The way most people put together presentations these days is to go to an old slide deck and find slides that, with a little tweaking, can be reused. Then, they create any new slides that might be needed.
Finally, all these slides get moved around until they're in the order that the speaker wishes to present them. This is the tactical approach to presentation planning. I don't recommend it.
Use a strategic approach to presentation planning. You'll get better results.
An effective presentation strategy starts with a clear view of who your audience is and what you want to accomplish with them.
Then, you should clarify your core message and fill in the needed details. Lastly, add slides, stories, demos (if appropriate), or any other information that helps you explain your logic.
Here are some things to think about at each of the three stages in the strategic presentation planning process.
Consider who will be in your audience and what's important to them.
- What “keeps them up at night?”
- What is the issue they need to solve or be informed about?
- What is their attitude toward the topic? Positive, negative, or neutral? Is the audience split?
- What is their level of knowledge on the topic? Do you need to define acronyms or technical terminology?
Define what you want your core message to be.
- Net out what is sometimes called the “elevator pitch” or “executive summary”.
- Begin your presentation with this core message.
- Use the Mandel Blueprint® to build and present your core message.
- Include a statement of the problem from the audience’s point of view to set the context.
- Offer your opinion on what needs to be done.
- Make your “ask” of the audience.
- This should all happen in the first 90 seconds of your presentation.
Group presentation details around your main ideas or headings.
- Make your main ideas the content of your agenda slide.
- Limit the number of main ideas to three. It's easier for the human brain to process and retain facts or information in groups of three. If you must include more, don't exceed five main ideas.
- Keep the detail you provide to “must know” information.
- Put “nice to know” information in your handout package, appendices, or on backup slides.
Learn more about Mandel’s Methodology, and the Mandel Blueprint®.
What does the hit on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit tell us about how to sell in a virtual setting? Actually, something very important.
Before we break down how this show teaches us the key to virtual selling let’s look at the backstory.
Customers coming to a user conference aren’t there for the fanfare, they’re there for the expertise. If you’re an expert speaking at a user conference, you’re highly knowledgeable and passionate about your topic, but you might not be an expert at speaking in front of an audience. Here are five practical tips that you can implement right away for any upcoming speaking event.
Read the blog and learn how to make your next team offsite your most productive yet.
TED Talks have become a go-to example for how to give an engaging presentation from the big stage. They can be informative, inspiring, and often incredibly entertaining. But is the TED Talk format right for a business presentation delivered in a conference room? Probably not — but the skills used by TED Talk presenters definitely are!
Learn how to identify what goes into a successful TED Talk and how to make those skills work for you in your everyday business presentations.
You know your scientists, engineers, and technology experts are the best around. They're proven innovators and solution providers within your organization. Why, then, is presenting to a business audience such a common challenge for technical professionals?
Learn 11 tactics your technical team can use right now to make them more effective and influential communicators for any business decision maker.
Admittedly, I've struggled to find a reliable way to help people reduce their public speaking anxiety, despite years of trying. I’ve advised people to do just about anything I could think of that might help, e.g., breathing, meditation. While I haven't found the thing that works every time for every person, there is one technique that seems to be more effective than most. Even if you've already found something that works well for you, this technique is worth trying out.
Imagine being asked to present to your entire company tomorrow. Does the idea of it make you nervous? You might be tempted to get right to work, writing every word down and committing them to memory. Now, what if I said you couldn’t memorize your talk? Whoa, wait a minute. You wonder, “How am I supposed to remember what to say?”
Find out why memorizing is a terrible idea and what you should do instead to prepare for your next presentation.
Be sure to set your speakers up for success. Read this week's blog to find out how.
Executive briefings. Big sales meetings. Project pitch meetings. What do they have in common? The stakes are sky high. There’s a lot riding on them for you and your company — revenue, reputation, productivity. Do your people have, both, the presentation AND facilitation skills to ensure their success?
Read the blog to find out and to get your free Discussion Leader Self-Assessment Tool and Facilitator Checklist.
Memory almost full. Imagine that warning flashing brightly on the forehead of every audience member. A successful presentation isn’t just about the speaker’s dynamic energy or their confident manner in front of an audience. Without compelling, easy to follow content, it doesn’t matter how comfortable you are in the spotlight. You and your topic will quickly be forgotten. So how do you ensure lasting, memorable impact? Learn how to be remembered by leveraging the ancient, globally relevant, and scientifically proven rule of three to focus your content, motivate your listeners, and make your executive presence shine.
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- How to Deliver Impactful, Engaging Hybrid Meetings
- Leading a Virtual Team Means Doing Things Differently
- Are You Really Listening?
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- The Irresistible Power of Stories in Virtual Selling
- The Top Sales Skill for 2021!