Hop to It

Technology has no meaning unless you understand how people use it and benefit from it. This often creates problems for presentations about technology. Companies tend to emphasize the product and its features, instead of focusing on how it can make users’ lives better.

Take, for example, the original slide you see below. At first glance it seems to describe how the technology can help people, but it’s actually just a laundry list of features. Listen to the script that accompanies the slide in the multimedia version of Resonate.

The script is accurate, succinct, and completely devoid of charm or character. It answers the questions “what” and “how” while completely ignoring the “why.” In other words, technology is capable of many things— but audiences need to be given a reason to care.

original presentation slide that does not work for audience

To give them that reason to care, use a story. Paint a picture that includes a human element to which they can relate; tell them “why.” Eventually, you can pull back the curtain to reveal the inner workings of the technology, but only after you’ve got them hooked. A sure way to lose an audience is to dive into an explanation of how a magic trick works before you’ve amazed them by performing the jaw-dropping trick itself.

Below, the original presentation is transformed by capturing how Cisco’s technology helped a small businessman become more agile and smart in managing his business.

When your company’s tagline is “the human network,” telling how humans benefit from this network is important. Weaving it into a story with a real character is even better.

reworked presentation slide that resonates with audience

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