Presentations: Craft the Best Content, Tell the Best Story | Scott Schwertly | Skillshare

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Presentations: Craft the Best Content, Tell the Best Story

teacher avatar Scott Schwertly, CEO of Ethos3 | Presentation Design & Training

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Introduction: Why Present?


    • 3.

      Determine Your Objective


    • 4.

      The Big Three


    • 5.

      Theme Development


    • 6.

      The Presentation Outline


    • 7.

      The Slide Outline


    • 8.

      Tension and Discovery


    • 9.

      Visual Metaphor


    • 10.

      User Experience Story


    • 11.

      Heroic Journey


    • 12.

      The Only


    • 13.

      Next Steps


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About This Class

Craft a great message. Your audience will remember.

The heart of a great presentation is what you say and how you say it. In this 1-hour class, presentation expert Scott Schwertly provides straightforward talk on how to organize and craft content that is memorable, persuasive, and perfect for any audience. From concepts like "the one-word theme" to the 5 classic story frameworks that work in every business presentation, the class has totally changed the way we prepare for a talk of any size. Don't start slides without it.

Learn by doing.

You can choose to revise the content from a previous presentation, start brand new, or speak to a subject that's important to your work, interests, or creative pursuits. After this class, you'll have a solid foundation for designing an actual slide deck.

Watch 12 video lessons.

  1. Introduction: Why Present? (7 minutes)
  2. Introduction: Objectives (4 minutes)
  3. Framework: The Big Three (5 minutes)
  4. Framework: Themes (6 minutes)
  5. Planning: The Presentation Outline (4 minutes)
  6. Planning: The Slide Outline (4 minutes)
  7. Story: Tension and Discovery (7 minutes)
  8. Story: Visual Metaphors (2 minutes)
  9. Story: User Experience (6 minutes)
  10. Story: Heroic Journey (2 minutes)
  11. Story: The Only (6 minutes)
  12. Conclusion: Next Steps (2 minutes)

Be sure to check out Scott's other 2 classes: Presentation Slide Design for Non-Designers and Nailing Presentation Delivery Every Time.

Meet Your Teacher

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Scott Schwertly

CEO of Ethos3 | Presentation Design & Training


Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki.

If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University. 

