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BAM! Turn Up the Heat on Your Presentations With a Few Culinary Tips

by Heidi Jackman  |  
April 22, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • How to spice up your next presentation like a five-star meal
  • Tips on engaging audiences and driving business

Content, preparation—and, most important: plating. They say presentation can separate the cook from the chef. One slaps food on the table and prays the diner appreciates the subtle and compelling marriage of flavors. The other arranges each component to be enjoyed both distinctly and as an element of a larger experience.

Presentations are a business staple. In fact, they are second only to email as the most commonly used business tool. Yet, many professionals design presentations that qualify more as hardpan than angel food. Audiences are subjected to static, one-way presentations that are neither memorable nor effective.

Why is a tool that is so germane to business so grossly misused? Presentations are too often speech-like rather than conversational; they are too often filled with talking heads and heavily worded, mundane slides that the audience has to work to figure out.

Like a good meal with good friends, great presentations encourage sharing, interaction, and conversation. Simply flinging your best ingredients onto the stove and slopping them onto the plate won't satisfy.

So sharpen your knives, oil your pans, and think like a top chef preparing a meal that will stimulate the senses, invite conversation, and demand involvement.

Cardboard Wedding Cake

Would you prefer a presentation that is ornate but tastes like a brown paper bag? Or one that is so artfully crafted that it entices an audience to savor the tasty morsels and discuss the meal?

Beware the temptation of flamboyance. Content is king, and clarity is key. Create delicious messages that inspire (rather than tire) audiences, leaving them full but still wanting to come back for seconds.

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Heidi Jackman is CMO of SlideRocket, which reinvents presentations by helping to bring big ideas to life, engage audiences, and drive business.

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