How to Build Better Presentations and Kickass Campaigns
For a solid 8 years out of school, I did a mediocre job of pitching business/campaigns to clients and prospects. I would normally lean on attempts at what ‘felt right’ to craft an engaging presentation and add a little drama to the reveal of high-quality creative work. The work alone was solid enough to seal the deal much of the time, but I was putting little thought into the strategy of the presentation itself.
Now that we’re doing deeper engagements with clients, and personally I’m building out workshops on self-care / emotional intelligence, I’ve adopted a process that has boosted engagement and attention for occasions when I’m in front of a group. Fortunately, these same lessons apply when I’m contributing my part to the strategic process in crafting a new campaign for a client as well.
While empathy is a dire necessity in connecting a message to a person, empathy is not my strong suit. I tend to make decisions based on facts, or I go with my gut; either way, emotions aren’t really involved. I’m essentially a robot with glasses that cusses sometimes.
So when we’re trying to build a presentation that needs to...
- Convince people of something, or ...
- Educate people on a series of concepts
We now follow a consistent process to build a presentation that’s best engineered to change behavior. Before we even build out an outline, I will state a clear answer to these three questions:
- What do I want people to think?
- What do I want people to feel?
- What do I want people to do?
Your brain can grasp concepts well and retain info through a process like this, as it triggers the different learning pathways that are effective for most people. This also traces along the way most people act on decisions:
- They receive information to analyze/understand
- They feel an emotion tied to any new, engaging information or concepts
- They will act on any conclusions they draw from the first two steps
A quick example:
We’re working with a client right now that sells tortilla chips. These chips are typically the most expensive bag, sitting next to 5-15 other options, most of which are big brands backed by millions of dollars in advertising. Our client’s chips cost $4.99 a bag, while the big brands cost $4.29 and the store brand costs as little as $2.99.
- We want people to think “these chips are unique and higher quality than the alternatives.”
- We want people to feel pride in serving the best chips for their guests at the next house party / game-night / barbeque.
- We want people to recognize the brand in the store and put the damn bag in their basket.
There are a dozen other steps in crafting the creative brief for a campaign or building out a pitch deck/presentation, but doing this exercise first, then checking your final draft against these questions, has proven to be an excellent method of engaging an audience and changing behavior.
Disclaimer: These concepts are by no means proprietary but I saw the importance of Think. Feel. Do. through working with friend/client/quasi-mentor Michael Burcham. His writings are better than mine so go check him out here.
I love talking about this stuff, so if you want to talk about how you can do this for your brand too, hit me up and let's grab coffee or beers.