Advertising
Advertising

Making Your Presentation Worth the Cost

Making Your Presentation Worth the Cost

    Let’s face it, no matter what your business is, or who you work for, the chances are that you’ve been on the receiving end of bad presentations. My working definition of a bad presentation here is one that costs more than it saves or makes for the organization involved. If it’s a business presentation, that’s obviously the company employing whoever the presentation involves – there’s always (almost always) someone who’s responsible.

    Of course, it’s hard to work out how much a presentation will save or make for the organization in the long run: on the other hand, the costs are pretty easy to calculate. Firstly take the hourly rate of pay for everyone in the room and double it – because that’s what it costs the company. Now add the double-day-rate costs for each hour the presenter spent getting things ready. Finally, add the obvious costs for room rent, refreshments and any travel costs for everyone. It won’t be long before such presentations begin to cost thousands of dollars an hour. And that’s before you add in the costs of lowered productivity and damaged moralle.

    Advertising

    And yet a cost-effective presentation isn’t difficult. You don’t have to be great – just good enough to justify your costs!

    All a presenter has to do in a presentation is think of two things.

    • What do I need to tell my audience?
    • How do I need to tell them it?

    Whatever else you do, or don’t do in your presentation should be measured up against those two simple criteria. The Devil is in the details, of course, and sometimes it’s hard to know how to answer those two questions – to be honest, most presenters don’t even bother to ask them so if you do, you’ve a good chance of being a cost-effective presenter.

    Advertising

    Less is more

    The more a presenter tells his or her audience, the less chance there is of them remembering any given thing they’re told. With that in mind, it’s not hard to get the idea that you should filter out everything – and I mean everything – that isn’t your absolute core message.

    For every slide, for every paragraph, every image, ask yourself, one slide at a time, “Does this give my audience something they need to know?” If it does, fine. If it doesn’t, ditch it. Once you’ve done that filtering, give yourself a break that’s long enough to mean you come back to the material with a fresh mind-set – and do another filter.

    Two hours doing something else is minimum. Two filters is usually enough because of the next point.

    Advertising

    Too much is never enough

    Only experts make presentations. By definition if you’re giving the presentation you know more about your presentation than anyone else. That almost always means you know more about the material, too, so don’t be put off by thinking other people know more than you do. That’s great. What it can mean, if you’re not careful, however, is that you begin to take things for granted that your audience needs to know.

    They won’t know your jargon, they won’t know your workings and they won’t know any of your assumptions, that is unless you tell them.

    Once you’ve done your filtering do your checking for assumptions. Just like you went through every slide and every paragraph and every image, go through them again and ask yourself what each is built on. If it’s not built on the previous paragraph or slide then at the very least it’s in the wrong place.

    Advertising

    More likely, however, is the problem that you’ve taken something for granted, something that your audience probably won’t know about. You need to put that – whatever it is – into your presentation.

    What’s next?

    Not much, to be honest – there’s a whole load of tips and tricks for moving your presentations from ‘good enough’ to ‘good’ but from the point of view of your boss, ‘good enough’ is exactly that. And you can bet your bottom dollar that your boss measures ‘good enough’ as not costing more than it’s worth.

    More by this author

    A Simple Tool to Boost Your Motivation Nothing Prevents You From Asking Questions Time Management is a Personal Problem… The Trick to Timing Presentations The Way to Success: Know What It Looks Like

    Trending in Communication

    1 6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances 2 12 Signs You Are A Lifelong Learner 3 40 Ways to Achieve Peace Of Mind and Inner Calm 4 5 Powerful Ways for Building Fulfilling Relationships 5 12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on June 19, 2019

    6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

    6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

    I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

    Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

    It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

    1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

    It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

    Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

    When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

    2. Trust the Muse

    Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

    Advertising

    When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

    “The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

    The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

    If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

    The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

    Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

    3. Remember to Be Authentic

    Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

    Advertising

    How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

    For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

    One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

    Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

    Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

    4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

    I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

    One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

    Advertising

    Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

    A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

    Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

    5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

    It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

    We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

    If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

    You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

    Advertising

    6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

    As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

    The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

    Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

    Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

    More About Living Your Best Life

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Read Next