In a previous post, I attempted to split the atom on what made for a great presentation.
I arrived at the conclusion that beyond some general guidelines, any format could work depending on the idea, how it catered itself to the presenter and how it delivered to its audience.
Of course, usability, utility, clarity and desirability were all important.
By looking at the same 20 popular slideshare presentations, its clear that different motives drive six distinct types of presentation formats.
It’s also annoyingly clear, presenters, even professional ones, oftentimes lack a self-awareness of what style they need to be in for their particular situation. You’ve likely seen the mismatch of style-to-objective e.g. hard-selling at a blogger conference, being too cutesy at a management meeting, looking to inspire a practitioner audience that wants to know the “how”, lecturing to a sales force about next year’s program instead of motivating them
So which of the following 6 styles is your next presentation? and do you have the right style and assets to back them up?
Presentations with emotional appeal:
Goal – to provoke a reaction with your crowd, elicit enjoyment without particular care for message quality or impact
Audience Need – Need to escape, blow off steam, establish a tone change, build culture/camraderie
Format – Offsite kickoffs, Viral videos/stunts, Brand awareness, Personal journey
Visual/Content Tactics: Cartoons, Story/chapter template, Headlines, Photo Gallery, Sight gags, Mashups, Absurdity, Interactive Games, Unprovable points/stats, Video, Audience Participation
Goal – to convince a person of the quality of your offering or position, to get people to act in a preferred way, to show as superior between different options
Audience Need – Need to be convinced, Build superiority of your argument, See evidence of multiple sides, Creating additional validation
Format – Sales presentations, Product launches, Agency pitches, Competing theories, Competitive beliefs
Visual/Content Tactics – Tables, Case Studies, Testimonials, Criteria, Amazing Facts, Side by side Comparison, Magic Quadrant, Strategy Map, Leading Questions, Concentric Circles, Venn Diagrams, Clustering
Goal – to immerse people in your point of view and inspire them to rally around and feel linked to it
Audience Need – need to become part of something bigger, need to feel something resonate deeply
Format – Employee Town Halls, Customer Celebrations, New Brand Positioning, Impactful Change, Tribal Recruitment
Visual/Content Tactics – Tip of the Iceberg, Pattern Recognition, New Definitions, Historical Progression, Future Projections, “Did you know”, “Inspiring Quotes”, Call to Action, Immutable Laws, Formulas, T-shirtable Slogans, Grand Reveal, Storytelling, We’re not them, Alarmist provocations, Pyramid Factors, Personality Profiles, If You Believe This…You Must
Presentations with rational-appeal
Goal – to present results without determining conclusions or placing a subjective value on the information
Audience Need: Need to understand the facts, Need to sift through the evidence, Need to share information before conclusions
Format – Presentation of financial results, Just breaking research results/polls, Stimulus for Review
Visual/Content Tactics – Pie Charts, Bar Charts, Scatterplots, Line Charts, Data Maps, Rankings, Histograms
Goal – to provide insight and teach audience based on evidence, to throw light onto a new/unfamiliar subject
Audience Need – need to know what happened, provide a summary of learnings, develop institutional knowledge
Format: Research Conclusions, Post-Project Evaluations, Lunch and Learns, Audits
Visual/Content Tactics – Matrix Diagrams, Lists, Tree Diagrams, Mindmaps, Force-field Diagrams, , Concept maps, Callouts, Visual Evidence, Examples Brought to Life
Goal – to provide a mentored, step-by-step learning experience
Audience Need – need to learn to do it themselves, solicit mentorship and past experience
Format – Training Workshops, Mentoring, DIY Tutoring,
Visual/Content Tactics – Cycle Designs, Critical Paths, Decision Trees, Process Chains/Steps, Gantt Charts, Sequential Pictures, Watchouts/Callouts, Insider Tips