The Importance of Judging a Presentation by its Effect, not its Technical Excellence

In here delightful book, On Speaking Well, Peggy Noonan (who wrote speeches for former Presidents Bush and Reagan) tells a story about Coco Chanel that illustrates this important distinction. Chanel believed that the hallmark of a great dress was that it didn’t call too much attention to itself. Thus if a woman walked into a room wearing one of her dresses and everyone said, “What a fabulous dress!” she had failed. Success came when the woman walked into the room and people said, “You look fabulous!”

In the same way, a presenter fails if people say “What a great presentation!”.

Excerpt from: Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business by Jon Steel