Why having a helicopter view is so important for presenting…
Once in a while, I feel like I am being struck with lightening! Do you know that feeling? You read something and you think, yeay this is it! You intuitively feels that something like “ the truth” hits you in the face.
Yesterday I experienced this, reading a phrase in the amazing book “Resonate” by Nancy Duarte. It unfolds and gives words to the truth of the difference between a presentation that is boring and does not get the message across and a presentation that is professional, gives added value and that sticks with you.
What is this subtle but oh so important difference? What is this step that you can take, to bring the level up of your presentation not one, but several notches?
To answer this questions we first have to view the picture down below that I wrote about earlier. This picture was also designed by Nancy Duarte.
According to her view, we need to marry report (read content) with story to get a good presentation. Meaning, only giving very information dense, flat, abstract content, does not work for a presentation. People will tune out, start to yawn and they will not remember a thing.
Only giving story, will not work either. Cause, hé, we are at work, not in a theatre after all. So, what we need to do, is to combine the two.
You could see story as the sugar that gets the medicine (Report = Content) down.
If you grasp this, than we can go to the phrase that hit me in the face and that will bring the level up of your presentation.
“Presentations should unfold, simplify, clarify, interpret, and illuminate”. And this nails it!!!
How so? In practise this means that you need to have a helicopter view to add story. Or in plain Dutch “boven de inhoud staan” to be able to give story. So, you literally have to step up, out of your content, one step higher, to get to this helicopter view and thereby get the level up.
Now, this is not new, I have been telling this to my coachees since the day I started. But, what Nancy Duarte does, is giving it a whole new perspective, by using the different verbs to clarify. And this gives words and meaning to an abstract notion like: “boven de inhoud staan” or having a helicopter view.
Unfold: you should not simply list information and be done with it. You need something extra, you need to tell a story. Take the audience on a journey and unfold your information, step by step.
Simplify: you should not try to be complete and get all the stuff in there. This you can do in a report, but not in a presentation. You need to be the guide and simplify, so people understand. (one of the biggest challenges for most people to accept). A professional presenter knows he has to kill his darlings, to give a good digestible presentation that works.
Clarify: you do not simply give the information and be done with it. You have an extra role. You need to clarify what you are talking about.
Interpret: same here. You give added value in a presentation. Not by, simply giving the figures or content. No, you are the expert and give added value by interpreting the content. Otherwise, why have the presentation?
Illuminate: literally “shed light on”. What is special about the content, what could people overlook? It is your job to be the one with the torch and shine light and put attention to what is key.
So, take your presentation a few notches higher. Have the helicopter view and not only re-chew, copy and spit out the information but: unfold, simplify, clarify, interpret and illuminate!!!
And hereby become a wonderful content – story teller. 😉