How to Get People to Show Up at Your Presentations

Recently, when speaking with a franchised restaurant client, we were discussing one of the greatest chicken/egg issues in the business: traffic. It's a pretty simple equation, really, but talk it long enough and it starts to look like the snake eating its tail. More so than average guest check, traffic drives restaurant sales. And as goes sales goes marketing budget. Marketing budget begets brand. And brand ultimately leads to more traffic. So in restaurants, traffic is king. Because anyone who shows up has at least the intention to eat, so that's more than half the battle.

I couldn't help but notice how similar this is to presentations.

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Anecdote vs. Story

Storytelling. While it's GatherRound's gift to the world, we're aware it's also somewhat of a buzzword in marketing, as the entire org chart learns to embrace humankind's most enduring art form. We witness and contribute to thousands of versions of stories generated and shared every year, and we're privy to many anecdotes as well.

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How to Funny: Using Humor in your Presentations

Picture yourself selling an idea to an audience. Do you want your audience to laugh, or do you want them to be all business? That's an easy answer. Laughing releases oxytocin, the feel-good brain chemical that helps boost feelings of loyalty and trust. Go for the chuckles, and help your audience feel how much they can trust you.

However, it's not always easy being funny in a professional setting - particularly if comedy doesn't come naturally. What should you look for in a joke when you're trying to sell?

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Persuasive Spotlight: Sarah Kimes of CallisonRTKL

Sarah Kimes is Senior Associate Vice President and Brand Strategist at CallisonRTKL, a global architecture, planning and design practice. She leads the brand services team at the Dallas, TX office, and her goal is to connect the built environment to people in a way that's meaningful. How does Sarah create these meaningful connections? She uses powerful presentations to communicate her ideas and build, change and reinforce beliefs in her audience.


What makes Sarah such a powerful presenter? Her strengths are threefold: She relies on a dependable process, she has extensive experience in branding, and she's incredibly self aware.

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3 Questions That Lead to Better Presentations

It's not an impossible dream. In fact, it's quite simple to write a great presentation outline.


Research conducted by Stanford University has proven that audiences are 40% more likely to retain information accurately when it's presented with structure, as opposed to free-form.


While there are many ways to create structure, our clients find asking these 3 questions can take presentations from random and scattered to resonant and incredibly sticky.  

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Why are We Addicted to Decks?

Seek first to understand...

A good friend reminded me the other day of Covey's 5th Habit, and I knew it was time to explore this phenomenon in greater depth. After all, any successful mission requires we know how high the odds are stacked against us. So why ARE we addicted to presentation decks?

What happens in our brains when we have the opportunity to present?

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This Just In: You're Creative

Funny thing about self esteem: It's often at its highest when we need it least. The inverse seems true as well: When opportunity knocks, many of us (who aren't proud to admit it) have been known to pretend we're not home. This reaction, even though we attach our professional value to the content we share, as we've explored in prior musings.

In fact, it's the most common thing we hear from our clients as they grapple with presentations: "I would do that, but I'm just not creative."

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Peer Pressure? Just Say No to Slides.

It can happen to anyone.

It's Friday morning. You're sitting in your office enjoying a hot cup of coffee, lining up the day's important tasks.

"Hey," your coworker (or supervisor) interrupts. "You know how the investors are coming in for that meeting on Monday? You think you could throw together a few slides about that thing you worked on last month?"

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10 Things to Try Instead of Slides

We can't help it. We do decks because it's the convention, and because it feels better than going against the grain. But when's the last time you really nailed it because of the quality of your slides? And are you sure that's what deserves the credit?

At GatherRound, we see the deck as a last resort. A tactic only to be deployed when we're 100% certain it's the appropriate medium. But we'd be remiss to leave it at that. Below are 10 of the most common (because they're effective) alternatives we recommend to accomplish similar results with our clients and their audiences:

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7 Signs of Deck Addiction

Let's just come right out with it, shall we? Corporate cultures can cloud our judgment and cause us to develop behaviors we wouldn't otherwise endorse. Behaviors become habits, and the next thing we know, we're preparing a PowerPoint to request vacation days.


It's nothing to be ashamed of. Okay, maybe a little shame. But the point is you're not alone.

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