Presentation fast fix #3: say dog, see dog

Debra Jasper
Debra Jasper // August 13, 2014

So you’ve followed the advice in this blog series and added a killer opening to your presentation, divided your content into chapters and reduced the text down to what’s most essential to share.

Now all that’s left is to throw in some photos to “pretty it up.”  Right?

Actually, findng the right visuals for your presentation can take a lot of time—well, at least it should take a lot of time.

I’m not talking about the typical night-before-your-talk-frenzied-search for iStock photos of Abercrombie-attractive models in business suits. And I’m definitely not talking about the company logo or other visual clutter you’re tempted to put on every slide.

I’m talking about finding the kind of visuals that drive home your key points in a vivid, powerful way—without competing with you for attention.

Fast Fix #3, the third in this series of blog posts on the Five Fast Fixes for Powerful Presentations is actually an old broadcast journalism rule: Say dog, see dog.

In other words, when you’re talking about a dog, show pictures of a dog.

Sounds simple enough.

And if you are the leader of the Humane Society, you’re in luck. It’s pretty easy to put together a presentation filled with cuddly, big-eyed puppies that engage audiences and tug at heartstrings.

But if instead of a dog you’re talking about topics like anti-money laundering, risk mitigation or why doctors should update their profiles on LinkedIn, things get a lot trickier.

So here are a few guidelines for creating presentations that show, not tell:

Continue reading the full post here.  Next up: Fast Fix #4: Templates are evil.

Want more? See Fast Fix #1, which focused on how to think like a journalist when structuring your presentations. Fast Fix #2 talks about the importance of reducing the text and keeping it simple.

Or, learn more about our popular keynote talks, where we cover topics like:

  • Five Fast Fixes for Powerful Presentations
  • The Three Curses Standing Between You and Your Audience
  • The New Realities: The Three Shifts Today’s Business Leaders Can’t Afford to Ignore

By Debra Jasper (adapted from her guest post in Columbus CEO)