Episode #979 Michael Baldwin: Creating Simple, Powerful Presentations

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Moe and Michael Baldwin discuss how to put the focus — and the power — of every presentation back where it belongs: with the presenter.


Michael Baldwin

Founder and CEO of MICHAEL BALDWIN INC View Full Profile

The Best Presentations Don’t Inform, They Convince

The highest praise for any actor, Michael Baldwin told me, is to be utterly convincing.  To be so intimate with his audience, that they forget they’re watching a character playing a role in a movie.  Similarly, the one distinguishing characteristic you’ll notice in any great presenter is the singularly of idea, a point of view that is so embedded in his character that it gives the world a portrait into his being.    

George Bernard Shaw so eloquently reminded us that “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place,” and no where is that more evident than in powerpoint presentations.  It is estimated that more than 30 million powerpoint presentations are delivered each day, still it remains a great mystery to me why this most critical of human skills is one so many of us still take for granted.  

For nearly three decades now, Michael Baldwin has been helping brands, senior executives, and entrepreneurs craft compelling presentations, but never before has he shared the science behind his approach, until now.  In his new book, Just Add Water:  An incredibly easy guide for creating simple, powerful presentations, he goes back in time to illustrate why communication is a lost art, and how simple index cards can transform your next presentation.  

Here’s what we discuss:

  • What the insiders know about capturing attention
  • The human element of presentation delivery
  • Defining your crystal clear objective
  • Why every presentation design should begin with “To Convince”
  • What great presenters know about pacing and pausing
  • The distinguishing characteristic of great headlines
  • Why the ending doesn’t have to have a call to action