Use Presentations To Spur Conversation, Not Create Surprises

If you're preparing a presentation the temptation to pull an Apple and have "one more thing..." at the end can be powerful. In a business context, however, it's not the best strategy.

Presentations picture from Shutterstock

Instead, argues John Coleman at HBR, you should pepper all your salient details throughout a presentation, along with questions to keep the people you're presenting to engaged. Going for a single knockout blow point at the end of your presentation won't work, because it doesn't give people time to properly assess the point you're making. As Coleman puts it:

"The last-minute nature of the unveiling meant that our clients (or internal teammates to whom we were presenting) did not have time to fully understand the information and were not prepared to participate in discussion. This made our problem-solving, and consequently, our solutions worse. Group intelligence typically trumps individual intelligence, and the insights our clients and teammates could have added with further reflection would have improved our results tremendously."

Create a Conversation, Not a Presentation [Harvard Business Review]


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