A Lasting Impression: Make great presentations greater with what you leave behind! [Speak on the Shoulders of Giants]
Set design? Check.
PowerPoint presentation? Check.
Is there anything else we haven’t mentioned yet?
If you want to make your audience remember you and the presentation you delivered, then the answer is YES.
Have you experienced attending a seminar where you saw event organizers put a printed handout or a brochure on each chair?
How about when you were registering for an event and after writing down your name and contact details, one of the organizers handed you a printed document?
Those on-hand collaterals are some examples of a leave-behind.
A leave-behind is any item that you literally leave behind for your audience to make it easier for them to remember you, the brand you represent, and the presentation you delivered.
Leave-behinds could be in the form of a business card, shirt, pen, keyholder, printed handout, or any other thing your audience can take with them.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on the presentation leave-behind.
A presentation leave-behind helps reinforce your message when you’re speaking in front of your audience.
It is technically your presentation in print.
Your presentation leave-behind can either serve as:
- An expansion piece. Your leave-behind can build on the points mentioned during your presentation and provide a more in-depth breakdown and explanation of those points.
This enables your audience to stay engaged with the content of your presentation even when the presentation has already ended.
- A summary of key points. Your leave-behind can provide an overview of the major topics you discussed in your presentation.
This serves as a reminder of important discussion points and also nudges your audience’s memory of more specific details.
There are still other things to consider when creating a leave-behind that complements your visual and verbal presentation.
Here is what Professor Joel Litman, the President and CEO of Valens Research, often tells the firm regarding presentations and leave-behinds:
A great (visual) presentation is a terrible leave-behind.
You know what a good visual presentation looks like, right?
As a speaker, your PowerPoint presentation can help you get your message across to your listeners.
In our previous Write with the Pen of the Masters articles, we discussed what an ideal visual presentation is like―using horizontal and vertical logic, using the Power Outage, and keeping in mind the importance of high-resolution images.
If your PowerPoint presentation follows these guidelines, then it is a great visual presentation.
Now, think about literally printing out your exact PowerPoint slides and handing it out to your audience.
Do you think it will enlighten them about the topic you’ll discuss?
If your visual presentation only contains keywords, arrows, and a bunch of photos, what good will it do for your audience?
Those words, arrows, and photos won’t speak for themselves; they need to have your explanation.
Don’t waste your paper, time, and effort in printing your presentation file out as is.
More importantly, don’t give your audience a headache by making them interpret your visual presentation on their own.
Your PowerPoint presentation is mainly for YOU, so that as the speaker, you won’t get lost in your train of thought.
As great as it might be for presenting, your Powerpoint slides won’t be as great as a printed leave-behind for your audience.
A great leave-behind is a terrible (visual) presentation.
What makes for a bad visual presentation?
Just do the opposite of the guidelines mentioned earlier and you’ll have it.
However, if it’s a bad presentation (because it’s wordy and contains a lot of information), it would make for a great printed leave-behind.
Simply because it has all the explanations that your audience needs to further understand your topic.
Here are some tips in creating a presentation leave-behind for your audience:
- Write for the reader. Make sure your leave-behind answers the question, “What are the things that my audience needs to know?”
- Keep it concise and useful. Your leave-behind has to be informative, but it shouldn’t bombard your audience with too much information.
Make it a fairly quick and focused read for them.
Always take note that not everyone who attends and listens to your presentation is fond of reading long content.
- Prepare a nice and engaging layout. Don’t just hand out a plain bond paper with words on it. Take the time to create a templated design that complements the contents of your leave-behind.
That way, it will be more appealing for the eyes of the person who’s reading it.
It may be an additional task to do for you and your team, but a great presentation leave-behind is worth the time and effort to make it.
A great visual presentation and a great leave-behind.
One is speaker-centric and the other is audience-centric.
Although your PowerPoint presentation and leave-behind differ in content and format, both are equally important in serving their purpose for you and your audience.
Extend the impact of your presentation!
Make a lasting impression with your leave-behind and give your audience something to remember your whole presentation by.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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This content is used with permission from The I Institute and The Business Builder Daily.