Friday, December 13, 2013

Tell a Story and Plan in Analog

Tell a Story

     No one wants to listen to a lecture. But, most of us loves stories, especially personal stories. Make your presentation based on stories, use your power, persuasion, and charisma to deliver the stories, and you’ll be able to convince your audience.
“The single most important thing you can do to dramatically improve your presentations is to have a story to tell before you work on your PowerPoint file.”--CLIFF ATKINSON

Planning First

          Before switching on computer, you should have clear idea of what you would like to deliver to your audience. Use the following three-step storyboard approach:
  1. Writing
  2. Sketching
  3. Producing
“Remember, it’s the story, not the slides, that will capture the imagination of your audience.”
     You also need to know how you are going to deliver your stories.  Create conflicts, resolutions, villains, and heroes.  As most directors storyboard the plot before picking up camera, you should create a story line before starting messing with power point. Create a plot which will rivet your audience throughout your presentation. This can be done without using powerpoint.   

Pen and Paper

         Pen and paper are simple but powerful. They are cheap in terms of money and time consumption. Its simplicity and flexibility frees you from a constrained of power point. Its inexpensiveness allows you to unhesitatingly abandon mediocre half-finished jobs, and redesign the work. So start by working on pen and paper. Do not worry about power point. You’ll get to use it when the time was right.

Long and Boring Process

     A good presentation needs a lot of work. To prepare one-hour long presentation with 30 slides, you need to
  • Spend up to 90 minutes
  • Spend one-third of that time for building the slides.
  • Spend first 27 hours for researching the topic, collecting input from experts, organizing ideas, collaborating with colleagues, and sketching the structure of the story.

Text and Bullets

     They are least effective in communicating. But they’re great for checklist. If you don’t want to forget things, use it. But, if you want to captivate your audience, stay away from it.

Nine elements of great presentations

1.   Headline: make your headline short (140 characters or less), memorable, simple.
2.   Passion statement: define your passion with a sentence like ‘I’m excited about this product, because it _________’
3.   Three key messages: you should have exactly three messages which are simple and easy to recall (without looking the script).
4.   Metaphor and analogy: Use something people find easy to understand as a starting point to tell your story
5.   Demonstration: If you have a product, bring it on the stage
6.   Partners: Ask your partners who contribute to your product to join your presentation
7.   Customer evidence and third party endorsement: Use stats, quotes, sound/video clips for your customer’s testimonial. If possible, invite a few customers to join your presentation.
8.   Video clips: Do not use video longer than 2-3 minutes
9.   Flip charts, props and show-and-tell: Three type of learners: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. Make sure that you have all in your presentation. Your presentation could be visual. Auditory could be by your voice. Kinesthetic could be achieved by handing models of your products to the audience.

Source: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience 

Book or Audiobooks?

          Personally, I prefer audiobooks. It's fun, and I can listen when I'm doing something else. It also makes other activities (e.g., jogging) a lot more fun. For more detail about audiobooks, please read [this post].     
          There is one more reason that may encourage you to go for the audiobook version. You can get it now for FREE. Audible offers you a free trial for 14 days. Even if you get the book and cancel the subscription right away (so that you don't have to pay), you can keep the book. And, don't worry if you lost the audiobook file. Just log into You can keep downloading the over and over again.

    About the summary: It takes time to finish up a book. And, when you do, sometimes, you want to review what you learn from the book. If you do not make  notes as you read, you might have to go through the book once again. This can be time-consuming when you are dealing with a book. But you can still flip through the book and locate what you are looking for.

However, when the material is an audiobook, it is extremely hard to locate a specific part of content. Most likely you will have to listen to the entire audiobook once again.

This book summary will help solve the pain of having to go through the book all over again.

I am leaving out the details of the books. Most books have interesting examples and case studies, not included here. Reading the original book would be much more entertaining and enlightening. If you like the summary, you may want to get the original from the source below.

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