communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.
Making presentations work
Presentations are an important part of selling any project. There's a number of presentation styles but in advertising the most frequent ones are Big PPT onto screen and small people in front of screen talking.
As such the pressure to make the words sound louder than the writing on the screen is huge. firstly because when people are shown something they have a tendency to read rather than pay attention and since you are showing them something, they assume you expect them to read.
But more than that the rhetoric of an advertising presentation is often at risk from a number of things:
- many types of material: strategy, data, creative, explanations
- too much information: not seldom presentations run over 150 slides
- different presenters: in most agencies, teamwork requires that several people pitch in when the presentation is delivered.
Talking about one such large presentation it has occurred to me that what is essential is that the presentation should take the listener on a journey to a predictable point. Rhetoric is essential to set the stage, arouse expectations and then deliver. The process should focus on
- deducing a clear objective/destination from client brief
- presenting the road to that destination
- detailing the main landmarks on this road
- reaching the expected destination
Essentially one presentation could be summarized in a sentence like this "From the data you provided and our own research we have deduced that this is what needs to be done and the best course of action is this and trough the following actions we have reached exactly that which we said needs to be done."
OBviously how you say it is equally important. So, if you want to prove creativity you would say "We had a look at your info and WOW, we had this enormous epiphany! Once we had realized that a bunch of ideas just kept flowing in and when we put them together we found that WOW! this all gave a brilliant solution!"
Some other things which are important for a presentation flow should also be mentioned like:
- no speaker should be forced to read other people's ideas
- if at all possible no more than 2 speakers per category of information and
- if the presentation does not convince you or if you feel you're faking, then redo it. nothing is worse than an unconvincing presenter. not even lousy creative.
pic via here. and BTW, these are Sharpies and one great creative director told me that no self-respecting creative should go without Sharpies.