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Level: Beginner

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1. Trailer: It's so easy for business presentations to fall into a rut. You had some data, threw it into a template, and you were done. But then you wondered, did the audience fall asleep? Did they leave knowing what you were talking about? Did your call to action count? Wait, you're smarter than that. You're here and you know that there is no reason for a bad presentation, because there are presentation secrets that work every single time for every presentation, for every topic. I'm here to coach you on building, designing and delivering a presentation that works and wows your audience. My name is Scott Schwertly and I'm the founder and CEO of Ethos3. At Ethos3, we really have one core objective, to empower presenters, and it's the whole reason for why we come into work every single day. We've been doing it for eight years, working with companies like Google, Oracle and LinkedIn, to Pepsi and Coke, to Fox and HGTV. We've seen it all, and now we're sharing our tips and tricks here in three Skillshare classes that will revolutionize the way you present at work. Every lesson presents best practices and is accompanied by practicable project steps, articles and exercises to get you reworking and rethinking your slide decks into presentations that will wow your audience. So, what will we talk about? Our first class is all about content. You'll learn how to develop your information in a way that's memorable, organize and hooks your audience with a story. Our second class is all about design. You'll learn four key styles that non-designers can implement right away. That's practices for typography, photography and color, and see some before-and-after transformations that will inspire smart ways to redesign your own slides. Our third class is all about delivery, and that's all about your best first impression. Learn six ways to open and close a talk, six essential questions to always ask yourself about your audience, and the ultimate presentation commandments. My name is Scott Schwertly, and I've been revolutionizing business and boardroom presentations for over a decade. I'm thrilled to bring this experience to Skillshare so join me in learning how to structure, design and deliver an incredible business presentation. 2. Introduction: Why Present?: Welcome to this Skillshare lesson on presentations. I'm glad you're here with me, and I'm looking forward to spending some time with you as we learn more about the art and science of great presentations. All right. So, for starters, you're probably wondering well, who the world is this guy? Why did I just sign up for all these lessons on presentations? Well, for starters, my name's Scott Schwertly and I'm actually the founder as well as the CEO of Ethos3. Now, at Ethos3, we really have one core objective and it's this, it's to empower presenters. It's the whole reason for why we come into work every single day. So, we really been empowering presenters all over the world for the last eight years. This is a brief snapshot of some of the biggest clients that we've worked with. So, whether it's in the tech space with companies like Google or Oracle or LinkedIn to food and beverage companies like Pepsi, Coke, US Foods or even entertainment entities like A&E Television or Fox or HGTV. We've sort of seen every presentation that you can possibly imagine. So again, it's my goal throughout the course of our lessons that I can equip you, empower you with really the tips and tricks that I've learned over the years to essentially make you a better presenter. All right. I've talked a little bit about myself, talked a little bit about Ethos3. I don't want to bore you with all that. So, what I want to do now is actually introduce you to someone else and this is Henry aka Mr. MBA. Now, Henry does well for himself, so he actually has his choice of places to live. So, Henry actually chooses to live in the great city of Seattle, Washington where he drives, well, a nice car, no surprise there and he loves his lattes or his coffees in the morning because after all, he does live in dreary overcast Seattle. He cheers for the Seattle Seahawks. In fact, he was very happy with 2014 Super Bowl results. He cares for his finances because after all, Henry does do well for himself. No surprise here, Henry being the guy that he is always seems to make time for well, you know what. So, Henry, he is great at business, but he is lousy at presentations and public speaking. That's mainly because of this, PowerPoint or specifically, his reliance on things like PowerPoint templates. So, his slides will they tend to look like this, Jack loves his dog. Jack has a dog. His dog's name is Petey. Petey is a pug. When they really should look like this, Petey, the pug. A lot more clean, simplistic, into the point. So, sad reality here is Henry just doesn't know any better. So, in an ideal world, I would love to have Henry meet Erica. Now, Erica is just Ms. BA. She doesn't flaunt an MBA like Henry. Erica also lives in the great city of Seattle, and she also drives a nice car just like Henry, and she also loves her lattes, her frappuccinos in the morning, and she also cheers for the Seattle Seahawks. Now, Erica, she cares for finances just like Henry and she also makes time for a significant other. Now, Erica, she's great at business, but here's the difference, she's extraordinary at presentations and public speaking. So, the big question is, why? Why is Erica so profound at presentations and public speaking? Well, it comes down to this, she understands the importance of three critical items, which coincidentally are the three items that we're going to cover throughout our lessons. So, number one, she understands the importance of content, how you build a great presentation. So, when you think about having the right story, having the right narrative, having the right structure and flow, she gets it. So, once she's built her presentation, she understands the importance of design. So, how you actually bring it to life visually through really compelling slide design? Number three, ultimately, she understands the importance of delivery about how you share it with the rest of the world. So, she knows how to build it, she knows how to design it, and then she knows how to deliver it. So, this is Erica. She rocks at presentations and I always like to give a plug here. She rocks at presentations mainly because of Ethos3 communications. All right. But in all seriousness, it's really my goal and objective over our time together to really inspire you, to motivate you, to empower you, to join Erica, and what I like to call a presentation revolution. Because when you think about it, we live in this business culture right now that abuses presentations every single day. I don't know about you, but when I think back on the last few conferences or presentations I've attended, it's this, it's a bunch of jibber-jabber where you walk away thinking, "What in the world was that all about and why did I just waste 60 minutes of my life that I'm never going to get back?" So, all these terrible presentations are a testament that we do need to start a presentation revolution. In fact, John F. Kennedy once said, "The only reason to give a speech is to change the world." So, let me repeat that, the only reason to give a speech is to change the world. Now, according to Microsoft estimates, based on PowerPoint usage, there are 30 million presentations given each and every day, 30 million. Now, I don't know about you, but if I had to examine those 30 million presentations that are given every day, how many are actually changing the world? How many are actually fulfilling JFK's request of actually making a difference and making an impact? We all know the answer, not too many. So again, it's my sincere hope that I can empower you as we go through these lessons to actually change the world the next time you have to give a presentation. All right. I've chatted long enough. I want to give you your first exercise, and it's this, I want you to do a then and now exercise. So, what I mean by this is grab a scratch piece of paper, and write, basically, create two columns, a then column and a now column. So, in the then column, if I was a fly on the wall yesterday, last week, last month, and if I was to observe you giving a presentation, how would you grade yourself? What are some key words you would use to describe yourself? So, when you think about the elements of content, design, and delivery, how would you describe yourself in