Virtustream Blog

PowerPoints to Insomnia Cure

in Business


The title says it all…and we have all been through them…at first you are wide awake; by slide 93, you have made a grocery list, shopped online, read your email, instant messaged with a few folks and planned the weekend activities.

But, then there are the presentations that leave you with that feeling that, I just spent an hour of my life, but it was a quality hour, one I am glad I spent on gaining knowledge and more importantly wisdom.   Tidbit: Make sure your presentation instills wisdom and not knowledge.

If you are tasked with being a presenter, then you should think of it as the proverbial iceberg. Roughly 12-15% of it is above water and the part you see with the finished presentation. If you are taking the presentation seriously and it is a large audience, then put the ~85% below the water line as your effort to create the slides in the first place. I take a three-step process followed by my rule of THUMB:

Three Steps:

  1. The ‘Word Message’I first create/brainstorm/re-read once for content, flow, wordiness, message, concept etc. (rinse, lather and repeat)
  2. Then the ‘Visual Message’I look at the fonts, builds, pictures, diagrams, etc. If time permits, use this opportunity to engage your Creative Services department. Because Smart Art is neither Smart nor Art, and these folks can help you boost the production value of your presentations and help reduce the snore factor.
  3. With the third area as the ‘Talk Track Message’This is usually the part most cannot take with them and one to spend some quality time on.

Opposing THUMBs to follow:

T=Talk Track that is

H=Humble, with an

U=Understanding of the

M=Message, without the

B=Blah, Blah, Blah

Follow this process and three out of four dentists will agree it was a valuable presentation.



Twitter: @chrisgaudlip