Solving Presentation Hell

How many mind numbing – content rich – presentations have you endured? Content creates boredom; it doesn’t solve it. Boredom is directly proportional to the quantity of poorly delivered content. More content equals more boredom. Someone wake me when it’s over!

Content without great delivery is presentation hell!
Great delivery begins with the audience.

I recently read, what has become my new favorite book on public communication, “The Pin Drop Principle,” by David Lewis and G. Riley Mills. I asked Lewis to explain the biggest mistakes presenters make.

Four biggest presentation mistakes:

  1. Not thinking about audience reaction first. What style, stories, and content best achieves desired reactions? Do you want to inspire, persuade, challenge, or enlighten, for example.
  2. Communicating without intention.
  3. Not preparing delivery.
  4. Not bringing your smile and personality.

Intention and objective:

Lewis and Mills teach people about intention by having them repeat, “Can I see you in my office?” with five different intentions. (Soothe, ridicule, frighten, demand, or patronize, for example)

Intention informs all aspects
of a person’s physical and vocal delivery.

Intention and objective explain the purpose of your communication. The Pin Drop Principle offers this killer sentence that gets presenters on track:

I want to (intention) my audience
so that my audience will (objective).

Examples from the Pin Drop Principle:

  1. I want to commend my staff and volunteers … so they feel appreciated and validated.
  2. I want to motivate my daughter so she applies herself and studies harder.
  3. I want to persuade this homemaker about the superiority of this vacuum cleaner so she places an order for purchase.

Beginning with the end in mind means communication centers on how you want your audience to feel and what you want your audience to do.

What mistakes have you seen presenters make?

The best presenters ________ (fill in the blank).