Yesterday I was on a Zoom call watching a presentation.
I’ve been working alongside this branding agency which is really cool, because I get to see how other pros work, and collaborating feels like a nice change of pace from my typical solo routine.
On the presentation, a UX designer walked the client through the research findings.
While very interesting, as I was assisting, I realized that, having spoken with the client myself and knowing where they were coming from, 60% of the presentation was points they already knew about.
Which leads me to today’s dilemma…
Do you know what your audience already knows?
Do you have an idea of what they would glaze over?
Because that’s what will happen when you fail to consider it.
Sure, it’s important to quickly recap and get on the same page, but making the core of the presentation stuff your audience is already aware of?
Not so much.
It all comes down to their stage of awareness.
Like it’s important to keep awareness in mind when writing copy and when it comes to your prospects, it also matters whenever you have to convey your ideas.
Whether it’s with your team, with a client or with investors, are you considering where you should start at to give them value?
And so the presentation dragged on and on, and you could see the client wasn’t really amused.
Red flag? They didn’t have any questions or observations by the end of it.
The silence of death.
The meta lesson here is that as a creator, a leader or specifically a copywriter – you CAN apply your niche skills in other areas too.
Your skillset shouldn’t be used in a siloed eco-chamber. You can get way more out of it.
My rules of thumb to almost always guarantee your presentation is successful?
- Include just enough information your audience is already aware of to make sure you’re aligned. Never use redundant info and data to add perceived value.
- Use the core components of good brand voice to make it interesting. Curate your vocabulary (words you use), tone (emotion, intensity) and cadence (frequency, format) to make your presentation unique and engaging.
- Introduce some element of conflict. And this is a doozy. Every powerful story is based on conflict. Your presentations can too. You can introduce a challenge you’ve faced in the process, and then you can share how you solved it and how you got to your conclusions.
- Give your audience room to breathe. Like white space in design, you should add space in your presentation. Breaks and asking for input makes viewers/listeners feel like they can have their say, This avoids pushback and makes you more likeable. It’s also the toughest thing to do.
Try these next time you’re presenting anything.
Even on a random conversation.
Want to work with me 1-on-1 on your business? Let’s do it.
Quote and reflection of the day:
“What it all boils down to is that alignment is the key to fulfillment.
Keep these things in mind:
Your vision must align with who you want to be.
Your choices must align with your vision.
Your effort must align with the size of your vision.
Your behavior must align with your values and principles”
- Patrick Bet-David, Your Next Five Moves
How do you align with your vision, values and principles? It takes consistency, commitment, ruthlessness, open mindedness and clarity. First towards yourself and then towards others.
Awesome newsletter corner
When it comes to presenting ideas, I always admired content writers. It requires patience, discipline and painstaking research work to write compelling, often long-form content that engages readers and keeps them reading.
Reason why I became a fan of Kim Scarvelli’s “Writing and other stuff” newsletter. Every second Wednesday, she shares practical writing tips, timely insights, and tools to help you create spectacular content.
If you want to get a fresh perspective on your content efforts – in 5 minutes a week, this is it.