Your secret weapon is the water jug

Your secret weapon is the water jug

Whether it's by accident or on purpose, visiting a client to make a pitch removes control and power from the presenter. Coming to their place, waiting in their reception, looking at their six-month-old "Cost Accountancy Monthly" magazines and then waiting again while "Melissa just finishes an important call" takes control away from you. It makes you passive. 

Sh*t clients ask us to do with their presentations (vol. 3). And what you can learn from it.

Sh*t clients ask us to do with their presentations (vol. 3). And what you can learn from it.

There were so many traumatic memories that bubbled to the surface in doing the last two editions of this series that we had room for one more. Just this last one, promise. Take a look at these crazy requests and see why we deny them, politely mind you…

Take it outside

Take it outside

Alright, I mean in a practical context. Not in the thick of winter or during a storm or when the landscaping team are mowing the lawns. But there is a lot of research being discussed to support the theory that getting outside for meetings, town halls or simply for inspiration for your next presentation will immerse you and your audience in happiness, positive thinking and creativity. Here are two very personal examples.

Sh*t clients ask us to do with their presentations (vol. 2). And what you can learn from it.

Sh*t clients ask us to do with their presentations (vol. 2). And what you can learn from it.

Maybe you caught our last edition of “Sh*t Clients Ask….” Maybe you loved it. Maybe you didn’t. Doesn’t matter. Here’s another one. It’s catharsis for us. Here are another four heinous client requests and the reasons they never should have been asked in the first place.

Sh*t clients ask us to do with their presentations (vol. 1). And what you can learn from it.

Sh*t clients ask us to do with their presentations (vol. 1). And what you can learn from it.

Ah, it has come to this! There is always a point, in any blog in the creative industry, when the creativity runs a little dry. At that point, it always seems that a venting happens and the inevitable “Sh*t our clients say” comes out.

There is an ideal length for a presentation. TEDx has already worked it out.

There is an ideal length for a presentation. TEDx has already worked it out.

Doesn’t matter who you are or how life-changing your area of expertise is, you’ve only got 18 minutes tops to give a TED talk. This is no arbitrary number – there’s science behind it. Science you can put towards giving a winning pitch or presentation.

A surplus of information creates a paucity of attention.

A surplus of information creates a paucity of attention.

When I see detail on an early slide in the deck, and a hint that much more detail is to come, I have a predictably uncomfortable reaction. My instinct is to flee, because my primitive brain is lazy and wants to conserve energy for survival and procreation, not try and understand or remember all of the bullet–points, data and graphs that are being unleashed.

Storytelling and why testimonials work.

Storytelling and why testimonials work.

The brain works in strange ways, right? You have to repeat a phone number over and over in your head to remember it, but you can recall a funny joke or a news story pretty easily. Why? Because that’s the way the human brain works. 

Where people look in an elevator is important to understand how to make presentations interesting.

Where people look in an elevator is important to understand how to make presentations interesting.

Long title, right? But it got your attention and you’re reading this. Now ask yourself this: Have you ever been in an elevator with other people and looked up? Chances are you have and you’ll probably know that if you look at something everyone else will too. 

Aim for awe. You’ll win. 100% guaranteed.

Aim for awe. You’ll win. 100% guaranteed.

Humans are pretty good at making ‘incredible’, but Nature is the ultimate when it comes to creating ‘awe’. Awe is what you feel when you break through a clearing and see a snow–covered mountain, or a violent storm creates lightning and thunder overhead, or you gaze down into a deep canyon from a dangerous ridge, or a whale breaches just metres from your boat.

Cocaine and the science of attention.

Cocaine and the science of attention.

Deep down humans are still animals. And understanding how animal survival instincts work gives you a real edge when you are creating presentations and selling your offer. The same basic responses and needs that helped our ancestors survive when they were primordial fish things still govern our behaviour today.