You and I know that an impactful presentation touches both our logic and our emotion. But somehow, when we go to work, we put on only our logic suit. ”It´s business! It´s numbers and facts that count.” Yes, numbers and facts do count when we make decisions.
But before your audience’s conscious mind evaluates those numbers and facts, their unconscious mind is making its own evaluations:
- Is this person trustworthy?
- Do I like him?
- Is he like me? Do we share the same characteristics and aspirations?
- Is he looking after my own good? Or will he eat me?
This is something that numbers and facts cannot answer. Dumping a bunch of data does make the sale for the lizzard brain in us. You need different type of content for your presentation.
Here´s a Slideshare that gives you five presentation content ideas, which will help you to present to your audience’s unconscious, emotional decision maker.
Presentation content idea 1: Tell about something that happened to you
Tell about an event that happened to you that relates to your presentation subject. This will reveal something about you as a person, and make you human and relatable in the eyes of your audience.
I once helped one customer with a presentation about the importance of co-operation between global corporations and the governments in emerging markets. She had lot of content on the best practices and procedures related to that co-operation. But I thought it was still missing something – the human touch.
So I suggested that she would begin the presentation by telling about about her own experience how she had seen that co-operation helping normal people get a better life. Mothers getting better paid work so that their children can go to school. Young men getting jobs instead of roaming around aimlessly.
This type of presentation content adds meaning to the subject and also explains the audience why she (the speaker) does what she does.
Presentation content idea 2: Tell about something that happened to people around you
Sometimes you may find a juicy story when you look around yourself. I bet when you go to gym or bar with your friends you hear bunch of stories that you find interesting or entertaining. Who says you cannot use that content for your own presentation?
If you can spice up your presentation and give it more meaning with a story that happened to someone else, then by all means do that.
Presentation content idea 3: Tell about something that happened to people who made an impact
Why do some people become historically significant? Why are so many people inspired by Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Mother Theresa or Steve Jobs.
The reason is that they have devoted their lives and made sacrifices for something that most people value. The key word here is value. They are icons of values.
- Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela – equality and freedom
- Marie Curie – women´s participation in the society
- Mother Theresa – fighting poverty
- Steve Jobs – human-centric technology
Tell a story about the icon, and you also tell a story about the value. If your audience shares the same value you become trustworthy and likeable to them.
Presentation content idea 4: Look what thought leaders are saying
Tell something that your audience did not know that they did not know. Who has the latest and greatest stories about your trade or industry? I bet there is a thought leader out there in your industry. Nowadays the thought leaders are made in social networks so here is a listing of some of my favorite places to go for thought leaders:
- Twitter – see for example my list of presentation design specialists
- LinkedIn groups – there are several industry or interest groups where you can discuss and find links to useful information
- Quora – is a social question and answer forum where you can find really useful information
- Pinterest – is a great place to find especially visual content for your presentations
Presentation content idea 5: Store your ideas and stories for later use
”I don´t have any stories”. I think this the weakest excuse for not using stories in a presentation. Today we are bombarded with great stories and information. But if you resort only to your own memory then it is tough to come up with the right story when you need it.
You need a system to store your ideas and stories when you get them and to access them later when you need them. A notebook is a good beginning – ”ink it, while you think it”. If you don´t write your ideas or stories down when you have them fresh in your memory – then most probably you will forget it and not have it available when you would need it.
Today lot of our stories and ideas are in digital format, therefore it is useful to have some kind of digital notebook as well. Here are few ideas for that:
- Pocket – a great application for storing links and articles
- OneNote – an app for storing notes, links, drawings, and more or less anything you need to store and archive for later use
- Evernote – the same as Onenote