Jacked Up Presentation

Bill Lane on writing your presentation

I'm reading Bill Lane's "Jacked Up" - the story of his two decades as Jack Welch's speechwriter at GE. A full review may follow, but I wanted to share one passage with you already.

(I hope that Sally and the other nice folks at McGraw-Hill will excuse an extended quote. Consider it a recommendation.)

"Firstly, shun the PowerPoint. Avoid the computer like it was a roadkill skunk. Go into a room with no phone. Turn on a tape recorder. Stand up. Walk around. Yell. Splutter. Trail off. Start again. What do you know and believe that will knock this audience on its ass? What must they understand, be aware of? Make rough notes on a pad. Write down whole phrases or sentences if you absolutely love them.

All this will start to clarify within 10 or 20 minutes. Ignore the boring crap you have been told to pitch - the mind-numbing "report" or "analysis" that no-one cares about.

Think, at first, only in terms of what the crowd will hear from you, and see in your face and in your passion. At this point, you should put out of your mind any evil vision of a tedious word chart. Spit at the thought of turning you back to your victims and rushing through a read of a two hundred word chart that no-one is interested in.

At this point, PowerPoint is the abortionist of the great presentation gestating within you.

Any presentation that does not give the people in the audience something they can take out of the door with them and use is a failure and a waste of their time."
(Edited for length between the last 2 paragraphs).

Amen, Bill. And thanks.

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