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Fast Co. Design has a good article on branding, which I believe can also apply to presentations.

I’m coming around to the idea that a pitch is more than just talking about the proposal – it’s far more complicated than that.  Communicating an idea involves careful word selection and a great deal of design – both visual and verbal.

And communicating an idea is more than just explaining what you want to do.  It’s about making a problem sound interesting.  Getting the audience interested and making your proposal stand out requires telling them things they don’t know, in a form that gets their attention.

So this article continues in this theme, and describes how to construct a far more compelling presentation (they talk about brand, but I think that it still applies).

From the link:

Show, don’t tell.

Your audience will learn more about your story by experiencing it directly, not by being told about it. Narration is usually an indicator of laziness on the part of the author. Could you do away with the “About Us” section of your website and still have everyone understand your story?

Know what your story is about, not just what happens.

This is the most important thing to figure out, and also the most difficult. It’s similar to the difference between your product and your brand. The product is what your company sells, but the brand is what your company is about. You must know this inside and out in order to encapsulate the brand and communicate it effectively from the beginning.

Empathize with your audience.

Involve people on their terms, not yours. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes, and develop the best understanding you can about what they do and do not understand about your product and category.

Be honest.

Acknowledge what’s difficult for the customer in the experience you provide. If it’s a necessary evil, present it as evidence of what makes it worth the trouble.


Not everyone starts with the same level of understanding about your category or your product. Try to educate the newcomers while respecting the regulars.

Make it worth seeing more than once.

Level-setting cues become part of the ritual of anticipation for your repeat customers. Add little details that the casual customer would likely overlook. Don’t worry; your best customers will notice.



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