those areas? So, content, did you have a logical flow and structure to your message? Did you utilize stories? Was your information easy to retain and remember? Design, did you rely on a PowerPoint template? Were your slides dominated by a lot of text, and bullets, and a logo on the corner of every slide? Delivery, were you charismatic? Were you confident? Were you prepared, not prepared? How did you open your talk? How did you close your talk? What was your style like in general? So, in the then column, if I was to observe you yesterday or last month or last year, what are some keywords that describe yourself? Then, in the now column, how would you describe yourself or how would you like to describe yourself moving forward? So, do you want to be conversational? Do you want to be funny? Do you want to have sexy looking slides? Do you want to have great memorable material? How would you like to describe yourself moving forward? All right. So, that's the exercise, then and now. Take about 10 minutes, five minutes. Get some of those keywords down. If you want to pat yourself on the back for things that you're doing great, awesome, go for it. If you want to be hypercritical, that's great too. I just want to make sure that you're evaluating who you are as a presenter, and again, how you're being perceived by yourself and others in relation to content, design, and delivery. All right. Have fun with it and I will see you in the next lesson. 3. Determine Your Objective: All right, let's jump into this thing. All right. So we're going to get into the importance of why you need to determine an objective the next time you give a presentation. I'll be honest with you right now, I'm embarrassed that I even have to need to really cover this content, but the sad reality is so many presenters struggle with this and it's amazing where I can think back on maybe the last 10 presentations I've seen, maybe five, six, seven individuals that tend to struggle with this. They don't know how to land the plane, they wander about and that's because they haven't really determined the objective behind their talk. So, they lack admission, they lack a purpose behind their presentation. So, I want to make sure that the next time you start working on a presentation, and maybe that's right now, make sure you clearly understand the objective behind the whole reason you're giving the talk to begin with. All right, so let's get right into it. The great Dale Carnegie, back in the 1930s, pretty much narrowed down the four reasons why someone would actually give a presentation. The amazing thing is this thing actually still holds true today. So, I'm going to walk you through the four reasons. Again, this was developed by Dale Carnegie, the four reasons why someone would actually give a presentation and you need to determine which one of these camps you actually fall into. All right, so let's get into it. Number one, to make something clear. So, this lesson right now, we're in Skillshare, you're learning right now about presentations, I'm here as an instructor talking to you, the student. I'm here doing objective one. I'm here to make something clear for you. So, when you think about a scenario like this or maybe a university environment where you have a professor and students, these are all classic examples of being there to make something clear. So, is that the reason behind your presentation? If it's not, then maybe you fall into number two, which is to impress and convince. So, think about a politician, and maybe they're trying to win over an audience on their ideologies, their opinions, their philosophies on things. Well, they're simply there to impress and convince. So, is that the reason behind your talk? If not that, then maybe you're in number three. In fact, I would think, if you're working on a business presentation right now, there's probably an 80-90% probability that you're in this category right here. You're there to get action. So, maybe you're trying to sell something, maybe you're trying to educate a prospect on your product or service, but ultimately, you're there probably to close a sale. You're probably there to get something to happen. You're there to get action. So, is that the reason behind your presentation? So if you're not in camps one, two or three, where do you fall? Well, maybe you're in number four, which is to entertain. So, maybe you yourself right now have a really strong personal platform or maybe you're moving up the ranks and you're getting invited to do a lot of keynote presentations. Well then maybe you're there simply to entertain and is that the reason behind your presentation? So, this is not rocket science. In fact. Again, as I mentioned earlier, I'm embarrassed that I even have to talk about this, but make sure you clearly know the purpose, the mission, the objective behind every presentation that you give. So, what's the exercise? Well, let's just get practical with it. Before you even press go, before you open up PowerPoint or even try anything from a narrative standpoint, just sit back for a couple minutes and figure out why in the world are you giving this talk? What is your core objective? Make sure you know it, once you know it, again, probably you're going to fall on one of these four camps, then and only then should you actually press forward and start the heavy lifting on your presentation. But before you do anything, right now establish why in the world are you giving this talk. Figure that out, once you've got it, let's continue pressing forward but until then, do this exercise and I will see you in the next lesson. 4. The Big Three: All right. I'm excited about this next lesson, because we get to talk about the rule of threes. In fact, my company's named Ethos Three for reason and that's because really all great presentations are done with the number three in mind. All right. So, let's jump right in to the heart of this material. All right. So, the first lesson is actually taking a history lesson from Aristotle, where he talked about three things that make up a great presentation. Here they are. The first one is Pathos or Pathos which is passion. Are you passionate and can you arouse passion in your audience? If you can do this, you're one-third of the way there of being a successful presenter and creating sort of a sex successful presentation environment. The second item is Ethos or Ethos which is credibility, character, trust. Are you someone that your audience can actually trust when you're up there on stage? So, one if you can be passionate and two if you can be creditable, you're two-thirds of the way there of creating a successful presentation. Then, the third is the whole idea of Logos or Logos which is evidence, facts, stats. Do you have material within your presentation that validates you as an expert? Now, quick tangent here, because I see this a lot with most business presentations today is, most presenters tend to get caught up in this, the Logos. So, the Logos which means they have plenty of data, they have plenty of stats and facts, in fact, they have too much of it. So, when you think about the passion side of things, credibility side of things, they tend to lack that and they get too much caught up in just dumping facts and stats on their audience, which is important. Again, it's one-third of the equation, but it's not the entire thing. So, never let Logos or Logos dominate your presentation moving forward. Also, you need to understand again, with keeping in mind with the rule of threes, that every great presentation has a beginning, middle and end. So, I'd like to look at a presentation as sort of a three-course meal. That you're going to have that great appetizer in the beginning. You're gonna have that strong opening, that's going to really whet your audience's appetite. Then, you're going to follow that up with a great body or a great on tray. Then, you'll wrap up with that great dessert or that strong close. It absolutely unnerves me, when I see a presenter where maybe they are freaking out about the day's event. So, they start really weak and they start to maybe have a confidence build up a little bit as a presentation progresses, and they get stronger and stronger as it continues, or you have the opposite end of that. Where you have a presenter that maybe is super excited and they start really strong. Maybe they get tired or maybe they get bored with their topic, and they start to fizzle out as the presentation progresses. Well, there's absolutely no excuse for that. You've got to be strong in the beginning, you've got to be strong in the middle and you've