The 3 biggest problems with any presentation or pitch

by Daniel Batten on May 10, 2013

  • No allure
  • No authenticity
  • No alignment

Miss out these 3 and nothing else you do really matters. Because no-one will remember, care about, or listen to what you said anyway.

Here’s 3 ways to start solving these issues.


Visual aids: create allure
What most people do: destroy the allure of your message with a sleep-inducing use of visual aids.
Root cause: Copying what you’ve seen others to – not what works.

First steps to solution: If you want to know what works and you can’t afford to pay to find out, check out a Scott Harrison pitch – notice the formula he’s using and copy it.

Content: create authenticity
What most people do: Information over relevance
Root cause: Focus on What you want to say” not what they need to hear”

First steps to solution: Turn preparation on its head by getting out of yours. Practice talking with others – not writing by yourself to see what’s working. Start this early.

Structure: create alignment
What most people do: Assume a greeting at the start, a few points in the middle, and a summary at the end = structure.
Root cause: not considering how their audience needs to hear information, and in what order

First steps to solution: Answer the 3 questions “why this, why you, and why now?” in that order before you say anything else.

There’s more to it than that. But that’s a good starting point. Remember authentic doesn’t just mean “be yourself” it means also “acknowledge that you are in a dialog with others when you present.” Failure to acknowledge this, and going off and doing your own thing without consideration for how others need to receive information is one of the most inauthentic acts you can commit in a profession.

If you forget about your audience at any stage of the preparation,  they will reward you in kind by forgetting about you during it.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Uma Chopra24 May 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Wow – powerful, thought invoking content- thanks Daniel!

Sally Mabelle May 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Perfect timing as I prepare for my presentation this Sunday… I love how you worded the pointers in a short, sharp, easy-to-follow and remember way…thank you 🙂

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