What great presenters can learn from Google’s success

Ever wondered how Google beat Yahoo, Ask and other search engines to achieve such dominance? 

What is their blueprint for their success?

What if you could apply that same formula to your presentations? And what if that same formula could transform your presentations to make them more, persuasive, memorable and engaging?

So, what do you need to do?

How did Google become so successful?

The reason is really simple.

It’s not because Google’s service or product was superior to Yahoo’s. 

Or that the company was fundamentally ‘better’ in any way. 

The real reason why Google rose to such dominance is that they kept things simple.

Just compare. 

You land on Yahoo’s site and you are overwhelmed with choices; images, ads, headlines, links and videos. 

What about Google? 

You are welcomed by the serenity of white space, three boxes and 5 words. 

Google Search….or… I’m Feeling Lucky.

No confusion or distraction. 

Only calm.

Google is ‘less is more’ in action.

What does this mean for presenters?

Most presentations mirror Yahoo's style rather than Google's simplicity 

Too many slides, packed with lengthy bullet points, dense graphs and charts. Too much information and data presented, often using jargon and technical terminology.

What's the result?

Information overload. When this happens, audiences switch off, they struggle to understand key issues and they delay decisions.

Our capacity to process and remember information is much more limited than we generally like to believe. 

The cognitive psychologist's, George Miller of Harvard University, famous study suggested that our short-term memories are capable of remembering only seven things, plus or minus two.

Compare that to the number of bullet points or pieces of information that you discussed in your last presentation.

And yet, if you want to persuade your audience, it's essential that they understand and remember your content.

The question then becomes; how do you avoid information overload?  

How to make your presentations more engaging, persuasive and memorable.


Keep it simple

Follow Google's example. They are masters of simplicity. 

The less information you present, the easier it is to understand.

Simple does not mean dumbing down. It means that you have to find the core of your message.

Make the core message a prominent focus of your presentation. This ensures that it is remembered and much more likely to be acted upon.

Keep it relevant

Information that actually meets the audience’s needs is less likely to overwhelm.


Keep it clear

Simplicity and relevance are good but information needs clarity to be effective.

The golden rule for successful, persuasive presentations that stick is this: Simplicity and brevity win every time.


Make it clear what is to be done with the information

What action should the listener take? Why should they take it?

Make it easy for the user to take action

If your audience need to complete a task after your presentation, make it accessible and make it obvious.

Minimalist slides

De-clutter your slides.

Use pictures instead of words. Remember, pictures paint a thousand words.

Dispense with unnecessary slides. For example, do you really need that final slide saying "Thank you listening. Any questions?": Absolutely not!

If you are using Powerpoint, you'll be amazed at Harvard's research on what your audience thinks of your slides .


About the Author Paul Lucas

For over 20 years, I’ve been helping leaders, managers and sales teams get better results by improving their communication and influencing skills. My training is founded upon extensive research and analysis. Helping you to understand the specific behaviours, techniques and strategies of the world’s best speakers and influencers provides the platform to transform your presentations and sales skills.

Leave a Comment: