By Geoffrey James, from –

What makes a presentation good aren’t the same things that make a presentation great.

Good presentations are uncommon, but great presentations are rare as basilisk teeth. That’s because, when it comes to presentations, the jump from good to great is larger than the jump from bad to good. Here’s why:

1. Emotional impact

Good presentations are memorable. They contain graphics, images, and facts in such a way that they’re easy to remember. A week later, your audience can remember much of what you said.

Great presentations are motivating. They bring the audience to the point where they make a buying decision: either a final decision (“We want this product now!”) or an interim one (“Let’s bring this idea to the CEO”).

2. Information

Good presentations contain valid information. Each piece of data is thoroughly fact-checked, accurate and never misleading. Good presentations provide honest data in an honest way.

Great presentations contain minimal information. Any information that’s not 100 percent relevant is stripped away, including information “noise” like fancy slide-work. What’s left is only that information that drives towards a decision.

3. Storytelling

Good presentations include stories. Unlike facts, stories speak to the heart and every good presentation uses stories to illustrate points and to help people make an emotional connection to the message.

Great presentations ARE stories. Rather than containing stories, great presentations take the audience through an emotional journey that creates a reason to decide right here, right now.

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