Much has changed since I last addressed the subject of PowerPoint presentations in an Art of Client Service chapter called “The Zen of PowerPoint.” It's not that what I wrote has become wrong; it's that PowerPoint has evolved to the point at which I'd like to suggest some new guidelines for you to consider, best told through a story.
Early on in a relationship with a new client, my colleagues and I were invited to present an introductory briefing on direct response television (DRTV) advertising to an audience largely unfamiliar with it. This would be our first time presenting to this client. It was an opportunity to make an impression. Or not make an impression. We were inclined to strive for the former and avoid the latter. Preparation of the presentation was in my hands.
I know a bit about DRTV, having spent the better part of my career as a direct response marketer, and I know that much of it—most of it, if I'm being honest—is junk, and discussion of it can be reduced to one word: boring. To avoid both, I figured I would need to do the following five things:
Find a presentation title that transcends the obvious. It would have been easy to give in and simply call this “An Introduction to DRTV” or something equally unimaginative. No way. The timing of the presentation was just before television's biggest advertising event: the NFL Super Bowl. My title:
That was surely one step above the obvious, and injected a bit of humor into ...