Plan the follow-up to your presentation to increase the impact of your message; Issue #182 April 7, 2009

PowerPoint Tip: Plan your follow-up

Is your presentation done when you stop speaking and the audience has left the room? It shouldn’t be. Research published in the book “Brain Rules” by John Medina shows that people remember the information better if they are re-exposed to it after your presentation. This means that your presentation should consist of the time you have with the audience plus a planned follow-up to reinforce your message.

So what does a planned follow-up look like? You can plan to send one or more follow-up e-mails to the audience members to remind them of some of the key ideas and direct them to more resources or implementation ideas. You can prepare a special report extending the ideas and mail it to the audience members two weeks after the presentation. You can schedule a conference call or web meeting to answer any questions that have come up. Or you can create a series of videos to reinforce your message and make them available over the web.

Let me share what I have changed in my approach to presentation follow-up. In the past, workshop attendees had the opportunity to add their name to the newsletter list and they received the same e-course that those signing up on the web receive. This year I have changed what workshop participants receive. They start with a reminder to start implementing what we covered in the session and a suggestion of the easiest change they can make to improve their slides. I also address the key objection people have to implementing the ideas and give a strategy to overcome it. Then, they are given access to the past makeover videos to learn even more.

Thirty days after their name is added to the list, they receive another reminder and are directed to more resources, including back issues of the newsletter, over 45 articles, a link to get my book “The Visual Slide Revolution” and a link to short “how-to” videos that can help them when creating slides. The goal is to help the participants in my sessions have the greatest chance of succeeding in using the ideas to transform the overloaded “wall of text” slides into persuasive visuals.

You don’t have to follow my exact approach, but consider how you can increase the impact of your message by planning the follow-up before you deliver your next presentation. If it is time for your organization to schedule one of my workshops, let me know and we’ll get the process started.