Different types of communication exist in the best presentations

Bring us your idea and we’ll meld various types of communication into a crystal clear, engaging and memorable presentation  

Active Presence helped me prepare a critical presentation for a key client. As a result we won more than €200,000 of sales training

Of all the different types of communication used in the workplace, the ubiquitous presentation offers the most hope, yet is the most abused.

The abuse is mostly committed by time-poor harassed employees, who are doing their best to fulfil an inadequate brief from a similarly over-busy colleague. Inflexible management review meetings also take their toll by insisting all updates comply with an ineffective template of bullet-point slides.

The upshot is a hurried last minute glance, prior to the content being delivered. The lack of preparation time results in the slides being a crutch for the presenter, instead of being a vital element in a performance that generates a meaningful, engaging and illuminating conversation.

Sound familiar? Let us show you the way forward.
different types of communication

Successful presentations depend on the “3C’s” 

The “three C’s” which form the backbone of successful, engaging and memorable presentations are:

Comprehension            Craftsmanship                 Creativity

The following questions hint at their relevance. Give yourself a score out of ten for each one.

Comprehension – How well do you understand (and apply) the science underpinning how people remember information and make decisions?

Craftsmanship – How good are you at driving your chosen business graphics package (typically Microsoft PowerPoint)?

Creativity – How good are you at coming with different, innovative ways of explaining new concepts to colleagues, friends or family?

The remainder of this page explains the process we use to the “three C’s” to creating a new presentation exclusively for you. 


The three stages to your new presentation

There are three distinct stages to us delivering a new, highly engaging and memorable presentation for you.


Stage 1 – Your message and story

It’s vital to be crystal clear about the central proposition you want your presentation to deliver.

This stage is all about the message you want people to remember, the action you’d like them to take and how you’d like them to feel.

All too often we see presentations which are highly unlikely to deliver the results hoped for, even though tremendous effort has been expended in their construction. The central proposition is often clouded by irrelevant details.

You have to formally sign-off output from this stage before we start presentation production in stage 2.

Read more details about this stage…

Stage 2 – Presentation production

This stage is production stage. It’s largely internal to Active Presence and comprises us building your presentation.

We produce a new integrated performance, comprising a PowerPoint presentation united with a segue script. The combination of the two creates an engaging and highly memorable performance.

The audience sees a contiguous set of graphics and is largely unaware of there being distinct, separate slides. The narrative presented in the segue script ensures that the presenter has a role to play. The audience is engaged by the fact that the presenter holds the key to the central message. They relate what the presenter says to what the graphics are showing them. This dramatically increases what they remember.

Read more details about this stage…


Stage 3 – Stage Craft Coaching

The integrated slides and script of your new presentation engage your audiences from a visual and auditory perspective. This stage ensures they are also kinaesthetically engaged.

We help you practice the delivery of your new presentation, ensuring you get maximum possible advantage from the unique combination of slides and script. You’ll also practice stage craft that will help your audiences remember your key messages. These techniques can be used on a conference stage, in a board room, or across an office desk.

You’re welcome to work with us in our own dedicated studio (complete with stage), or we can use your facilities. This stage can also be delivered via video conference for long distance clients.

I had more than 60 PowerPoint slides when I went to see Chris Davidson. By the time he had worked his magic, I had seven. Our business volumes have gone up by 30% and our turnover has doubled

Stage 1 Details

(Continued from above)

There is a wide body of expert academic research we refer to when creating highly effective presentations. Having the principal inputs defined up-front is vital, as these create the foundation for the entire presentation.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

This quote from Abraham Lincoln perfectly illustrates the importance we attach to Stage 1. In almost all the projects we’ve executed, something vital has cropped up which until that point had been over-looked. It’s human nature that people get too close to their own material. Sit down with us and spend some time sharpening the axe.

This stage is fundamentally a documentation stage. Its outputs are:

1.     The overall objective of your presentation

2.     The messages you want your new presentation to deliver

Copies of your corporate brand guidelines, colours, logo, etc.   

Stage 2 Details

(Continued from above)

We use seven special techniques to maximise the amount of information that will be retained by your audiences. The segue script guides the presenter in what to say. It contains the click-points (which trigger the animations and transitions in the presentation file) and provides a suggested narrative for each.

The outputs from this stage are:

Output 1: PowerPoint File

The audience sees a contiguous set of graphics and is largely unaware of there being distinct, separate slides. With the exception of testimonials from your own clients, your new presentation contains very few words.

If appropriate and available we will integrate pre-existing video or audio recordings.

We work with PowerPoint as it’s requested by the majority of our clients. We also use Prezi and other specialist software (Adobe suite, etc.)

Output 2: Segue Script

You get a segue script that includes miniature pictures of all the slides in your presentation, along with a suggested narrative for each slide and all the click-points in the presentation.

The presentation and script are created to complement one another. Used together they transmit your message in an engaging and memorable way.

The script is as important as the presentation file, as the two balance each other in delivering your full message. In some instances the graphics will take the lead and in other instances the script will deliver the important message, with the graphics in a supporting role.

Output 3: Narrated Screen-Shot Video

You also get a narrated screen-shot video as a training and rehearsal aid. You’ll hear the presenter using the segue script while delivering your new presentation, which you’ll see full-screen.

You’ll hear the presenter say ‘click’ when triggering an animation or transition. This allows you to follow along with your own copy of the segue script and presentation file – something clients tell us they find invaluable and unique to our service.

Why you should use different types of communication within presentations

All too frequently the word ‘presentation’ is interpreted as a PowerPoint file (or Keynote, or Prezi). Although all these products are excellent, too many users see them as being the complete presentation, as distinct from being the foundation of one. The words, “I need a presentation” trigger a rush to open PowerPoint, whereas they ought to trigger a thought process centred on what the presentation needs to say, to whom and how.

More often than not we find clients have excellent resources that get overlooked in the rush to bash out bullet-point lists. For example: 

1.     Words – specifically client testimonials and other forms of social proof. Although presentations are primarily a visual communication, words can be very powerful when used sparingly and incorporated with care. (Not bullet-point lists though). We find many clients have good social proof material available, but it gets over-looked in the rush to get the presentation out of the door.

2.     Images – high quality full screen images, appropriate to your business and meaningful to your clients can also be very powerful. Make sure you either own the copyright, or have the copyright holder's permission. If you’ve had brochures printed in the past, or photography done for your website, you may well have good material available. In addition to a ban on bullet-points, please don’t use Microsoft ClipArt either. The images aren’t appropriate and the licence doesn’t cover commercial use.

3.     Diagrams – the overwhelming majority of your presentation should be graphical in one form or another. Process flows, graphs, matrices, etc. All the major business graphics packages are excellent at creating these.

4.     Video – brief video testimonials can punctuate presentations really well. Viewers will put up with an imperfect image provided the audio signal is crisp.

5.     Audio – most of the time the audio component of a presentation is provider the presenter, however there are times when the ability to bring in additional audio inputs is desirable.     

As you can see, all the major types of communication lend themselves to inclusion in a presentation, if treated appropriately.