got to be strong at the end. So, if you've done your content correctly and if you prepared correctly, you will be strong on all three of those fronts. So again, strong beginnings, strong middle and strong end. In ultimately, probably the most important point here, is you've got to make sure you only have three points. Now, granted. There are going to be situations where you need to talk about seven ways to do this, 12 steps to accomplish that, I get that. But whenever a presentation is fully within your control, I want you to only have three points. Because here's the way the human brain works and it works like this, and don't forget this. One, two, three, I forget. All right. Nobody is going to remember your fourth point, your fifth point, you're 10th point or you're 20th point. So, aim for three points. It's how the human brain works and you want to make sure that your message is going to be remembered, and it's going to be retained by the audience that you're speaking to. So, aim for three in everything that you do with presentations. All right. So, when you think about some of the best presenters is to drive this home a little bit further, Steve Jobs. Every job's presentation always had three points. Use the three-legged stool approach. Essentially, always talked about iTunes, the iPhone and Mac. In fact, you can jump on YouTube right now and look up a Steve Jobs presentation, and he always abided by the rule of threes, specifically, in this case of three points. So, here's the exercise for you moving forward. I want you to find the three points within your talk. All right. So, if you had to go under the classic elevator pitch exercise or put yourself under that in sort of narrow in on what your three big takeaways are for every talk, I want you to do that every time you think about a presentation. So, if you're working on one specific presentation right now, what are your three golden nuggets? What are your three big takeaways? Find those. Sounds a lot easier than when it is, this may be a fibrin exercise. It may be an hour exercise, but I want you to find the three main points in your presentation. Get it on paper, get it in a digital format, get it written down and that should serve as the core purpose foundation, center of your entire talk. All right. Good luck with it. Have fun with it and I will see you in the next lesson. 5. Theme Development: Welcome back. All right. In this lesson, I want to talk about the importance of developing a theme. So, what is a theme in relation to your presentations? Well, it's this. I want you to develop a one-word brand, that captures the essence of what your presentation is all about. So let me repeat that. I want you to develop or at least get in the habit of developing a one-word brand, that captures the essence of what your presentation is all about. All right. So, is this going to work for every single presentation that you create moving forward? Unfortunately, it won't. Will it work for 80, 90 percent of the presentations that you're going to be working on? Absolutely. So, keep this in your toolbox, add this to your personal arsenal, but I want you to get in the habit of developing a theme when working on a majority of the presentations that you will be tackling. All right. So, let me explain a classic example of an opportunity where a theme is neglected. So let's say you have, John Smith, VP of Sales and they want to talk about how they had a fantastic quarter three. Well, what is John's title slide going to look like? Well, it's probably going to have XYZ logo. It's probably going to have a long-winded boring title like, How I achieved my eight financial objectives for quarter three at John Smith, VP of Sales. All right. So, that's an absolute powerful example of how John missed his opportunity to brand himself, to brand his message and to brand his organization, and it's because he lacked a theme. Now, if he had this great quarter three, then why not use a theme like momentum, or forward, or evolve, and let that dictate everything he does from a content and design perspective. All right. So, tracking with me. Let me drive this home a little bit further. So, let me give you a few examples of what this actually looks like. Again, if you're aiming for this one-word brand and it's okay to have a two-word brand or a three-word brand, but ideally, I'd love for you have a one-word brand. So, let me show you a few examples. All right. So we were working with A&E Television and they were rolling out a program called, America The Story of Us. Maybe you saw it run on A&E a couple summers ago. I believe right now, it's on Netflix. This is about the time when the word epic was actually pretty popular, but they kept talking about how they have epic producers, they have an epic director, in fact I believe the producers were from the show, Planet Earth. So they're really proud that they were able to secure them. So, they had an epic lineup and this was obviously going to be an epic advertising opportunity. So, this became the overarching theme, that this was actually slide one of a much bigger presentation about, here's this epic opportunity, here's this epic program, jump in. So that's a pretty solid example of what I mean by theme development. Let me give you another one. We're working with a hair color company. In the same spirit, they're talking about bold this, bold that. Well, why not let bold dictate everything we do from a content and design perspective? So again, this became slide one of a much bigger presentation. Now ideally, what I'd love for you to do is get closer to this. Where you have a one-word theme, like Empower, but in this case, empower builds into the three main points that hopefully you have at this point. So, in this case we were working with a app company, and the whole premise of the app is basically to help people become mobile journalists. So, if you are a person with an iPhone, an Android, a BlackBerry and you see a news event, maybe it's a house fire or car wreck, you can capture that news video on your device and then send it to your local news station so they have something relevant to play at their 11:00 PM newscasts or their 06:00 PM news cast, or whatever it may be and it becomes a win-win situation. So, they've got relevant video for their nightly news casts, you get cut a check for providing that video. So again, it's a win-win situation. So, it embraces this whole idea of empowerment. That not only is the user with their device feeling empowered, but now, the news station is also empowered, because they're going to have relevant news to beef up the ratings. So, it's about empowering your viewers, empowering your news and empowering your station. So again, the three points of viewers, news and station, plays up into the theme. So, in an ideal world, this is where I want you to go. I want you to have a great theme that then is complemented and plays into your three main points. All right. So, what's the exercise? I want you to develop a theme, but even beyond that, I want you to have your theme and I want you to have your three points, and at this point if your three points don't play into your theme, reconfigure them so you can make it work. All right. So, that's the exercise, develop a theme, make sure it plays well nicely into your three main points and at that point hopefully, you've got yourself a nice foundation and then we'll obviously talk further. So, until then, go through this exercise, it could be as fast as 15-20 minutes. I've seen this take as long as one hour or two hours, but at this point at the source is probably going to be your best friend. One other thing before I let you go, make sure your theme passes the magazine test. What do I mean by this? Well, if you walk into let's say a bookstore like Barnes and Noble, and you walk into the magazine section, and you see categories like automotive or fitness or whatever it may be, you're going to see magazine titles that are probably compelling one-word brands, that's what you want to aim for. Does your theme pass the magazine test? If it doesn't, it's probably not that sexy of a theme and you probably need to go back to the drawing board. All right. So, find that theme, make sure it plays well into your three points, then and only then can we move into the next stage. All right. So, I will see you in the next lesson. Have fun with this and I will talk to you soon. 6. The Presentation Outline: So hopefully at this point, you've developed this great theme that now works into your three main points. Even beyond that, hopefully, you've determined that objective that