Monday, June 8, 2009

Going Beyond Bullet Points: 1-day workshop on how to design effective presentations

You are in a weekly group meeting and you suggest an idea. Your boss says, “Rahul, that’s a good idea. Why don’t you give a presentation in the next meeting?” Perhaps you don’t do anything for the next two days, sort of enjoying the feeling that your idea was appreciated. And then on the third day, you realize you have a presentation to make. But before you open the PowerPoint and start firing the bullet points, please take a pause.

Imagine your presentation is like a mono-act play and you are about to write the script for the play. What do you need to have in the first place? “The Plot”! What’s your plot, buddy? What are the ingredients in your presentation so that its taste will linger? Is it going to be more like a mind teasing Sherlock Holmes story? or more like an emotion-filled Obama speech? That is where this workshop comes into picture.

In this 1-day workshop, you will learn techniques that will help you design your presentation. We will see how these techniques are used by master presenters like Steve Jobs and Seth Godin. For example, check out how Steve Jobs used curiosity flow technique for his iPod launch in 2001.You will practice those techniques with sample exercises and then apply them for presenting your ideas.

Target participant is anyone (engineer, manager, sales executive, innovator) who wants to improve the impact of his/her presentation. Bullet point addicts are most welcome.

The workshop is on 22nd July at Hotel Royal Orchid. Seats are limited and early bird discounts apply.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Deconstructing the curiosity flow from Steve Jobs iPod launch presentation

How does a master presenter like Steve Jobs apply “curiosity before content” principle we saw in an earlier article while launching new products? Let’s try to get a feel in this article from his iPod launch presentation in 2001.

Principle of curiosity before content tells us that a good presenter creates curiosity before talking about her idea. In fact, Dan and Chip Heath in their article How to avoid making a bad presentation go a step further and say: The best presenters don’t structure their presentations by thinking, What’s the next point I should make. Instead, they decide, What’s next question I want them to wrestle with? Let’s calls this sequence of questions: curiosity flow.

Here is the curiosity flow Steve Jobs uses in iPod launch presentation followed by his explanation:

1. Why music? Music has been around forever and it will always be around. It is a very large target market all around the world. Interestingly, there is no market leader. No one has really found the recipe in the digital music space.

2. What is iPod? iPod is an MP3 music player, has CD quality music, and it plays all of the popular open formats of the digital music world. It holds 1000 songs, your entire music library and it fits in your pocket.

3. It is ultra-portable (1000 songs fit in your pocket). How do we do this? We start-off with an ultra-thin hard-drive with 5GB capacity.

4. How do we get 1000 songs on iPod? It has FireWire built into it. You can download an entire CD in 5 to 10 seconds. For 1000 songs you can do it under 10 minutes.

5. It doesn’t matter how many songs are with you if your battery is dead, right? We have 10 hours of batter life.

6. What happens if I am on the road with my iPod, I didn’t bring my Mac & my battery is running low? What do I do? You have got a really cool charger that ships with iPod.

7. This is cool. I have iBook, iTune and I am happy. What is so special about iPod? It is ultra-portable. iPod is the size of a deck of cards.

The master of all curiosities is, of course, the picture of actual iPod. And Steve presents it in the last 15 seconds in the presentation. In fact, he teases the audience by showing the picture of a deck of cards to give an idea of iPod size. As they say, a little teasing goes a long way.

Hats off to Steve Jobs!