Idea Incubator 20: Presentation Passion


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glass collection of Liane Sebastian
There is such a demand on communication skills that mistakes will be made. Interpersonally, good intentions go a long way to cover. Online, the mistake is just out there. To use passion as a salve online translates some of the components that work offline.

Entrepreneur and social activist Adrian Guglielmo is an expert in presenting ideas that use passion to convince. Passion is a strength when directed appropriately:

“Speak with passion—it shows immediately. If you have conviction, mistakes are forgiven and the good deeds are elevated.”
—Adrian Guglielmo, contributor to Women who Win at Work

How a message is conveyed is as important as the message itself. Passion puts a point on communication’s arrow. Investigate the role of presentation in your work:

What kinds of presentation can advance your career?

How can you prepare for presentation? Define your direction.
collect advice:

Describe which areas of presentation inspire your greatest conviction?

Which presentation is the most difficult for you?

Which areas can you improve to yield the most results?

Schedule next steps.

Presentation Considerations

Personal and cyber presentations are so different that many people capitalize on the gap. And many get into trouble in one or the other. The skills are very different, but both depend on a foundation of factors:

Brevity. People read faster than ever. Reading online means scanning down the middle, so short segments of text are absorbed the most. Being faced with a full screen of grey copy is daunting and rarely read throughout. Brevity demonstrates respect for the viewer’s time.

Pace. Viewers, whether sitting in an audience or in front of a screen, need to be visually guided. Eye-tracking on a page can be evaluated and measured. Is the most important content the largest and easiest to find? What does a viewer perceive first?

Drama. People are emotional first. The more content can inspire emotion, the more it can motivate. Stirring emotion online is harder than face-to-face, so graphics must carry the message. Balance light content (humor) with deeper meaning. How much can be said in images? How much can be personalized for individual viewers?

Expectations. If you don’t know what readers or viewers expect, you can’t present content of interest. Every industry has standards for appropriateness. Fulfilling expectations means knowing your audience.

Stories. People remember stories more than names, facts, for features. When a message is delivered, wrapped in a parable or an analogy, it becomes more entertaining and dramatic.

Simplify. It is easy to overcomplicate messages in the effort to be comprehensive. To make elegant, present no more than three major points. This will save time in preparation and increase perception.

Polish. Just like wearing a tailored suit with polished shoes, publications need to be dressed. Through testing, correcting, and being thorough in accuracy, crafting, and functionality, the work put into the quality of workmanship shows.

Style. Especially in a time of templates for websites, blogs, newsletters, etc., it has become even harder to stand out with distinction. Choose a style, commit to it, and build upon it. Anchor around a key signature. For example, this blog has a look and feel that mirrors my website that mirrors my business philosophy.

Goal. Purpose has to be obvious. Mystery can be used to build up to the point, but what change must the presentation ultimately initiate? For example, this blog is meant to inspire the reader to want to see my portfolio, to buy one of my books, and/or to hire me for a custom design  project.

Relevant. Most viewers react according to the avoid pain/attract pleasure concept. If a presentation falls in between, it lacks legs. Tying into current events, concerns, hot buttons, or dilemmas will plant the impression of being a helpful resource. The message soothes the pain points or clears the confusion.

Takeaway. Different than a goal, the audience discovers something useable, memorable, or educational. In selling creative services, the pitch can’t be about me but must be about how the prospect will benefit. Offering useful information is an introduction to creative services and demonstrates a give-to-get philosophy (see my article,  with this title “Give to Get,” (PDF) that collects ideas from contributors who demonstrate the wisdom in generosity.)

Presenting in person and online are so different that each of these factors must be adjusted on both sides to promote consistency. Personal meeting reveals rapport—so important in the development of design. Online, visuals must be strong enough to make mistakes minor and the overall message primary.

See the developing series of Idea Incubators.

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer


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One Response to “Idea Incubator 20: Presentation Passion”

  1. Idea Incubator 24: Emotions as Creative Guideposts « Wisdomofwork's Blog Says:

    […] that can keep the motivation strong through the development of large projects. #20: “Presentation Passion” How an idea is presented can be as important as the idea itself. Investigate the qualities […]

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