Tag Archives: presentation

Inspiration, not information

At every presentation, the level of understanding of the subject matter by the audience varies widely.

If you’re giving a presentation on social media, some people are well educated and understand it’s place in business (and it’s not always the people live-tweeting your thoughts). There are others who know a little but are less familiar than the first group. Still others may know little to nothing.

The audience’s knowledge and experience lies along a wide spectrum.

So what is a good presenter to do? How do you make sure that the experts aren’t bored and the others aren’t left behind?

Use inspiration, not information.

Use the information to illustrate a key point or concept. Tell a story. Take them to a place.

Sir Ken Robinson presented to a room full of TED folks who knew (in varying degrees) that our current education system is sub-optimal.

Steve Jobs presents to hundreds of thousands of people, in person and online, who have literally been predicting and prototyping what he’s going to tell them.

Don’t give information. Give inspiration.

Then, you’ll have the whole room.

5 Days in Italy, for free


No passport required. You just need a mouse and your imagination. (turn your speakers on)

Their Circular Life is a beautifully designed, Flash + photo + audio project that displays 24-hour stretches in the life of five Italian locations.

Use the little yellow onscreen speed dial to whisk through the buzz of activity at Modena’s railway station, or to check out the traffic at one of its crazier intersections. Enjoy the sound of water lapping the shore of Lago Santo, and watch an Italian park transform from daytime playground to twilight teen scene.

Of course, this doesn’t compare to actually being in Italy, but it costs less than a cappuccino. And if you ever make it to Modena or Venice, you might just experience déjà vu.


Remember The Milk

No, I’m not talking about the excellent, GTD-enabling task management tool or the amazing performance by Sean Penn.

I’m talking about crystallizing and being able to articulate your one key message.


If your spouse sends you to the store just for milk, you bring home the milk.
If they ask you to pick up milk, Cheez-its, Windex, apples, paper towels and oh yeah, make sure you pick up the dry cleaning, you might remember everything except the milk, which was the most important item.

The same is true when you’re giving a presentation or are in a sales meeting.

The client or audience is going to remember the one thing you tell them.

If you only tell them one thing.

If you drone on and on about how great you are and how many services you provide and how many features your product has, your main point will be forgotten in the grocery bag of stuff you just dumped on the table.

Identify your ‘milk’.

Sell just the milk.

Forget about the Windex.