look at The Presentation Lab book or pick up the phone and give us a call on +44 (0)1455 826 390

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