Presentations are for transformation, not information. Learn the golden simple question to ask yourself to make your presentation a success. Guest: Phil Waknell


Rose: [00:00:00] Welcome to The Business Presentation Revolution, your regular cup of presentation inspiration.

Phil: [00:00:07] Today we’ll be looking at why presentation should rhyme not with Information but with Transformation.

Rose: [00:00:16] So Phil, you said that presentations should rhyme with transformation instead of information. What do you mean by that?

Phil: [00:00:23] Well, far too many presentations simply aim to inform the audience, to transfer neurons, brain cells, from the speaker’s brain to the audience’s brain. And you know what? That doesn’t work because we don’t have perfect memories. Do you have a perfect memory?

Rose: [00:00:40] Unfortunately no.

Phil: [00:00:41] We forget most of what we hear within 30 seconds, and if you don’t agree with that try and remember what I said 30 seconds ago. That’s really really hard. So if you aim only to inform the audience then you’ll fail. If you want to give them information then give them a document, give them a coffee and give them some time so they can read that document. It’s so much more effective but a presentation is fantastic for transforming the audience.

Phil: [00:01:07] It’s fantastic for changing something in what the audience believes, in what they feel and in what they do. So always ask yourself this question when you’re presenting: “After this presentation the audience will ____.” What? What will they believe differently, what will they feel differently, what will they do differently. And that’s your objective.

Rose: [00:01:33] I completely agree Phil and what I’m hearing is that unfortunately I think we’ve all been trained pretty wrong, even in our schools, when we grow up we’re taught to give information first, to value the information. But what I’m hearing is we don’t have the time to do that and it’s not the most effective place: in a boardroom, in a presentation. And what we can do instead is focus on making a change in what they know, what they believe, what they feel and what they’re going to do after the presentation. Is that right?

Phil: [00:02:07] That’s absolutely right. I think the real key point is that the main subject of your presentation is not the information you have to tell them… It’s the audience. It’s all about them and it’s all about how you need to transform them in order to achieve your objectives.

Phil: [00:02:24] You may need to put some information into that presentation of course, in order to achieve those objectives, but it’s all about the transformation. And if you’ve got information that does not support your transformational objective then take it out because what you take out will actually reinforce what you leave in.

Rose: [00:02:43] So this reminds me, yesterday when I was coaching this young executive at one of the larger French companies we work with, he is working on his communication style. And when you’re communicating to an executive team you know very well you need to be brief. You need to say what needs to be said directly. Well another thing we talked about is in his presentation he will only have 20 minutes to actually motivate his team to take action on a project. This is not the time to inform them of all the bullet points that go into ‘why the project’, the action plan, etc. This is the time to motivate them, reassure them, make them feel confident and supported. And I saw the light bulb go on for him yesterday. And I think it can for all of us when we’re thinking about how we design a presentation.

Phil: [00:03:33] Absolutely. So always remember if your only aim is information, well cancel your presentation and give them a document and a coffee. It’s so much more effective. But if you actually have an aim of transforming your audience, motivating them like with your client there or making them want to buy something or making them desire something or just making them believe something different: well, that’s your objective. Build everything around that.

Phil: [00:03:58] And remember that what you tell them they’ll probably forget, but what they feel and what they get out of it in terms of transformation: that will last. And that’s what makes an effective presentation.

Rose: [00:04:15] Phil, now that would be a real revolution. Thank you for watching. We hope we have transformed how you think of presentations.

[00:04:23] And we’ve got a lot more to share. So, please subscribe to our YouTube channel or wherever you get your podcasts. Please share with your colleagues, like and comment. Thanks for joining The Business Presentation Revolution. Trust me, your audiences will thank you. See you next time.