Today, I was mind mapping another session at a conference and once of the speakers stood out head and shoulder above the rest because of her enthusiasm and passion but…

She started of well, coming away from the lectern and standing centre stage. She used no visual aids and she challenged the accepted norms of her audience. She had something really important to say and she said it with passion and belief but she could have done so much better.

Why? Because her presentation lacked structure and WIIFM.

Now I’ve talked about WIFFM before in fact I’m passionate about it. WIIFM means what’s in it for me. In other words – the need to quickly establish relevance in the heads of the audience.

So what about flow? Well frankly this lady’s presentation rambled. It did have a good summary but it lacked both an effective opening (complete with WIFFM) and a logical supporting structure. Don’t get me wrong, the information was all there, but it took a lot of hard work to follow it. Now my rule of thumb is “don’t make your audience work too hard”. If you do, too many of them will give up and switch off.

Now I can’t do anything about this lady’s presentation (although I will ask her if she wants feedback!) but what about you? Do your presentations flow?

If they don’t then I recommend you read Cliff Atkin’s wonderful book – Beyond Bullet Points.
It will teach you how to turn your presentation into a story that wins the hearts and minds of your audience. Alternatively you can contact me directly via this blog.

Go with the flow!

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Braithwaite on 01/11/2007 at 04:01

    Cliff Atkinson’s story template is a great tool even if you’re not going to turn it into a PowerPoint. By putting a presentation into the three-act structure, the “flow” is almost guaranteed. I’m a big fan of BBP!

    Too bad great structure isn’t enough to make a great presentation!

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