If I cry is this lady going to judge me?

Pondering this question while approximating how many minutes I had left were all I could think about midway into my last deep tissue massage.

My own voice blurting You actually paid for this dude??was also intermittently surfacing.

killer presentation

Then, with about 10 minutes left, the vibe of the massage completely shifted.

[Anna] got out the hot stones and switched to a more soothing style. I suddenly found myself never wanting to leave the table which lasted until her little timer went off.

On my way out, the owner gave me two punches on my loyalty card instead of one and Anna walked me to the elevator.

The Aftermath

For the next few hours I was on Cloud 9. I found myself bragging to everyone about this great new massage place I found….and how much better I felt.

They really know how to work out the soreness

I started thinking more about the experience…

  • How did they get me to go from borderline tears to a completely evangelizing their business? 
  • Why was I telling people they were so good before I even really had the ability to discern the efficacy of helping my muscle soreness?

Usually you don’t know the impact of something like a deep tissue massage until the following day when your muscles no longer feel 40 years old when performing simple tasks.

About Creating A Killer Presentation...

At this point you may be wondering--What on earth does this have to do with presentations?

Right now I want you to pause and think of the last presentation you saw...

What do you remember? What did you walk away with?

People often leave experiences remembering two things:

  1. the most intense moment 
  2. the last moment

This line of thinking can be applied to the audience of your presentation(s).

Sure people might remember other things from a presentation, like something highly relevant to their unique situation, but I’d argue that there is a high propensity that they’ll walk away with these two moments top of mind.

When I reflect on my massage and how I described the experience to other people, I didn’t focus on 50 minutes of torture. Instead I talked about the delightful way it finished and the notion that it seemingly worked...if it hurts like cray, it has to be doing something right?

Controlling Your Audience’s Takeaway

Recently we did a presentation at MobileBeat on the future of messaging and A.I.

killer presentation

(Our very own Dan Reich in killer presentation mode)

When we were putting it together, the question we asked ourselves was What do we want the audience thinking when we’re done?

This is something we always focus on before putting a presentation together.

Using this question as a starting point for presentations can be applied to:

  • Customer demos
  • Public thought leadership
  • Investor conversations
  • Board meetings
  • Even recruiting!

You need to key in on the emotion and general idea you want someone walking away with.

For example, if I was talking to a potential partner or acquirer, I might want to make them feel scared about the implications of not working with us.

Working backwards from establishing this goal, you can focus the meat of your content to engineer a specific feeling keeping keen attention to the intense moments, such as the unveiling of your product and your parting words.

There are certainly other frames to guide the content of a presentation or conversation. This is just one way we think about it.

When you create a presentation, start with the outcome you want, which is often inciting an idea or feeling, and then work backwards. [Click to tweet!]

One thing we’re constantly doing is seeking out examples of people and companies who have this dialed in. A recent example that comes to mind was a demo we saw from someone at DataFox at the last Sales Machine Summit.

While everyone else spent 5 minutes showing features, he spent the bulk telling a relatable story with a grand 30 second unveiling of the product at the end that addressed how it solved the problem in the story...way more memorable

Be sure to check out this post from CustomShow on tips for designing and delivering effective presentations. What companies’ pitches or presentations, have impressed you? Let us know some of your favorite killer presentations or presenters in the comments!


Scott Britton

Written by Scott Britton

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