Free E-book - Change the way you present the MINIMAL WAY

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Short E-book on how to present using the MINIMAL (TM) approach to presentations by Metamorph

Short E-book on how to present using the MINIMAL (TM) approach to presentations by Metamorph

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  • 1. Free E-BOOK Making your presentations more powerful the MINIMAL™ way By M.S.Ramgopal Courtesy: Metamorph, a training company
  • 2. Introduction What comes to your mind when you think of a ‘regular’ PowerPoint® presentation? Do you get the image of busy slides with rows and rows of text, followed by incomprehensible graphs and tables? Welcome to the club! You are not alone. Unfortunately, what passes for ‘regular’ presentations in corporate board rooms and educational institutions is an insult to human intelligence. Every day thousands of people hurt each other with bullet points. If you have been in the corporate world for even a year, you would have already developed an impenetrable immune system to the ‘regular’ slide attacks. So, the natural question you might have in your mind is – “Do I really need to be trained to make presentations?” My answer is ‘No’. You read it right. You do not need any training on presentations, if all you want to do is to stand up there and subject your audience to another ‘regular’ presentation.
  • 3. Your audience would any way keep nodding their heads politely (whenever they briefly come back from their mental vacation). After all, it is a skill they have been practicing from their college days. They know they are better off sitting and nodding their head, than to go there and make a presentation themselves. But, if you want to make a presentation that brings a meaningful difference to you and the audience, you need to be trained. You need to make an honest commitment to yourself to work on your skill. Unless you are truly committed to add impact to your presentations, there is no point in going ahead with the rest of this document. You may click on the little box on the top right column of the screen and save your time. If you are reading this sentence, then I assume that you have made the commitment to add power to your presentations. Congratulations! You have made the right decision. You are wasting your potential as a leader of your business, as a trainer of a team, as a sales person of your product/service by letting your presentations to be at the ‘regular’ levels. It is time to shift from the ‘regular’. You need a better method to create presentations to register your ideas in the minds of your audience.
  • 4. You need a powerful yet simple method to hold the attention of your audience and persuade them to buy your products during your group sales presentations. You need a practical way to inspire your teams to go beyond their call of duty. In this report, I will introduce you to such a method. I will show you a remarkable new way to present your ideas. I will teach you a process that will take your presentations from the ‘regular’ levels to superior levels. Of course I can not teach you the whole process in this ‘free report’. You may consider buying our ‘Make Powerful presentations’ CD to understand the process completely. All you need to do is to send us a mail requesting for ‘Make Powerful Presentations’ CD to MPP@metamorphtraining.com. (The CD MRP is Rs. 1999/-). However in this report, I will try to give you as much information as possible to bring a meaningful change in your approach to presentations. Let us begin the journey…
  • 5. Chapter I: The story of ‘Regular Raghu’ Why do people make ‘regular’ presentations? You will find the answer when you listen to the story of ‘Regular Raghu’. When there is a ‘Razor’ Ramon and ‘Iron’ Tyson, why not Regular Raghu? Huh! Raghu is Branch manager of ‘The Usual Company Ltd.’. This is the story of his presentation to his CEO. Regular Raghu follows the world famous ‘Gather and Crop’ method followed by any regular presenter. Here is the step by step account of the process… Raghu started preparation for his presentation just 2 days prior to the CEO’s visit. (You feel this is unfair? You think he deserved to be given more time to prepare for his presentation? Relax. Raghu knew about CEO’s visit from a month before. Only that he was so caught up in his routine tasks that he never found time to create the presentation earlier). So, he started his preparation by opening the ‘Powerpoint® program on his computer. On the first slide, he wrote the topic of his presentation – ‘My branch performance’.
