Master Your Message Blog


Hotel put chandeliers and columns in all the wrong places

Chandeliers and columns!

On my travels in the corporate presentation world, I’ve seen some horrendous presentation set-ups. And in a lot of cases, people aren’t even aware of the problem.

The worst culprit – hotels. You’d think it would be different … for an industry whose income relies on the success of conventions …. Why do they stick chandeliers and posts right in the sight lines of the stage? And lights right above the screen?

Room lights are often the worst! But many presenters don’t pay any attention to them. Well, I’m telling you that they’re important! It can affect the way the audience reacts to both you and your presentation.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a convention situation or the board room; how you Read More …

The Ultimate Screen – what a title! Makes you think I’m going to show you the most wonderful, most powerful screen of all! Well, I am!

However, you have to buy into a simple, radical concept … pictures are more powerful than words.

We learn and remember best through pictures, not through written or spoken words. In fact, our brains only see pictures. We see words as lots of little “letter-pictures.”

Get this book: Brain Rules by John Medina. It’s full of lots of facts as to how we learn, particularly in presentations.

And get this … if we say something important in a presentation, 72 hours later, people will remember 10%. That number goes up to 65% if we add a picture.

Better still … Read More …

Why It’s Important to “Paint with Light”

The lightness of the colors you use in your presentation visuals is really important in getting your message across.

screen1webTake a look at this screen on the left. Where does your eye go? Most people would say … to the brightest part of the background. That’s the back of that lady’s head. In other words, the lightest object on the screen grabs your attention.

I learned this fact in television. “Lightness” is a really important element of shot composition.

I spent ten years of my life writing, producing, and directing television. The bulk of the commercials I produced promoted one product or another. I learned early on that if you don’t light the product properly, you’ll lose sales. Read More …

Presentation graphs are one of the most challenging visuals to get right. Often they’re cluttered and the message isn’t clear. They typically need someone to decipher them. That’s not helpful if you’re trying to be persuasive and make a sale.

Graphs should visually transmit their main message without any help from you, the presenter.

The key is to make the message obvious. I like to call it “active.” Make your graphs active; make them tell their own story.

Let’s look at an example.

Persuasive Presentation Graph 1 - not very persuasiveThere are two parts to active graphs. The first is the title. My starting title here is “Gross Monthly Sales.” That gives me an idea of what I’m looking at, but tells me nothing about the message I’m trying to convey.

A Read More …

Continued from my previous blog entry of the same title …


However, PowerPoint does have its place. Now, when I say that, I’ve produced dozens of conventions and been privy to some unbelievable PowerPoint extravaganzas.

Take this slide.

Can you imagine that anyone is every going to remember a single word of this?

And imagine if you’re in the front row and see one of these come up at the end of the presentation. There’s no where to go … and you know you likely have another half hour at least of the same thing!

And then the presenter takes the time to read it aloud to you line by excruciating line. In surveys, the number Read More …