Have you ever led a meeting, handed out the slide deck, began discussing the topic and while still on slide 1 or 2, most of your audience has already flipped to the last slide? I’m sure you’ve seen this before… Perhaps you’ve been the one flipping to the last slide, or perhaps you were the frustrated presenter. It happens all the time. (And in a world with tons of virtual meetings, we may not know for sure that this phenomenon is happening. But let’s be honest with each other and ourselves… its happening. Constantly.)
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, “How do I prevent people from automatically skipping to the last slide?“
I usually respond by asking, “Why do you think they go there first?“
Everyone usually says some version of, “They want to see the summary information right away.“
And then I usually say, “Then if they want to see the last slide first, why do you put all that info on the last slide? Why make them wait?“
Business storytelling is counter-intuitive. This is not like a movie or a good book. The point is not to keep your audience in suspense until the very end. The point with business communication, especially in the 21st century, is to get to the point quickly, explain to people where you are taking them, and then backtrack just enough to explain to them how you got there.
Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?
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