To argue that content is more important than presentation and vice versa will come up with a variety of discussions that one is better than the other, however the truth is that they go hand in hand and neither should rely on one another to create a compelling presentation.
Think of your presentation visuals as a car and the content as its petrol.
You can’t expect a car to go anywhere without petrol and petrol on its own doesn’t do anything until used properly.
It is surprising how many companies believe that to win the consumers over they need to be dazzled by all these different effects and visuals without actually explaining and relating their message back to the customer, however it will become a distraction to your audience with all this emphasis on visuals and your actual message will be lost.
Presentation content is not for you as the presenter, it is for your audience.
It is your content that will allow your audience to connect with your message and take them on a journey with you. Good content will explain and educate your audience about your product or service and give the audience a message they will remember. If you are presenting on a topic about change then it can inspire your audience to want to change with you and commit themselves to helping facilitate this change.
Steve Jobs gave numerous presentations during his time as CEO at Apple and is well known for his presentations to this day. But why? He kept his audience engaged, he allowed his content to be simple and full of emotive language which meant that his audience understood and related to him – this allowed him in return to be able to get a stronger message across.
So how can you as a presenter create a compelling argument that people will walk away remembering and wanting more?
- Know and write to your audience.
- Structure your content based on the time you have.
- Create emotive connections in your content.
- Don’t leave your written content until the last minute.
- Be clear about the key message you want your audience to leave with before you start writing.
Your audience are there for you to engage and relate to them and learn. Make the most of it.