2020 marks the 15th birthday of Eyeful in the presentation creation sector.
During this time, trends have come and gone, styles have adapted, and audiences and stakeholders have drastically altered the way they view presentations.
Staying relevant in an ever-changing presentation landscape demands that we keep one eye firmly on innovation, from utilising new story structures through to creating cutting-edge design and presentation formats.
Which is good news. After all, innovation is fun. It’s challenging. It’s an important part of what we’ve always provided our customers.
Oh, and it never stops.
But, innovation in isolation does not suffice
After 15 years in our niche sector, you learn a few things. There’s the obvious (there is life beyond PowerPoint, remote presenting is only going to become more important, presenters rarely rehearse enough) and then there are the more notable discoveries.
For example, innovation is no guarantee of future business success. We’ve created incredible presentations that push PowerPoint design and functionality to the limit. While these have garnered impressed whoops and hollers from our peers, they’ve not always been appropriate for customer applications. Style over substance rarely works (nor is it particularly satisfying).
And then there’s the bemusing condition known as the Presentation Paradox. The idea of throwing together a few slides to support a process that has taken weeks, months or even years still confounds…yet it remains a perennial issue that shows no sign of abating.
Finally, there is the part the ‘X factor’ plays in presentation success. A presenter might be equipped with a compelling audience-centric story and a kick-ass slide deck, but if they don’t have the inner ‘X factor’ to deliver the presentation with confidence and conviction, it won’t fly. Ever.
So, what is this elusive ‘X factor’? It’s more than the presenter being a subject matter expert. It’s also more than being a slick presenter, equipped with all the soft skills required to engage an audience. It’s about truly ‘owning’ a presentation and delivering it with credibility, confidence and conviction. Let’s call these the ‘3C’s’.
3C’s presenting demands personal investment up front. Presenters need to put the work in to really know all the elements that create a great presentation – audience, message, content, visual language, presentation landscape, call to action…the list goes on.
This level of ownership is not something that can be rushed the day before an important presentation. It needs to become embedded as part of the presentation culture of the presenter and their business. It’s serious stuff.
Perhaps the easiest of the 3C’s to spot is Confidence. It goes without saying that someone fumbling their way through an unfamiliar presentation only serves to damage their confidence. While it is tempting to write off a single presentation disaster as a one-off (we all have ‘off days’), the impact is often more damaging and longer term. That single ‘off day’ can be the start of a downward spiral that erodes confidence and becomes a major limiting factor in that individual’s ability to present. Crumbling credibility and conviction soon follow.
If the stakes are so high (and they are – from the perils of the Presentation Paradox through to death spirals of confidence), why do so many companies roll out their new presentation without implementing a formal onboarding process?
Get Onboard with Presentation Onboarding
Great presentations don't start and finish when the slides are complete. 3C’s presenting demands that presenters engage with presentations at a different level…which is where onboarding comes in.
The successful onboarding and ongoing management of a new presentation plays a vital part in ensuring presenters are able to deliver messages and drive action with Credibility, Confidence and Conviction. Failure to onboard properly increases the risk that presenters approach each engagement as an exercise in slide delivery rather than the powerful and persuasive communication form that presentations have the potential to be.
Of course, presentation onboarding comes in many forms, from comprehensive onsite programmes at sites like the Presentation Campus, through to utilising technology to run sessions for a presenter team spread across a large geography. Whatever form presentation onboarding takes, it’s plays a vital part in ensuring the success of your project.
We’d love the opportunity to address the 3C’s in your presentation team. To learn more about our onboarding service, Eyeful+, click here or drop us an email.
Call out sentences
1) Presentations are all about selling something, whether that's an idea, a product, or a stake in a company.
2) When your confidence is low, it affects your ability to perform at your peak.
3) Do your presenters go into every presentation with the 3C’s?