The 3 pillars of impactful presentations – Part 1: Content

02 Feb 2017

  • Leadership
  • Content

By: Slidemaster

What does it take to turn an ordinary presentation into an engaging one that leaves a lasting impression on your audience? Is it the content? The design? Or does the delivery make the biggest difference?

Slidemaster, with an expert team of designers, writers, illustrators and animators, have accumulated a wealth of experience when it comes to creating winning presentations that WOW your audience.

Over the years, we have come to the conclusion, that all of the above elements are key for more powerful presentations:  content, design and delivery are what we consider the 3 pillars of an impactful presentation.

Today’s article with the focus on content is the first of a three-part series in which we will cover all of these key elements.

For many people, drafting a compelling narrative can quickly turn into a massive challenge. To overcome this obstacle, we have put together a number of hints that will help propel you in the right direction.

1. Know your WHY

Know what you want to achieve with your presentation. For example, you may want to entertain, inspire, inform, educate your audience or persuade them to take action. Get a clear idea on your motivation and why your presentation is important – both to you and your audience. Give them a reason why they should care and how your WHY relates to them.

2. Get clear on your key messages

Identify your key messages and consider what you want your audience to recall after your presentation. For many subject areas there is much more content than can delivered within a given timeframe. Hence, you will need to select the most relevant content and remove any irrelevant information – as people can only retain limited bits of new, unrelated information.

3. Structure your presentation

Present your ideas in a logical and structured way to guide your audience and help them understand how you came to your conclusions. Our minds automatically categorize information and organize similar elements into meaningful patterns. Structure brings order and clarity and enables understanding. Effective presentations have a clear theme, a beginning and an end, as well as a common thread between topics and concrete objectives. Brief summaries and transition templates facilitate orientation.

4. Consider your target audience

Keep your audience in mind when creating your content ideas. To best engage your audience – do the work to find out what your audience is interested in, their level of experience, knowledge, needs, background, etc. The more you know about your audience, the more effectively you can tailor your ideas and messages to them. Adapt your language to your audience and choose terms that they will understand. If you use technical terms, define them.

5. Create credibility and trust

Gather accurate and relevant information about your subject matter to generate your intended results. In today’s information centric society, anyone can instantly falsify your bold statements. Support your messages through personal experience, survey results, testimonials, etc. This will establish credibility and trust – both key elements to build rapport with your audience.

6. Master the Art of Storytelling

Most business presentations focus on pure facts, statistics and numbers. To avoid “death by PowerPoint”, take your audience on a journey and tell them a powerful story that captures their hearts and minds. Humans are hardwired for stories – our minds are story-driven. When we are being told a story, our whole brain gets activated. However dry your subject – it will come to life when using the art of storytelling.

Every successful presentation starts with a rock-solid and quality content tailored to your audience which you then build into a winning story to have the maximum impact.

However, while great content is a necessary condition, it is not a sufficient one. So stay tuned for future posts on design and delivery – we trust that our effective framework will help you create winning presentations.

In the meantime, email me on [email protected] to find out how our creative team at Slidemaster can bring your story to life.

The original article first appeared on the Slidemaster website. Please visit for more information.

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CATEGORY Leadership Content