Friday, January 12, 2007

"But that's going to be different"

I am working with a client who has a big presentation coming up next month. They are presenting in front of the top executives in their organization and want to make a good impression. I was reviewing the outline for the presentation with them and they asked how many slides will they have for a 20-30 minute presentation. I said, "About 15, why?" They got quiet for a moment and shared that having only 15 slides would be very different from how they normally present.

You see, a "normal" presentation in their firm is 40+ slides of data dumped on the executives. What they don't realize is that executives don't want the graphs, charts and raw data. They want the interpretation of the data and the answer to their key question, "What does this mean to me/my department/my division?" By cutting down to 15 slides that will include builds, pictures and customer videos, the presentation will turn from the usual "dump truck" presentation to a conversation with the audience. They will be able to connect with the executives through stories and examples and the executives will remember who gave them information in a way they could actually use it.

If you have important presentations to executives, have the courage to step away from the "dump truck" presentation and create one that allows you to have a conversation with them - after all, they are just real people like you. You may also want to check out my special report "Presenting to Executives" available on my web site.


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