THE PROBLEM OF BALANCE
Most presentations I attend suffer from a problem: one of the main parts is way too long and the others have been shrunk accordingly to fit the time frame. You cannot predict which one it is going to be. It's almost like a horoscope; there are certain types of people who are comfortable presenting the exposition part all day long, some who prefer to discuss the problem part, others who enjoy the middle part, and finally those who over-discuss the call for action part. However, to have a complete story, you need to do all of them. Let me tell you what exactly is wrong which each of these approaches and how to deal with it.
The vast majority of the presentations I see have just an exposition. Sadly, this has become the gold standard of corporate communications. Why? Because this approach requires a minimal amount of emotional labor. If you don't want to invest emotionally, just give them a very long introduction and nothing else.
Here is a sequence of slides from an actual corporate presentation I was once asked to re-create (I know it's hard, but please bear with me):
- About [company name]
- Mission and vision statements
- Key corporate values
- Worldwide headquarters
- Regional offices
- International presence
- Quality statement
- Products of [company name]
- Broad-based brand portfolio
- Key facts and figures
- Award-winning brands
- Competitive advantages of [company name]
The last slide included the company's name again. That's it. Not even a “thank you” ...