It is very common when people deliver highly technical or dry informational slides that they end up reciting a lot of bullets that don’t always give the audience a clear “so what” or “main message.” To help solve this problem, I listen to a presenter deliver a slide and at the end of it I will ask them “What movie would this slide be if you had to give it a title?”

After laughing at me, they usually tilt their head and admit they never thought about doing such a thing. “Your team’s sales are down this quarter…is this a horror film? An adventure? A mystery?” My thinking is that if you can narrow it down to a genre you can often find a title that summarizes the overall feeling of the message or slide in a way that the audience understands emotionally, not just intellectually.

“AHA!” said one client. “This quarter was The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!” Sometimes you may actually want to use the movie title as the title of your slide – other times you may just want to reference the title verbally. This can be a creative and business appropriate way of using humor to spice up your presentation. And, if the rollout of the new product line was like National Lampoon’s Vacation you might just want to keep the movie title to yourself!

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