Lessons From Mad Men: How to Present Like Don Draper

The other day, we looked at the reasons why most presentations are forgettable:

  • They’re too long
  • They’re not interesting

We suggested that you could build a better presentation by doing less and making it rich in meaning with emotion, story, and pictures.

Can you really do this with a business presentation?

Why, yes.

In this clip from the TV show Mad Men, executives from Eastman Kodak want a better way to market their “wheel” slide projector. They realize the wheel isn’t new, isn’t exciting. So Eastman Kodak enlists the services of the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. Here’s what happens.

A few observations:

  • It’s short
  • It’s simple: the wheel isn’t new (a spaceship) but it’s nostalgic (a carousel)
  • No text on the slides–pictures only
  • A story (Teddy the Greek copywriter) leads into the presentation story (Don Draper’s family history, shown from the present backwards)
  • It’s emotional

Give it a try for an upcoming presentation.

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