we talked about earlier but at this point, you should have a theme in three main points. So what's the next step? Well, the next step is you want to create what I would call just a presentation outline. Now here's an interesting fact. I got together with my content team not too long ago and we actually outlined about 26 different ways in which you can sort of structure and formulate presentation content. Do we have time in this lesson to go through all 26 different methods and styles? We don't but we do have time to go through one method that works for a majority of business presentations, and here's the interesting thing. It's a style in a format that you're already familiar with. As you are probably wondering, well, what is it? Well, it's this. Tell them what you're going to say, say it, and tell them what you just said. All right? You can repeat that back to me. Tell them what you're going to say, say it, and tell them what you just said. All right, you've heard this all your life but the sad reality is most people do not apply it. In fact, I rarely see it in most business presentations today, so that's how you need to outline your content. Tell them what you're going to say, say it, and tell them what you just said. All right, so if we had this sort of put this in a business context, it really comes down to five key stages. All right? So these are what the stages look like. I've provided a PDF of this so you can kind of see this at a later date or if you just wanted to review but I'll walk you through these five stages right now. All right, so in stage one, you really want to tease your idea. We are going to talk in the next few lessons coming up about the importance of storytelling so I'm going to give you a few sort of different story-telling styles that you can add to your arsenal and this is really where you want to use stage one for, is you want to sort of tell a compelling story and you want to use that story as an opportunity to really sort of reveal what the problem and the solution is. So again, we'll talk about this more in storytelling but just know that stage one really should be reserved for telling a proper story. All right, then you get into stage two where you're unveiling the mystery. So what is this? This is where you're going to tell them what you're going to say. You're going to talk about your three points. So, for instance, maybe you do want to talk about today, we're gonna talk about X, Y, and Z. All right? You're just simply previewing it. It could be as fast as a 10-second statement to a 30-second statement but you're really not getting into the core of your material. Again, you're just previewing what you are about to talk about. Now where you get into the heart of it is in stage three. This is where where you're informing and igniting. So what is this? Well, you're going to highlight your three points. So as I mentioned, we want to talk about X, Y, and Z. So let's talk about X. What is that? Yada yada yada. Well now, let's talk about Y. Yada yada yada and then Z, yada yada yada. So that is your structure. This is where you will spend a majority of your time during your presentation is in stage three, unpacking your three main points and then ultimately, get into stage four which is your lockdown. Well, what did we just talked about? Well, we just talked about X, Y, and Z. You're reviewing your three main points and then, you get into the final stage, which is stage five, which is the launch. In here is where you need to make sure you absolutely have a call to action. It's critical to the success of your presentation. You've got to make sure you've got a mission and purpose buying your talk so have a call to action. What does your audience supposed to do now that they've invested 30, 60, 90 minutes to hear you speak? Are they supposed to download something? Are they supposed to go buy something? Are they supposed to read something? What are they supposed to do? If you want to use this opportunity to also maybe circle back around to the story that you started with, I highly recommended it. In fact, some of the best movies, books, circle back around. They start and end in the same way. We'll talk about that a little bit more but have that great call to action. Have that climactic moment. Build up to something. That's a great way to sort of close out your talk. All right? So those are the five stages. All right, so the exercise for you is go back, review sort of the PDF version of what I've provided here of the five stages and start the process of creating a presentation outline. So I'm not looking for anything super robust but I want you to get in the mindset of breaking out your content into an outline form, so really thinking clearly about the structure, the flow, the logic behind what you want to talk about. So don't even open up PowerPoint. Do this first. Create this outline and then we will continue to make some further headway. But until then, I will see you in the next lesson. 7. The Slide Outline: All right. We've covered a lot of material up to this point. So, hopefully, again, just as a quick recap. Hopefully, you've determined that objective, you developed your theme and your three points. Now, I hope you've got some sort of presentation outline in front of you. So, what I want to do now is, let's take this one step further. I want you to get in the habit of creating what I like to call a slide outline. So, let me back up a little bit. So, let's say, you are working from an existing deck and you're dealing with a slide like this one, we have Brian and Brian loves his dog, he's successful at work, he loves to eat. Maybe you tried to extract this from an earlier deck and you did your due diligence and you put it into a presentation outline. So, what you're going to get is something like this. You're going to have the column to the right, your presentation outline. So, I hope at this point, you've got your five stages, you got your main ideas, you've got a solid presentation outline. Let's just think of the Brian thing is an excerpt from a larger outline. So, I'm dealing with this Brian content. Now, if I'm working in the context of a slide outline, what needs to happen? Well, the slide outline now becomes your visual road-map for how you plan to bring the Brian content to life. So, as you're seeing here, I'm taking originally what was once one slide and now proposing to make it into four separate slides. So, one slide now being proposed to becoming four separate slides. So, the lesson here is I really want to shatter some paradigms. If you feel like a 30-slide presentation is a lot, or a 50-slide presentation is a lot, I want you to reconsider. Slide count has nothing to do with the length of your presentation. It always makes me laugh because I'll have clients that come to us and they'll say, "You know what? This needs to be 10 slides because it needs to be short, it needs to be simple, it needs to get to the point." But 10 slides doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be short. So, again, slide count has nothing to do with the length of your presentation. In fact, this is Brian, Brian loves his dog, he's successful at work, he loves to eat, I can present this in about 10 to 15 seconds just like I could take the four slides here on the left, and also present this in 10 to 15 seconds. So, let me show you how this actually comes to life. But before I do that, again, just remember, you got your presentation outline, I now want you to get in the habit of creating your slide outlin by re-imagining, rethinking how you want to bring your things to life. All right. So, let's walk through these four slides, and I should cover it in about 10 seconds or maybe even less. So, we have the original boring slide. This now becomes, this is Brian, Brian loves his dog, by the way, Brian is successful and he also loves to eat. Same content just presented in a different way. That's where I want you to go. That's what I want you to be striving for when thinking about ways to vamp up your content. So, what's the exercise? Well, at this point, you've got your theme, you've got your three main points, you've got your presentation outline, let's look at that presentation outline and figure out how can you bring that to life visually by properly creating a slide outline. Before I let you go, brief tangent. It absolutely unnerves me when someone's given a presentation assignment, what do they do? They immediately run to their computer, they open up PowerPoint, they pull out an existing deck that they've already worked on, and they figure out, what do I want to talk about? Insert new slide and they populate it. What I want to talk about next? Insert new slide then they populate that slide. That is the wrong way to approach presentations. So, if you really want to master the content side of your presentation, do your due diligence. Go through these steps; create your theme, create your three main points, create your presentation outline, and create your slide outline. Then and only then should you actually go and open up PowerPoint to start the design process of your presentation. So, create this slide outline. It's going to take some time but it's the right way to tackle your presentation. Good luck, have fun with it. I will see you in the next lesson. 