Try writing a logline for your next presentation

A dashing archaeologist must reunite with the ex he dumped if he is to beat the Nazis to find the all-powerful lost Ark of the Covenant.  

Do you recognize this? It describes the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark; that is its logline.  Loglines are used by screenwriters to describe their film’s story in a sentence or two; the rule is 27 words or less. A logline answers the question, “So, what’s your film about?”

Screenwriters create a logline at the beginning of the writing process in order to test their story concept.  They need to break down a complex book or story into simple components in order to fit the length of the average movie.  If the story concept cannot be clearly communicated in 27 words, it is likely too complicated to fit into the typical movie timeline.

Another reason to write a logline at the beginning of a project is that the logline will provide a basic framework to follow; it can keep the screenwriter on track during the writing of the script.  A good logline should answer the following four questions: who is the story about, what do they want, what’s keeping them from getting it, and what’s at risk.

If we apply these four questions to presentation design we can ask: who is the audience, what does the audience need/want, what problem is being addressed, and what happens if the audience doesn’t accept/implement my idea, concept or product.

Here is the logline for a presentation I give called “A Presentation about Presentations”.

When presenters make important presentations they must overcome the risk of “death by PowerPoint” in order to ensure their presentation will have an impact.

Writing a logline before you design your presentation will help keep you on track to make sure you deliver the message you intend.  It will also help you stay in storytelling mode rather than “data-dump” mode.

So, what’s your presentation about?

Joe Pops

Refuse to be boring

 

For more information about writing a logline visit   http://tinyurl.com/22q4woe

 

 

 

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