Don Draper from Mad Men can definitely teach us a few things about how to give a presentation. So much has changed since someone like him was pitching ideas back in the ‘60s. However, the tools we use to present ideas such as PowerPoint presentations has dramatically changed over the years,
Do you remember in Season 1 when Don Draper pitches an idea to his clients for the new Kodak slide projector with a wheel-like storage advice? If not, please see the video below:
Don puts his own spin on the product by thinking of it as an advancement of wheel technology that triggers nostalgia, much like a carousel. He uses a slide projector to help aid his presentation with old photos of his family. The clients are beyond touched by the sentimental presentation he had given. Using only family photographs he was able to convince his clients to name it the carousel.
While watching the episode years back, it made me wonder: have we lost our ability to tell a great story in business? We have all these great technologies to help aid our ideas, promote them, and share them. The downfall is we sometimes get so caught up with the technological stuff that we forget about how effective the art of storytelling can be.
Telling a good story during a presentation with clarity isn’t always easy. The presenter must know the topic inside and out. And if a presenter is going to provide a PowerPoint presentation, it better attract the audience, not make them turn away.
I believe we often allow technology like PowerPoint to cloud our thought process, neglecting effective strategies like the art of storytelling. With your next presentation, remember to make your PowerPoint simple and aligned with your story.