Make your next presentation your best ever!


Say if I was giving a presentation on greenhouse gases, and I said 20 planes landed per hour, that would be relatively dull.

But if I take a camera out to an airport, and film each plane landing for 4.5 hours, and then splice them all together – that’s an exciting way to make a point. We call that moment the one big insight. And every meeting or presentation of yours should have one.

The fact is, many sales meetings and presentations, while well-meaning, are somewhat forgettable. This means that the client can go back to their day job and will have forgotten most of what they have just seen or heard. And the stuff that they have heard might not be the things you want them to remember.

That’s why we like the One Big Insight principle. It means that if you have 4 hours to prepare for a big meeting, then spend 3 of them coming up with a big moment, or insight, that changes the world of your audience, customer or colleagues. You should be aiming for something that gives their central nervous system a good jolt. They should feel it in their teeth!

One Big Insight: Guidelines & Tips

1. Make the complicated, simple: Think about how to make the complicated simple for your customer, so they get it without having to do much thinking. They will love it.

2. Spend time on the packaging: Diamond rings are beautiful, and they are everywhere. But there is only one Tiffany diamond ring. What separates it from the rest? The distinctive blue box. The execution of your insight, the way that it is packaged, is so important.

3. Know your market: A key reason that your One Big Insight might fail is that your customer or audience doesn’t identify with it. I learned this one the hard way. Recently I met a client in the publication and exhibitions space, and I thought it would be a great idea to blog the night before on a new development in Facebook (here is the blog).

I went into the meeting prepared to show her the blog, and how we were up to date with their world. When I mentioned it, quite proudly, she didn’t like or understand blogging, didn’t like Facebook, and therefore didn’t really like me. Fail. The point is your One Big Insight needs to be conceptually, linguistically and visually something that gives their central nervous system a good jolt. And for that to happen, you need to know your audience.

4. Be bold: There is a new school of thought in selling that we need to challenge the customer, prod them, provoke them. There is some truth to that. Customers, like all of us, sit up and listen when we hear something different, some sort of variation. Don’t be afraid to be bold, and strategically adventurous. For example, often in our sales training we hear from clients that they need help to close. That may be true, but when we challenge them we often find out it’s not. Closing is the sum product of everything that happens previously, and it’s usually the qualification period, or relationship development path that leads to non-closure, not the actual “close” itself.

5. Look for the nuances: The most brilliant insights come from the smallest of details. One of the most famous advertisements ever was by David Ogilvy for Rolls Royce. Ogilvy, famous for long-copy, wrote an inspired ad with the headline “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock”. Ogilvy kept it simple, found something tiny, and built a great campaign around it.


That One Big Insight didn’t just float into Ogilvy’s head – he came up with the idea by reading the owner’s manual from cover to cover, with an opportunistic eye and a curious mind. This is what you need to do if you are to arrive at your One Big Insight.

You will get there if you spend less time on PowerPoint, and more time wondering why the Chief Executive Officer started with that particular comment in the Executive Summary of the Annual Report. Or why on page 5 of Google there are 11 customer complaints. Or why their values say “innovation”, yet their offices says “tired”.

The point is, right at this minute around the world, there are probably 20,000 presentations and meetings happening. 19,900 of them will be the same as ever. About 100 of them will be different, and wonderful, and will change the customer’s world. In those 100 meetings, the customer will be leaning forward, eyes bright, considering the possibilities of what you have just said.

One Big Insight may well be the one big insight you have been waiting for!

For more on our presentation skills training call up your Natural Expert today in London on 020 7043 1582.

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