How to Relate Words and Visual Elements in Innovative Presentations

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

When you begin developing your innovative presentation, think about the main point you want to make and keep reworking it, asking yourself why or how, until it’s solid. Change subjective adjectives into descriptive adjectives. For example, you have an appointment to present your services to a potential client and developing your main point may go something like this:

  • The company offer great travel services.

  • The company offer custom, full-service business travel arrangements.

  • This company takes care of your company’s business travelers from reservations and limousine pickup to meeting room and banquet arrangements. The company does the price comparisons, so you don’t have to. The company tracks each traveler during the journey to pre-solve eventual problems and delays.

  • The company is your virtual, ever-present travel concierge.

Now you’re talking. Come up with a visual of a familiar figure who takes care of everything, such as nanny Mary Poppins, maid Rosie from The Jetsons, valet Jeeves from stories by P. G. Wodehouse, or Jules Verne’s traveling butler Passepartout to open your presentation.

[Credit: Illustration courtesy of Ray Anthony and Barbara Boyd]

Credit: Illustration courtesy of Ray Anthony and Barbara Boyd

After you develop your main point, begin building the supporting points and visuals that accompany them, going through the same honing exercise you did for the opening visual. Give your audience one piece of information at a time, repeating salient points and reinforcing them with related images to make them memorable.

Break your presentation into ten-minute chunks, and use your visuals to punctuate them. For example, use still images while you speak for ten minutes and then show a short video.