Strategy. Innovation. Brand.


How much can you say in a 30 minute presentation? How much should you say? What should you say? In what order? The issues that surround content include quantity, quality, and structure. The posts in this category explore these issues.

How much room is left in your brain?

Not much room in here!

Not much room in here!

We see as many as 3,000 marketing messages every day. We’re constantly bombarded with information, images, and icons. To protect ourselves, we instinctively build a set of filters. We simply don’t see some things because it’s impossible to see everything that’s
coming at us. So, how do you get a message through the filters?  The first step in effective communication is to shrink the message to fit the space available. And, the fact is, there’s not a lot of space available in the average human brain. It’s filled up with trivia, to-do lists, anxieties, and wishes. It’s tough competition for your message. So, be creative but, above all, be brief. Now watch the video.

Is Humor Persuasive?

luaghing laughterSpeakers often begin their presentations with a joke. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s relevant. Sometimes it’s none of the above. Can humor help persuade an audience? Well, yes and no. Self-deprecating humor can help you build credibility with an audience and that can help you be persuasive.

But the main reason to use humor is to hold the audience’s attention. People like to laugh. So if you make them laugh early in a presentation, they’ll look for additional laugh cues later in the presentation. They’ll pay more attention because they don’t want to miss your next joke.

On the other hand, humor will never move an audience to action. People who are laughing just want to keep on laughing. If you want an audience to actually do something, the most potent emotion is anger. Humor helps people absorb information. Anger moves people to action. It’s why our political ads are so angry. Learn more in the video.

Speaking Human

When we want to let people know how smart we are during a speaking presentation, we often dress up our language. We use more formal diction, bigger words, and formidable phrasing. We often toss in a lot of jargon as well. Typically, however, it doesn’t work. We just sound stuffy, self-important, and boring. We’re trying to show the audience how smart we are which is always a losing strategy. Much better to show the audience how smart they are. You do this by speaking human — conversational, easy-to-understand, and plain spoken. As the saying goes, you should eschew obfuscation. Learn more in the video.

Why go to a live presentation?

TW at Swedish User Group -1Why do people come to live events? Years ago, it was because they wanted to hear the latest news. Content was king and people came to hear the newest, latest, most exciting news. Today, content is everywhere. You can get it from the web, from books, from text
messages, from Twitter, or from television. So why go to a live event? Increasingly, it’s about context. It’s about making commitments and creating networks. As you plan your live events, don’t put all the emphasis on content. Leave time and create opportunities to develop a context for people to interact. They’ll get the content from many sources.  Make sure they get the context from your event.  Now watch the video.

Content With Your Content?

Be like Walter.

Be like Walter.

How much can you say in a 30 minute presentation? How much should you say?  Should you aim for more content or less? What’s the difference between a TV newscast and a newspaper? Your persuasive presentation is more like a newscast. It summarizes the key issues and creates a desire to learn more. You speak at about 120 words per minute. That means about 3600 words in a 30 minute presentation. That’s long enough to use your communication skills to summarize the headlines but not enough to give every last detail. Don’t talk faster to fit more in. You need to shrink the content to fit the space available. Learn how in this video.

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