In this conversation, Dave discusses his new book, Present It So They Get It.
Geetesh: Your new book, Present It So They Get It focuses on the need for making your audiences “understand” effectively — what motivated you to write this book?
Dave: In last year’s survey of what annoys people about bad PowerPoint presentations, the message from audience members was clear that they are fed up with information overload. They want to understand the key message the presenter has to deliver, but the message gets lost in the overwhelming amount of text and data. Presenters and audiences alike want the message to be understood so people can take action. I realized that presenters needed a guide to help them plan a clear message that contains only the information the audience needs to hear, and a guide for creating effective slides to help communicate the message during the presentation. This book addresses both of those areas.
Geetesh: How are you sure that audiences don’t understand a lot, and what takeaways does your book provide to the reader to make audiences grasp more?
Dave: I hear from executives all the time that they need their people to be clearer, or else the decision makers can’t take action. We see this lack of clarity when an executive asks for another presentation on the same topic because the first presentation wasn’t clear. We hear a management team limit presenters to only a few slides, in an attempt to get presenters to be focused with their message.
In the book, I detail my six step RAPIDS approach to planning your presentation. One of the steps that participants in my workshops always comment on is the I, which stands for Information that is laser focused. I provide five strategies for reducing the amount of information in your presentation down to the minimum required. When participants see how they can dramatically reduce the amount of information they provide and actually make the message clearer, they are amazed. I also provide tips for applying the RAPIDS approach to the four most common types of presentation in business today, so readers have a guide to follow when planning their presentation. The second half of the book gives readers a step-by-step approach to creating effective slides with concrete examples and best practices. This practical guide is easy to follow and implement. In my workshops, participants often comment that they won’t be able to look at a PowerPoint presentation the same way now that they have learned the ideas and approaches in this book.