It’s amazing where you find inspiration.
The last few soggy weekends have found me digging deep into Amazon Prime, where I happened across a documentary celebrating the Nashville songwriting community.
Songs like ‘A Little Less Conversation’ and ‘Whiskey Lullaby’? This group of people was responsible for them.
Creating timeless classics doesn’t happen overnight. They require hard work, persistence and a fair bit of inspiration. This naturally got me thinking about the process we take our customers through to create presentations that really deliver results. The same cocktail of hard work, persistence and inspiration play a part…but, of course, it goes a little deeper than that.
Ultimately, you can boil the process of both songwriting and great presentation storytelling into three distinct elements:
1. Start with the end in mind.
Every talented person that makes their way to Nashville has a dream.
It goes deeper than just creating a million-seller – it’s about sparking a connection with an audience that drives into action.
That action could be as intimate as having the hairs on the back of their necks going up through to putting the bottle down and getting up on the dance floor. Either way, a songwriter has an end in mind.
And so it is with presentations.
We’ve previously shared the importance of outcome-based presenting – what is the purpose of your presentation? What action are you going to drive from it?
In the absence of this clarity, there is minimal value in actually delivering it in the first place. Simple but true.
2. The importance of process.
I assumed these wonderful songs happened following a flash of inspiration (probably in the middle of the night following some heavy drinking at a honky-tonk). Sadly, this is rarely the case. The documentary highlighted just how important the sense of process was for the creative process.
The songwriters ‘go to the office’, Monday to Friday. Following a step-by-step process is a million miles from the ‘3 chords and the truth’ sensibility – this is about following a proven path. For example, a relatively junior songwriter followed a process of collecting phrases, snippets and short sentences. He then brings them to life by combining them in a song – it’s powerful stuff.
Again, exactly the same with presentations – it’s about keeping your eyes and ears open for hooks, ideas and inspiration to use as you create a presentation that will deliver the same level of impact from your audience.
The importance of working together was writ large in the documentary. Swapping songwriting partners is a regular thing – these professional songwriters rarely work alongside the same collaborator. The community feeds the hunger for the next sounding board or catalyst for a new idea.
This is the part that Eyeful so often plays. We rarely work with a client on each and every presentation they create and deliver. Yet, when the pressure is on, or the stakes are suitably high, we step up to be the guiding hand, creative spark or sounding board.
In summary, each presentation (and song) is worth investing in and taken seriously. This demands having a clear purpose in mind, following a proven process and turning to others to bounce off. After all, the next presentation you deliver might be the one that makes the difference and gets you to the top of your own personal hit parade.
Presentation Optimisation Methodology:
Outcome Based Presenting: