Screw your agenda
September 17, 2012 Leave a comment
I write a lot of presentations. Almost entirely using PowerPoint. A big part of being a planner is being able to tell a story. The story of the brand, the story of consumer, the story of the strategy we need to create against, the story of the strategy and why the work you are about to see is the best way to address the consumer problem/challenge.
I usually start out by talking about the problem that we are trying to solve. I make sure that we’re all on the same page regarding what we are supposed to be working against.
But I don’t work in a vacuum. Rarely do people in advertising work alone. On anything. So usually, my strategy section is the upfront piece before we get to the creative work. It makes sense, right? Except, too often, people think you need to have an agenda slide in the beginning of the deck. And it usually looks something like this:
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that we go into a presentation fired up to show off some great work and as we get started, we bust out the most boring slide in the whole deck. I’m not a fan of any slide whose only purpose is for the presenter to read from. And that’s exactly what an agenda slide is.
The account lead tells the people who are being presented to exactly what they’re going to see while they nod along. Zero value gained. Precious time wasted.
What’s the point of these slides? To show how organized you are? To show that you can structure a deck? They’re going to see it in a matter of minutes. This isn’t a large written document that requires an index so you can jump ahead to a section while reading it by yourself. There’s nothing to be gained by saying “Here’s how we are going to present to you.”
Agendas work great when used to plan out your meeting. Write one, share it with the clients, make sure you are covering off on all the topics that need to be covered. Use that agenda to frame your presentation.
THEN THROW IT AWAY.
That’s exactly what I’ll tell you the next time you try to make me put one of these useless slides into my deck.