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What Poetry and Presentation Content Have in Common

August 13, 2014 / Blog , Insight , Presentation

You might think poetry and presentations are in completely opposite planes. Both are just different ways of communicating and expressing new ideas. While poetry focuses on artful interpretation, presentation content requires you to be concise and straight to the point. You’ll be surprised that despite this obvious conflict, there are ways that poetry and presentation content overlap with each other.

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Here are ways presentation content can mirror poetry in other ways.

Strong images

Like poetry, great presentation content contains strong images. It’s not enough that you have images in your slides. You also need to integrate powerful imagery in your choice of words. Consider how the poet Ezra Pound perfectly set up a familiar scenario in just a few words:

 In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Similarly, your presentation content should be able to ignite the imagination of your audience with more descriptive and active words.Pair these words with powerful pictures in your slides and you’ll surely keep your audience engaged for a long time.

Analogies and metaphors

Poets take abstract concepts and liken them to more concrete and relatable things.  For example, in William Shakespeare’s famous sonnet, he describes a beloved by comparing her to a “summer’s day.” While your presentation content doesn’t have to be as lengthy as a Shakespearean sonnet, you should also make sure that your ideas are as clear and digestible as possible.

You might as well talk of the abstract when you discuss complicated data without simplifying it. To help your audience fully grasp a complex topic, use common metaphors and analogies in your explanation. Use something you know they’ll be able to relate to, like a scene from a famous movie or rules of a popular sport.

Structure

Poems follow a specific structure that helps reader follow its internal rhythm. Even if a certain poem is written in free verse, it still has specific patterns that allow readers to see the natural flow of words.

The same thing should be present in your presentation content. Structuring your presentation content makes it easier for your audience to follow what you’re saying. Determine the logical flow of your ideas by starting with a storyboard.

Like presentations, poems can take on different forms. Sonnets typically tackle love and romance. Epics follow the adventure of a hero. Some poets prefer to write in free verse. Similarly, the type of presentation you’re going to prepare for will depend on the topic and context.

Your presentation can be a sales pitch, or it can be informative and educational. It can also be a report that’s driven heavily by data. In all these scenarios, your presentation won’t look and sound the same, just like a poem would.

Embrace your inner presentation poet with these tips and craft a winning pitch and deck to match!

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Featured Image: Martin Pettitt via Flickr