Screen shot 2011-10-24 at 4.31.17 PM

I’m flying to Tokyo this afternoon to speak at ad:tech Tokyo about the changing agency/brand landscape.

To develop an engaging presentation is hard work. Too bad, most presentations are not engaging and feel like patchwork.


Because most presenters work modular not linear.

When people speak a lot, they tend to revisit their old presentations to create a new one. They take one module out, add another module from another presentation and cobble everything together. It’s like a potpourri of leftovers. It tastes like nothing and leaves a bitter aftertaste.

A good presentation is like a good story. And good stories can’t be glued together through modules. Good stories are linear and lead people somewhere.

Never use your old presentations to create a new one.

Don’t open Power Point unless the presentation is alive in your mind.


– Research your audience.

– Research the conference. What will make a difference?

– Outline the presentation on paper first.

– Then on post-it notes. Put them on the wall. Leave them up for a day and return.

– Outline your presentation on paper again.

– Finish the presentation in Power Point. That part shouldn’t take longer than an hour. Visualize everything. Don’t put your speaker notes on the slides.

– Tell the story without slides.

– Use the slides to give your story visual oomph!

Congratulations, your speech might just change the world.