Embrace Dashboards: Don’t be stuck with one storyline for your presentation

Nothing irks more than someone asking you to be available for something that turns out to be a complete waste of time. You choose to cut off otherwise important things to attend this presentation only to be disappointed because of a tweak request. If that person you invited is your MD you are treading on a live wire.

The presentation storyline journey

Monday is here and you have the usual 9:00 am management presentation. The slides were finalized on Saturday and the story line is well laid out. You are confident that the punch line “…. and that’s why investing in new laptops for the sales team is critical to achieve the next quarter target” will sail through and the MD will ask for the detailed proposal on the investment needed. 

During the well laid out presentation, the MD notes something about the overall sales trend and asks for the trend to be sliced by Sales Rep, by product line, market segment and region.

This was not part of your story line and so you must start scuffling with various Excel files. Some minutes later, the MD inquires how long it will take to get the revised story of the slides, 1 hour you say affirmatively. You almost choke on your words, so embarrassed you cannot look up to him when you respond. 

Review

Since this was more time than he had for your presentation, you are given until Tuesday morning to redo your slides. Angry at yourself for not thinking through the outcome, you slump back in your seat wearily; your then clean pressed white shirt now soggy with perspiration sticking uncomfortably on your back.  

The well thought out bubble has burst and you remember that it took you two days; that is Friday and Saturday to create the story line in the slides you had. You are not sure whether you will fix it by evening. And you picture yourself pulling an all-nighter just to get it right. 

The PowerPoint way

PowerPoint forces you to pre-define a story line you want to present to your audience and gives little leeway for twists and turns that come during any presentation that you make.

Using a dashboard tool to make your presentation is also another option. It allows the audience to change the story line during the presentation.

At Sunesis Consulting, we specialize in not only giving you the skills to produce your own dashboards, but we also work with you to develop the dashboard you need. 

One word of caution, avoid having pre-packed presentations that lock your story line and be a presenter that allows the audience to craft their story line during your presentation. Do not let your presentation hold you hostage unnecessarily. Embrace dashboards today and say goodbye to rigidity and be in tandem with your audience.