Death by Powerpoint. We’ve all experienced it. Often it’s a matter of execution: The presenter reads every word of every bullet point on every slide, for example. (Death, execution, bullets … rough first paragraph.)
But the problem can also be content. Think about the last presentation you attended. It probably was constructed to build up to the great climax, and that climax was probably some variation of How We Will Help You!
It’s easiest to see this in presentations like sales pitches, but it occurs in all kinds of content. In fact, in many online articles, not only does the content not immediately grab your attention, but there’s no dramatic climax. It’s all about the company, how great it is, its storied history, and centuries of collective experience from beginning to end.
Who, exactly, do they think cares? Nobody!
Now think of the last great book you read, movie you saw, or play you attended. Certainly they all built to a dramatic climax. But they also probably grabbed you right away.
And that’s one of the reasons those works of art were so engaging. They made you care – right from the start.
That’s what your content needs to do. So skip the preamble, the introduction, and the stage-setting. Get right to the meat of the matter. Or, as a journalist might say, don’t bury the lede.
Once you’ve made your audience care by demonstrating what’s in it for them, you can then go back and fill in the inevitable questions. That’s when your audience is going to be thinking, “This sounds like a great fit for our needs, but how do I know these guys really know how to do all this? How do I know I can afford it? How does it fit in with our other initiatives?”
Whatever their particular questions, they’re only going to be asked after they’ve already bought into the idea that what you’re selling might actually be worth buying. Sure, prospects may disqualify themselves after initial interest once they dig into the details. But you’ve got to get that initial interest first to even stand a chance at converting them.
So construct your content – whether social media posts, email newsletter, online articles, or, yes, Powerpoint presentations – to lead with value and follow up with the details. Prove that you deserve their attention by delivering value first.