  • 6. Then he launched a global hunt to pool in all the slides that have ever been made on the topic he mentioned on the first slide. He gathered slides from his earlier presentations and from the presentations made by his colleagues in the past. He ‘imported’ slides from the marketing team, HR team and even from some strange website he sniffed out from Google. He always believed in fair opportunity to all slides. If a slide had any trace of connection to the topic on his first slide, it deserved a place in his ‘first cut’. Jitney sev; utni juice (The more the apples, the more the juice) – is his favorite quote. Once he finished making his monster ‘first cut’ presentation which had an obscene number of slides (413 to be precise), he launched his next phase. He had to crop his first cut presentation to fit into the time allocated. So, like a master strategist, he worked backwards. Since he knew that he only had 30 minutes to present, and each slide ‘regularly’ took one minute to explain, he wanted the final presentation to have 30 slides. But, the task of cropping the first cut proved more difficult than he imagined. He could not make up his mind on what to remove. Every point in every slide seemed important enough to be included in the presentation.
  • 7. Somehow, after a lot of struggle Raghu managed a 42-slide presentation, with the hope of speeding through the material within the given time. He also attached a 37 slides presentation as a back up (which he skillfully hid at the end) just in case the CEO asked questions related to aspects not included in the presentation. He ensured that his slides had great graphs which showed the performance trend of every staff for the past 2 years. He also included tables for his performance versus target in each of the product categories for each month for the last 2 years. He simply could not wait to parade those numbers to his CEO. The D-day finally arrived. Raghu started with a fierce determination to finish all the slides in the allotted time, and even eke out some grace time to unhide the hidden slides to showcase the branch in all its glory. But, to his horror, the CEO got stuck on the third slide for 15 minutes. He started asking all the uncomfortable questions from the graphs. Unfortunately, Raghu did not expect the CEO to notice those ‘extra details’ which were present as part of the page. Raghu stood there like a novice Italian bull fighter who only knew how to draw the attention of the bull, and had no clue how to deflect its fury.
  • 8. As expected, CEO ‘suddenly realized’ that he was expected somewhere else. On his way out, he requested Raghu to send the slides to his office. Regular Raghu lost a great opportunity to make an impression on his seniors. He felt guilty that he let down his team, which worked so hard to produce great results that were worth showcasing. But ‘Regular Raghu’ quickly consoled himself by blaming Power point® program for the debacle. He told himself, “I guess this is the best I can come up with, given the limitations of the program. To my credit, I gave the slides a ‘cool’ look by using a jazzy template from one of the websites. I even used some nice animations and transitions to keep the interest of the audience alive. I admit that my slides were packed with content. But then, how can I leave free white space on a slide, considering that there is recession everywhere? Does any one realize the effort it took to put together all those detailed graphs? I deserve better. I am waiting for the world to acquire the taste for my kind of presentations” He promptly pressed the ‘unhide all’ option and sent all the 79 slides to CEO’s office. Thus, one more presentation disappeared into oblivion. Raghu moved on to gather the ‘first cut’ for his next presentation due the next day morning. Does the story of Regular Raghu ring a bell?
  • 9. What is wrong with ‘Gather and Crop’ approach to presentations? Let us find the answer in the next chapter. However, if you want to get into action right away and learn a revolutionary new approach to presentations, send a purchase request for ‘Powerful Presentations’ CD to ‘MPP@metamorphtraining.com. Visit our website http://www.metamorph.webs.com to view sample presentation and know more about the CD, which is truly the first of its kind in India.
  • 10. Chapter II: The difference starts from the very beginning Einstein once said, “It takes genius to see the obvious”. You will appreciate the brilliance of that observation when you see how people create presentations. Strangely, regular presentations differ from excellent presentations not in their finer details, but in their obvious lapses. There is a fundamental difference in the approach of a regular presenter and an excellent presenter. Let us understand the difference and the reasons for the difference. We all learnt our approach to presentations from our regular professors. We refined our skill in making regular presentations by observing other regular presenters in the corporate world. The approach and the look and feel of regular presentations are so much a part of our DNA now, that anything different feels like violation of our closely held beliefs. We wish to remove the smoke screen in front of your eyes and introduce you to a fresh approach to presentations based on two simple values: Common sense and Simplicity. But before that, let us learn how a regular professor approaches a presentation.
