July 28, 2008

The critical role of Examples – and a great source for them

One of the essential parts of the Extreme Presentation method is the use of examples in your presentation.  (See especially chapter 6 in the forthcoming Advanced Presentation by Design). Examples ground your presentation in reality and make it more interesting.  It is not enough to say that 23% of consumers love this product, you should also quote from one or two consumers, in their exact words, saying what they love about it.  Even better: show video from a recent focus group of participants gushing about how great the new product is.  I am not saying replace your quantitative data with examples–I am saying add examples to your data and you will find the combination to be very powerful.  

One great source of examples that I have found is Tim Manners’ daily Coolnews email (to subscribe, click on Email Subscription under About Us).  Every morning, while most of us are still asleep, Tim identifies the two most interesting news stories from the leading U.S. newspapers and then summarizes them and emails them out.  I have subscribed to this free service for years and I find it invaluable as a source for good examples to include in presentations.  

Relevance book jacket
Tim has a book coming out from Penguin, Relevance, which has some very timely insights on marketing, and also is chock full of great (and current) examples as well as interviews with CMOs.

I recommend it.  

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