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How to Craft A Persuasive Presentation

Wow! What a title. I thought all presentations were persuasive! 😉 With all the fancy slide transitions, crazy color schemes, badly right moused clicked pictures and logos from the web, cheesy sounds and over crowded slides with font to small to read. Awesome! Wait a minute. Your not suppose to do that? Well, that explains a lot.

Did you know I had a client really say that? The “your not suppose to do that?” part. That little description accurately described a client I once had who was trying to prepare for a major presentation. The client also was from a Fortune 500 company!!

This little episode reminded me of an interesting book by by Nick Wreden, John Daly, Isa Engleberg, John Clayton, Kirsten D. Sandberg, Roly Grimshaw, Nick Morgan (no its not a law firm!) called…. you guessed it, “Guide To Persuasive Presentations”. Here is a little snippet from their book.


Most presentations are laden with unnecessary data, try to cover too much, and do little to change the audience’s mind. Here are four steps to putting together a presentation that is focused, relevant, and persuasive:

– Figure out the question you’re answering. Before you start, understand why you are giving the presentation and what your audience wants to know.
– Establish that question up front and then spend the majority of the speech answering it.
– Create the opener. Your opening should be a story or anecdote that establishes the topic of your talk and grabs the audience’s interest.
– Draft the ending. Don’t summarize. Instead, give your audience something to do with the information you just imparted.
– Put it together and edit down. Weave these three parts together and be ruthless about taking out anything that’s not crucial to your points.

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Written by David Frederick

June 29, 2010 at 12:48 PM

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