Words are a kind of magic.
The “Open Sesame!” into the treasure trove of ideas.
And what is a presentation if not a treasure trove of ideas?
Very often, a potentially impressive presentation is less-than because the information has been overloaded with too many words, of not-quite-the “Open Sesame” kind.
In this post, we will look at how to identify the words that are key to your presentation, and will help notch-up its impact.
Step back from your “content” and imagine you had to sum it up in two words: one a noun (the word that names your offering) and the second an adjective (that describes it).
What would those two words be? Here’s a set to start you off:
- REVOLUTIONARY PRODUCT
- INNOVATIVE IDEA
- FUTURE TREND
- SMART PROCESS
Look at the two words you’ve written down and make a fresh list of words that would make them believable to you (after all, if you’re not convinced, neither will your client be.) These could be words that are associative, descriptive, evocative, unexpected.
- NEVER BEFORE!
- CRYSTAL BALL
- NOW OR NEVER!
Start applying your keywords to the presentation you’re working on. Look at your presentation and see if the headers for each slide are adding to or subtracting from your desired message – as encapsulated by your keywords…
For example, if your presentation/story is about a “revolutionary product”, then dull, boring words may not be the best ones to use as headers and sub-heads.
If you’re using long sentences as your header, and have several points being made on one slide, your list of keywords can help you break it down, impact, and summarize.
IQ conveys the intelligence quotient of your solution or process in a nutshell, which you can then elaborate on in your verbal presentation.
FLOW indicates seamlessness and smoothness, as well as life, direction and movement.
And so on.
Build word lists for the future. Note down all the words that leap out at you – from TV shows, newspapers, magazine articles, movies, posters – words you like, words you have just learnt the meaning of… So that you will literally and figuratively never be at a loss for words, next time you need them!
Be inspired by the best. Advertising messages use words in a way that you can really learn a lot from. Simple phrases (“Just do it!”) or sensorial phrases (“Finger-lickin’ good!”) are perfect examples of keywords being leveraged to maximum effect.
To sum up:
The more words you have in your arsenal, the more creative and original you can be with them. Sometimes applying a tired word in a fresh context adds just the right touch. Sometimes, two existing words can be combined to create a new one. Look at words, learn words, learn to love words, and you’ll love what they can do for you. Every time you find the right one that fits, a new door will open and the message you want to convey will click into place…