  • 11. (Disclaimer: I wish to swear on my inner soul that I have great respect for all the professors of this world. Without what they taught us, we could not have progressed so far in our careers. The term ‘regular professor’ denotes only those who make those drab presentations which are more potent than the most effective tranquilizers. If you are a professor reading this e-book, I unconditionally declare that I am not referring to you as ‘regular professor’). A regular professor has knowledge reservoir in his head. If you have special powers to look inside that reservoir, you would see some complex formulae, complicated equations, elaborate proofs for some weird theorem all entangled like noodles floating in lots and lots of words. When he gets an opportunity to teach a class of students, he opens the flood gates of the reservoir. He inundates students with information, in the hope that at least something will stick after the back wash. But, the result is not always favorable. By the time the bell rings some students sink and some swim. The professor coolly walks off to the next class to open the flood gates again. This is what we call as ‘downloading approach to presentations’. Since that is the only approach we were exposed to, we internalized the approach and made it our own. When we enter the corporate world, our default approach is to first create the reservoir and then open the flood gates.
  • 12. Breathe easy. There is a better approach, which is far simpler and far more effective than the downloading approach. It is the approach of an expert salesperson. A sales person does not enter the room full of prospects with the objective of displaying all that he knows in this holy universe. He has one simple purpose in mind. He wants his audience to buy his point of view and take action. His entire communication is targeted to achieve this singular objective. He does not dump any more information than what is absolutely necessary for the audience, to take an informed decision. An expert sales person focuses on ‘asking’ rather than ‘telling’. He presents ‘benefits’ instead of ‘features’. He takes the effort to simplify the complex information to make it easy for the audience to understand. Such presentations are a treat to watch. In short, the key difference between the approach of a ‘regular professor’ and that of an ‘expert salesperson’ is – A professor thinks ‘from me to you’, whereas a salesperson thinks ‘from you to me’. This simple difference is the foundation of our proprietary approach called ‘Minimal approach to presentations™’ You can learn about how this revolutionary approach can transform your presentations by placing a purchase request for Powerful presentations CD by sending an email to
  • 13. ‘MPP@metamorphtraining.com’. You need our product if you care about your career. We will discuss the first step in creating a presentation in the next chapter. Chapter III: the 3 critical questions Have you ever observed the expression on the face of a child, who is tasked with an arduous responsibility of finishing a big bowl of tasteless porridge? That is the precise expression I see on the faces of people, when they begin their preparation for a presentation. They doodle and dawdle around the subject, till the proverbial kick in the butt comes in the form of a reminder mail from the bosses. Let me ease your pain a bit (you of course know what to do when you want more information). The secret key word for a great start in creating a presentation is ‘Clarity’. You need clear answers for three questions:
  • 14. 1. Who is your target audience? 2. What do you want them to do? 3. Why should they do it? Unless the above questions are answered you end up making another ‘regular presentation’. As you would have observed, there is no earth shattering intelligence in those three questions. I even heard you mutter, “Elementary, my dear Watson”. But strangely, it never occurs to regular presenters to have answers to these basic questions, before they launch an intellectual crusade. So, let us start with the first question: Who is your target audience? This innocuous question stumps most presenters. They just can’t make up their mind if their presentation should pitch to the most informed member in the audience, the most senior member in the audience (on some rare occasions they overlap), the least informed member or the least interested member in the audience. The thumb rule is – ‘Pitch to the last person’. Who is the last person? The last person is the one who needs to take the intended action. It is not to do with knowledge or interest levels. However, sometimes
  • 15. when you make an information presentation on a new product or process, the last person is the one who knows the least about the subject. The key is to have a clear view of this last person before you start your preparation for the presentation. If need be, have his/her name written down in front of you. If it helps, put his/her photo in front of your face. The clearer you are about the last person, the sharper your presentation gets. Are you wondering if the others in the room will get bored if you address only the last person? Not so! You can learn about methods to make your presentations so that the last person as well as the others stay with you right through by placing a purchase request for Powerful presentations CD by sending an email to ‘MPP@metamorphtraining.com’. Now, that you know the last person, it is time for the next question: What do you want the person to do? Regular presenters have this annoying habit of flirting, without ever getting to proposing. It is because they were never clear about what they want the audience to do in the first place. Here is the remedy. Keep the last person’s photo in front of your face and say aloud, “I want you to -------------------------------”. What you fill in the blanks can make a big difference to your presentation.
