In a word, NO. As a public speaking and presentation coach in New York City and New Jersey, I occasionally see presentations by financial service executives that are needlessly boring, and I say it’s time to put an end to it!
The key to creating a good data driven presentation is to understand that a presentation must first and foremost be engaging and entertaining. If you are merely reviewing data, there is no need to present. You may as well simply email the information out. So how do we create an entertaining, yet data driven, presentation?
Check out Chris McKentt’s presentation on the investment logic of sustainability posted above. Chris does a few things well to help engage the audience:
1) He has a very clear premise – His premise is “investment strategy and global sustainability do not need to be incompatible”. He uses his presentation as a way to call the audience to action (a persuasive speech always trumps an instructional speech).
2) He uses Power Point as a visual medium – Power Point is very useful when it is used simply, and in a design capacity. Think color, shape, form, and stick your extraneous data into a handout.
3) Quotes, quotes, quotes – Notice the way he sprinkles the speech with meaningful quotes. They enhance the power of his premise.
4) Analogies, analogies, analogies– Creative comparisons are another way to engage the audience. I love how Chris compares the reduction of one company’s carbon footprint with the effect of taking 2100 cars off the road.
5) The power of three – Chris has an introduction, a discussion section, and a closing section. He tells us what he is going to tell us, tells us, and then tells us what he told us. It sounds absurd, but if you watch the speech, there is a real sense of satisfaction with his closing section. That sense of satisfaction exists not just because he has made his point, but also because the point he has made was designed artfully.