8. Tension and Discovery: Well, I'm excited about these next few lessons because now we're going to start getting into the core of storytelling. So, again, this is where you really want to think critically about how you want to open and close your presentation. The best way to do this, in that stage one, stage five, that we talked about is opening and closing with a great story. So, storytelling big buzzword these days. It's fun stuff. It's also highly subjective, but I'm going to really look at these lessons as really like throwing spaghetti on the wall. What sticks sticks, what doesn't doesn't. That's okay. But if there's anything you can gather from this, I think you'll see tremendous value in it in your next presentation. All right. So, since we'll be talking about storytelling styles, and this lesson here is going to be our first one. Before I get into it, I want to give you a quick quote about storytelling and it goes like this, ''Tell me a fact and I'll remember it, tell me the truth and I'll believe it. But, if you tell me a story, I will put it in my heart forever." So, if you tell me a story, I will put it in my heart forever. There's something very beautiful about storytelling because as human beings this is how we connect and communicate. So, again, very excited to jump into these lessons with you as we unpack the whole topic of storytelling. So, before we get into this first lesson, I have a task for you. I want you to look in your project steps section. What you're going to find is a story, a handout called the Dummy. So, I want you to do is essentially pause this video right now, take two to three minutes read that story. Again, it's called the Dummy. Once you've read it, come back to this video unpause, and we will pick back up. So, pause this video now, go read the Dummy, and we will continue. So, pause this video now. Welcome back. So hopefully, you've read the Dummy Story, and you're ready to continue. So, let's go and do that. So, within that story, I hope it did resonate with you. If it did, here's the reason why. The really compelling thing about that story is it contains what I like to call a balance of tension and discovery. So, what you have there is a problem, problem, problem, problem, problem, and then you have your "Aha" discovery moment at the very end. In fact, when you think about some of the best movies, books that exist. They all tend to have this storytelling structure. So, this is a style, an approach that you can add to your toolbox. In fact, when you think about movies like Jaws, Steven Spielberg was a genius for the fact that you hear the haunting music of the cello, you see the shark fin, and you see it for the first hour and 20 minutes of the movie, but you don't actually see the great, white, shark until the very end. In fact, part of the last 10, 15 minutes of that film. That's an example of tension and discovery. Seeing the great, white, shark is that discovery moment. So, you're probably thinking, "That's great Scott, I get this," but how does this actually apply to a medium like PowerPoint. What I want to do now is actually walk you through an example of what this looks like, and how this can actually really add value in sort of unfold in your next presentation. Now, keep in mind the presentation I'm going to walk you through right now. Number one was built for a non-profit. So, we wanted obviously tell a very compelling story. Then number two, it was built for a medium like SlideShare or SlideBoom, sort of really meant to stand alone online by itself and have the user click through it at their own pace. But the good news is I can present it like this. It wasn't built for this scenario, but I'll do my best for us today and we'll actually presented to you in more of a traditional style. But all that said, see if you can find the tension in discovery angle within this story. Ready? Let's get right into it. So, here we go. This is a box, and this box unfortunately it rules our lives. So, as a society, as a world, really what happened to us? Where did we lose sight and lose ground? Well, our world is a box, and it's full of other boxes. We live in this box, and we drive this box, and we communicate with this box. All testament to the fact that as a society, as a human race, we're all slaves to the box. In fact, 4.1 billion of us actually rely on this box, while another one million of us, well, we chat in this box. Shockingly, we do this three million times a day. Yet somehow, we like to complain that we're overwhelmed. Now, there are over 62 million of these boxes existing on our planet. Yet, again, we like to complain about the pollution that exists all throughout the world. So, just Heaven forbid that we actually use one of these non-boxes. Now, we have a ton of stuff. In fact we store all of that stuff in over 52 thousand of these boxes, which shockingly that's three times the size of Manhattan Island, making it a $17 billion industry. Yet, again, we like to complain that we don't have the latest toy. Now, our kids they're no different. They eat out of this box, making this a $148.6 billion industry. Yet, again, we complain about the results we see on this box. Now, we work in this box, and we do all this great work with this box, yet somehow, we like to end our day in front of this box. We do this three to five hours a night or 25 hours a week. So, maybe it's time to live outside the box, and we should do this for him, for her, for them, because after all, all they worry about is this box. In fact, 16,000 fill this box every five seconds. So maybe, living outside the box requires that we give outside the box. So, World Vision, an organization that we are proud to support. Did you see it? Did you see the tension in discovery? I hope so. So, what I want you to do now is put your presentation aside. Don't worry about your three points in your presentation outline, in your slide outline. I just want you to get in the habit of mastering this idea of tension and discovery. So, you have stories that are important to you, your parents have stories, your grandparents have stories, your siblings have stories. There's probably a story close to your heart, where you can apply the tension and discovery formula. So, what is that story, and let's get it on paper. So, for this exercise, be prepared to spend about 20-30 minutes. Again, I want you to find a story that's close to your heart, and apply the tension and discovery formula. Makes sense? I hope so. Dig into this exercise. It's very revealing. It's very powerful. If you can master this storytelling structure, I guarantee you're going to see a ton of value, the next time you have to give a presentation. So, have fun, and I will see you in the next lesson. 9. Visual Metaphor: All right, let's get into storytelling style number two, and this is the visual metaphor. In fact, this one will actually be the shortest lesson of this entire series because it's a style and approach that you just learned about. In fact, we've learned about the box, and this is a classic example of what I mean by a visual metaphor. So, in the case of World Vision, the example you just saw in this previous lesson, we use the idea of the box to communicate what World Vision is really all about, that they're there to save lives, to change the world, and really make a difference in. By using the metaphor of a box, we were able to communicate what their heart, what their mission is really all about. So, my big challenge for you, the exercise from this is just to kind of get practical with it, is really to have you just evaluate. Is there an opportunity for a visual metaphor within your own content? If there's not, don't worry about it. Again, this is just I want you to get into evaluation mode. We're going to cover a handful of other story-telling styles here in just a bit. But does this style of visual metaphor using something like a box or something similar, whatever you come up with, is an opportunity to use that within your existing content and could you use it in conjunction with something like tension and discovery just like the box was? So, not only did it have the tension discovery formula, but it also had the visual metaphor formula. So, this is your time to sort of mix and match now that you're aware of two different styles, and figure out what works best for you. Again, if you hit sort of a big fat brick wall, we're going to cover a few more. So, rest assured, there's other techniques that you can apply, but see if this one works, evaluate your content, and again, this is about having fun, this is about learning, this is about trying new things. Have fun with this exercise and I will see you in the next lesson. 