Lego Land

Richard Lace | 12 February 2019

“Death by PowerPoint”. I’m sure most have you have all experienced that presentation that never seems to end, slide after slide, watching the clock ticking down just hoping each slide is the last. PowerPoint has a bit of a bad reputation these days and many people perceive it to be outdated and old-fashioned. This is perhaps a little harsh, it is still a useful tool for presenting, however, we believe you must look for more innovative and interesting ways to hold the attention of a boardroom.

Recently, OBI were invited to pitch to a leading global asset manager, that included fourteen key figures. The presentation was based on how OBI could add value on a multi-asset real estate portfolio.

When it comes to presenting, OBI pride ourselves on creating new ideas and concepts to grasp the attention of our audience and differentiate from the ‘standard’ PowerPoint presentations.
To ensure we delivered a pitch that continually engaged the attention of the room, we printed a large map of Manchester City Centre and used Lego to form the buildings of interest – all built to scale, and colour coded to illustrate the level of amenity and use of the building.

The result of having these 3D visuals mapped out for our team to discuss was well received and captivated the room throughout our presentation. The colour coded, assembled to scale buildings made it easy for all to visualise the size and use of each aspect of the building, as well as the location in the city, whilst discussing each aspect.

Here are some tips to deliver a successful presentation:

– Preparation. A strong presentation doesn’t begin with slides, but by researching your audience background and ascertaining their interests and capabilities. What do they already know and what is it they want to hear from you?

– Innovative concepts. Our example here was to use props to provide a visual for the room to observe. It’s important to be creative and avoid the ‘standard’ over populated PowerPoint slides and reading from them. Make it unique.

– Set the tone. An audience will make a conception within the first minute of the pitch. Therefore, it’s imperative to get off to a positive ‘attention-grabbing’ start. This could be a surprising statistic, an imaginary scenario or asking your audience a question.

– Keep it interactive. Invite an element of discussion and questions. Nobody enjoys having someone talk ‘at them’ for a period of time. Involve more than one team member.

– Dress the part and be punctual. This should go without saying, but it is essential to arrive with plenty of time to spare and you should consider your appearance and ensure you’re dressed appropriately and in a way that reflects your business and your audience.

– Audience awareness. People have various attention spans. Take the initiative to move through the presentation at the appropriate speed without rushing your words.

– Summarise concisely. Summarising is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your audience and plant their ‘take-a-ways’ and remind the room about the essential core of the presentation. Finally, conclude by thanking your audience for listening and inviting any questions.

– Next Steps. Last but not least, be sure to send an effective follow-up email. The email should have a personal feel and contain three focal components. i) A thank you – be grateful for their time, gratitude goes a long way. ii) Key discussions – highlight the significant areas that came from the meeting and the views taken from it. iii) timescale of actions – outline any actions to be taken and agree to follow up again within a given timeframe.

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