Stories

Is Barbara Minto’s pyramid principle outdated?

by Pierre Morsa

A few weeks ago someone spoke a name that I hadn’t heard in a long, very long time: Barbara Minto. She’s the author of the Pyramid Principle, a book that was long considered, and sometimes still is, the gold standard of presentation structuring in the consulting industry. But it was back in the eighties. So I’ll dare to ask the question: is the pyramid principle outdated? If you’re not familiar with the pyramid principle, it is a method to lay out the information in a presentation in the most efficient way possible, based on how people with little time, especially executives, absorb information.

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Use your iPhone as backup for important presentations

by Pierre Morsa

Recently my computer, a MacBook Pro, needed to be repaired. I had to do without a laptop for several weeks. And of course, during those weeks I needed to present with slides. Luckily, with my iPhone and a couple of accessories I had everything I needed: A (not too old) iPhone or iPad A lightning to HDMI adapter A lightning power cable and brick (using the HDMI adapter drains the battery fast).

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The meatball sundae presentation effect

by Pierre Morsa

Seth Godin coined the term “meatball sundae” several years ago in a book that explained that putting two great things together does not always create something better. And in the worst case, such as a meatball sundae, it can actually create something nobody wants. The meatball sundae presentation effect can happen at two levels: at the event level, and at the individual presentation level. Let’s take Apple’s latest keynote as an example of the meatball sundae effect at the event level.

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Is there a drug to get rid of my fear of public speaking?

by Pierre Morsa

It may sound weird, but this is a question we get asked from time to time: “Do you know a prescription drug that would help me reduce my stress on stage?” We’re not talking about illegal drugs, but legal drugs sold in pharmacies. There are a lot of those designed by pharmaceutical companies to reduce stress, anxiety, blood pressure, cardiac rhythm, etc. We are not doctors, so we cannot say anything about them from a medical perspective.

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In presentations, don’t do a flash back, do a flash present

by Pierre Morsa

It’s a trick I learned when studying how movies and TV shows are written. You don’t do a flash back, you do a flash present. For presentations, that means that you don’t tell the story as something that is over; that makes the audience passive. Instead, you bring the scene from the past into the present, or you bring the audience to the past, and tell it as if it is happening right now.

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