10. User Experience Story: The user experience story. This is one of my favorites. In fact, you've seen me apply it already throughout these lessons, and where did you see it? Well, you saw it here. We started all of our lessons where you met not only me but you also met Henry and you also met Erica. Now, the thing I love about the user experience story, that is if it's done right, it can really communicate the value, the benefits, of the product or service that you're trying to convey. So again, but it has to be done right. This is really really starting to get into more of the subject matter of storytelling. So, in the case of Henry, he represented a problem. An individual that didn't quite understand PowerPoint, doesn't know how to utilize the power of presenting in public speaking. We had someone like Erika that actually understood presentations. Well, why? She understands content design and delivery. So, I thought I'll give you a quick recap there. But again it's using two characters to essentially represent a problem and a solution. So let me give you a few more examples of a user experience story. So, we were working with a client not too long ago. Don't really need to talk about the client itself, but they basically were rolling out products that help solve the diabetes crisis that exists within the United States. So, what we came up with is a character called George, and these are just excerpts slides from a much larger presentation. So again it wasn't like we kept this whole story pattern for one segment, but he was sprinkled throughout the entire deck. But it gives you an idea how a character can add value to the content of your talk. So, in this case it's a talk about diabetes. Well, here's a customer, a person that's actually battling that today. So, here we go. This is George and he has diabetes, and at times it can be tough for George and his family, but it also can be tough for his employer. Obviously because of all the extra cost associated to George and his diabetes. So, really at the end of the day, a healthy George is a strong George, is actually a happier George. So, there you're seeing the idea of using a fictional character to communicate what a product is all about. Let me give you another example. You may be familiar with the website, dating service site, pretty popular these days, and so they commissioned us to help them tell a better story to communicate the benefits, the features of what is all about. So again, same sample here just an excerpt from a much larger presentation. So, conversation sake, let's just say we have Stacey and Tom. Stacey and Tom decide to jump online, they utilize, and they meet each other, and they like each other, and they they want to go on a date. So, with a date on her mind, Stacey goes out and goes shopping. She's trying to figure out what she needs to wear, what she needs to buy as far as perfume, makeup, et cetera. Tom, he's looking at his limited wardrobe and figuring what he needs to do. Does he need to updated it? Revise it? Obviously those are thoughts running through his mind. Stacey is still really concerned about the upcoming date. Decides to go out and grab some drinks with friends, and talk strategy about maybe what did she needed to talk to Tom about? What she should reveal or not reveal? Then Tom, also freaking out about the upcoming date. Doesn't go as extreme with getting a whole bunch of friends, but decides to invite a buddy over to watch a game and talk through this upcoming date. The story goes on and on and on. But it gives you an idea, gives you a flavor of what a customer is thinking about what their challenges are? What their needs or wants or wishes are all about? When they're using a service like So, another example of a user experience story. Let me give you one more. Captain Morgan the life, love and loot campaign. Essentially Captain Morgan was wanting to get out in front of more of the Hispanic market particularly young males, and so by creating a character like Guillermo, you could talk about how that demographic. Well, you can find these gentlemen living in Los Angeles, you can find them in Dallas, you can also find them in Chicago, and even places like Phoenix. So, if that's where this Hispanic market lives, these young gentlemen will then, "What do we need to do to tap into those markets?" Then it goes on and on and on. But again it's using a user experience story, a character, it could be fictional, nonfictional, but again to communicate what a strategy could be comprised of? How you can meet the wants and wishes of a client or customer? And so forth. So that's the power of the user experience story. Again, one of my personal favorites if you can use it correctly and properly within your next talk. So, what's the exercise for you? Again, we're in evaluation mode. I'm just going through storytelling style, after storytelling style, find the one that works best for you. If you want to mix and match as I mentioned earlier, you can do that. So again, find the storytelling style that resonates with you, and then go through your due diligence of actually bringing it to life. If you are a right brain thinker, you may be finding this very fun, and exciting, and challenging in a good way. If you're a left brain thinker maybe feel a little bit too analytical about this, you may be freaking out right now thinking this is a little bit too creative, this is a little bit to fru fru for me. That's okay. Again, I'm just giving you options. You can try this, you can eliminate it. But I will encourage you to take a little bit of a risk try something different, try something new, you may amaze yourself. Thanks so much and I will see you in the next lesson. 11. Heroic Journey: Welcome back. All right, this will be another shorter lesson. On this one I want to talk about the heroic journey. So, why is this lesson going to be short? Well, it's a style and approach that you're already familiar with. In fact, when you think about your favorite movies, your favorite books, your favorite TV shows, they generally tend to have some sort of heroic journey foundation to them. So, it's a style you are familiar with but I just want to remind you of that style maybe in case you forgot. All right, so Joseph Campbell really sort of made this structure popular and in fact it's again a structure you're already familiar with. It kind of starts with the "Once upon a time" sort of approach, where you set the tone, you set the mood for where you want to take the story, and then generally something happens in the middle. There's sort of a suddenly this happens or this unfolds. Then the hero comes along, faces it, embraces it, battles it, whatever it may be and things get turned around. That's really what the hero story is all about. That is they're heroic journey. So, it's a once upon a time, suddenly something happens, then decision is made, somebody comes to grips with something and then the world is saved and so forth. All right so, here is the exercise. Again, I want you to evaluate whether you think your content deserves a heroic journey formula. If it doesn't, fine, move on. Let's get into the next storytelling style. If it does work, then great, apply it. So, let me give you some inspiration. When we think about some of the best hero stories, at least within the American sort of pop culture scene, you have heroes like Luke Skywalker. Well, what happens there? Well, he's initially given a challenge to save the world. What happens? He rejects it, but then he finally embraces it and then he saves the world. I'll give you one more example. Rocky Balboa, initially given a challenge to fight for the heavyweight championship title of the world. Initially rejects it, finally embraces it and then ultimately wins the heavyweight championship title of the world. Not in Rocky one, but in Rocky two. All right, so classic hero stories. So, does your presentation have a hero angle? Does it deserve a hero angle? Can utilize a hero angle to make your content come to life. That's up to you, you know your content better than anybody else. See if it works, if it doesn't then that's okay move on try one of these other different story-telling styles that we're working through. All right good luck, have fun and I will see you in the next lesson. 