  • 16. The final step towards a clear beginning is to give strong reasons why the last person should do what you ask him to do. At this point you do not need to draw up a laundry list of reasons. Just the top 3 reasons would be adequate. For example: Raghu may try something like this… Who is the last person? The CEO of the company What I want him to do? To approve an additional headcount of 3 sales people for the branch. Why should he do it? 1. Our per man productivity is highest among all the branches 2. Our market penetration in the catchment area of the branch is just 12% due to inadequate sales force in the branch 3. There is a potential to add 1.2 Crores of revenue in the next 9 months with 3 additional sales people. Do you see the structure of your presentation emerging? Do you see what data to provide to strengthen your argument? Can you visualize the CEO sitting up to take notice of your request? That is the power of the 3 critical questions.
  • 17. If you wish to know more about the subject and go through some practical examples, send us a purchase request for our Powerful presentations CD to MPP@metamorphtraining.com I know you adequately practiced answering the 3 critical questions for your presentations. Now what?
  • 18. Chapter IV: Digging for insights In the previous chapters we found that most regular presentations are destined to fail from the word go, because the creators start dabbing colors on the canvas, before making up their mind about what they want to paint. This chapter shows you how to create a thumbnail sketch before you begin painting your masterpiece. So far, you made a great start by having a clear purpose to your presentation. Now, it is time to add depth to the points you include in your presentation. But, to get deep, insightful points is hard work. In fact, one of the key reasons why people dread to create presentations is the time it takes to get some good thoughts that are worth putting on the slides. I understand, your presentations are too important for you to wait for some divine inspiration to set in. You have too little time to lie soaking in a bath tub and jump out naked shouting “Eureka! Eureka!!” You need an efficient way to get your thoughts flowing quickly. The answer to your problem is mind mining. To understand mind mining, you need to first understand the way ideas get generated in your mind.
  • 19. Let me explain the idea generation process using a simple comparison. Have you ever tried to fill water from a tap immediately after filling an empty tank? You will initially get no water in the tap. You will only hear the noise of wind gushing through the tube. Then slowly water starts to come through the tap. The water that comes initially is all muddy. You have to throw away the water you collect initially, as it is not usable. Later on, once the flow settles, you begin to get clear water from the tap. The water keeps flowing as long as there is water in the tank. In the same way, when you start thinking about a new topic for the presentation you may not get any ideas that are worth putting on the slides. But, if you take time to exhaust those superfluous ideas, you will start getting better ideas on the subject. The deeper you get into a point, the more insightful the points begin to be. It is these insights that make the difference between a regular presentation and an excellent presentation. I want to prove the way this works. Take a piece of paper. Write down all the thoughts that come to your mind, when you think of the word – egg. Now, pick on the words that came to you on the first round and pen down all the thoughts that come to you. Remember to write only
  • 20. the key words. Do this one more time. Now, the kind of ideas that you get are far deeper and superior compared to the first set of ideas you got when you thought about the word egg. For example, the first set of thoughts that come to my mind when I think about egg are – the white color of egg, the oval shape, the weight of the egg etc. Now, as I keep on, I start getting ideas on the egg being used to make omelet, egg giving birth to chicken which in turn can be made into a tasty dish etc. If I delve deeper, I start getting thoughts about how egg represents hope for a new life. The conceptual thoughts that come in the third level, show a very different dimension to the topic I chose. The process of mind mining is explained step-by-step in our CD- Powerful Presentations. The CD covers way beyond what is covered in this free E-book. It covers everything from thinking and structuring for creating content, to creating visual slides and presenting data to aspects of delivery. To learn MINIMAL approach and completely change the way you present, check our website Store or write to us at mpp@metamorphtraining.com End of this document