12. The Only: The only. All right. This is probably one of my favorite storytelling structures and styles, and this one is actually great to just mix and match with some of the other approaches that we've already talked about. But the thing I do want to stress here is that it's almost a required story line structure. So, hopefully when you went through the theme development exercise I'm hoping that your only came through when developing that exercise. So, what do I mean by the only? It's really finding that one thing that you do better than anybody else. So, for instance if your presentation is about a product or service, what is the one thing that you do that the competition does not do? If the competition does it, why do you do it better? All right. So, that's your only. It's finding that one only thing that you do better than anybody else, and I hope that's loud and clear and shines through again through the earlier exercise like theme development. If you didn't quite unpack the only when going through the theme development exercise, this is your second chance to make sure that you are finding and discovering and revealing what your only is. All right. So, let me give you a few examples. Before I dive into that also make sure that whenever you do find your only, you understand your three wow statements. So again, this is very similar to the theme development exercise, a little bit differently because maybe it's a little bit different because you maybe didn't have this lens when going through that exercise, but this is your last chance to make sure that you're capturing everything and pulling together everything that you need to make sure that you've got a message in a story that's really going to shine. All right. So let me give you an example of what an only could possibly look like or sound like when thinking about your next presentation. All right. So, I have a friend a few years ago he started a charcoal business. So, for conversation's sake let's just say he had charcoal company A and he had to compete with charcoal company B and C and so forth. So, charcoal is charcoal, coal is coal, it's just big black lumps of coal, nothing really sexy about it. So, if you're in the charcoal business, it's going to be absolutely important that you determine your only. So, again what's that one thing that you do better than anybody else. So, that was his challenge, that was his marketing team's challenge. So, when people started thinking about charcoal, maybe they have an upcoming summer barbecue or it's Memorial Day or Labor Day and they want to go to the beach or have a barbecue with friends, they're going to be shopping for charcoal. So, his thing is well, somebody is going to in a grocery store looking for charcoal, how can I separate my company, charcoal company A from charcoal company B and C. So, after brainstorming and strategizing they figured out their only and their only became fun and flavor. So, when you think about their charcoal, you're going to think about fun and flavor. So, that's the exercise he put his theme team through and obviously saw some great tremendous result from it because it worked, and they were able to sell more charcoal than their competitors. All right. Let me give you one more example. All right. I have another friend that is in the seal the home business where they make homes more eco friendly. So, for instance let's say you've got an older home and it's leaky now either your cool air or your heat, and that's not good for your house or your electric bill but it's also not good for the environment. So, they would come in and seal the home. So, conversation, I'm going to make up some pricing. So, let's say they are charging $5,000 for this service where they come in and they seal the entire house. Well, a competitor came along and was able to charge half that price, $2,500, and they said that they also seal the home. Well, if you look at the difference between the two, there was a radical difference. In fact, the first company would actually seal the entire house like seal it completely. The company that would come in and charge half the price really patched up the home, they didn't really seal the house but they just patched up those holes. So, when thinking about this, they figured well, how can this company come in and start stealing our business because they're charging half the price when they're doing not even that great of a job. So what they did as far as their marketing campaign and their messaging is they really got themselves around their only, and their only was is that they seal the entire house. So, the analogy that they like to use is if like you were getting on a boat. If you get on a boat, do you want that boat to be patched or do you want that boat to be completely sealed? Well, we all know the answer to that. You want the boat to be completely sealed. So, if you care that passionately about your boat, shouldn't you care that passionately about your home, the place where your kids sleep, the place that you call home? Don't you want that to be entirely sealed and isn't it worth it to pay the higher premium to make sure that that's done? Well, people believed them and it is true there's tons of value in doing that. So, they were easily able to separate themselves from the cheaper competition. All right. So, what's the exercise for you? Well, I want you to think about your only. Now, if your theme already accomplishes that then great, pause this video, stop this video and let's move on. You got yourself the only wrapped up within your theme. If you don't, as I mentioned earlier this is your second chance. If you need to go back and re-evaluate your theme, do so. If there's something else you can play up on which allows you to emphasize what your only is then do so. But this is your chance, find your only, make sure your three wows also are in alignment with your three main points, and see again if you can also mix and match this with some of your other story lines that may be appealing to you. All right. So, like everything else, have fun. Good luck with this, and I will see you in the next lesson. 13. Next Steps: We've covered a lot in these last few lessons and so as we begin to exit out of the content umbrella and start thinking about design, I really want to remind you of the three things that we've covered during our time together. So, here they are just sort of a quick recap. Just a summary of everything you should be mindful of before we turn the page and enter design. So, for starters, we talked about determining an objective. So again, you need to know why in the world are you giving your presentation to begin with. And so, before you do any of the heavy lifting, always make sure you clearly understand the purpose of the mission, really, the agenda, behind every single talk that you give. Once you've determined that objective, you kind of really get into stage two, which is the whole idea of developing a theme. So again, a theme is about a one word brand that's generally sort of complemented by three main points. So again, you've always got to make sure you've got three main ideas within your presentation, not four, not five, not 10, not 20, three ideas. Again, if you can complement it with a theme, then all the power to you. Now, is the theme always required? Is it always recommended? Not necessarily, but again it works for about 80 to 90 percent of most business presentations today. Then ultimately, you've got to get in the right mindset of how you outline your content. We walk through one specific formula, which is the whole idea of tell them what you're going to say, say it, tell them what you just said. That's a great rule of thumb to sort of operate by when thinking about your content moving forward. So again, you can sort of harness the power of some storytelling structures and things like that. But if you can sort at its bare minimum, tackle these three things and do them in the right way, you should see phenomenal success and hopefully should win with your next presentation. All right. So, those are my thoughts on content. Good luck out there and I will see you in the design section.