Having a clear, compelling and concentrated presentation strategy is fundamental to the success of any business presentation
There are countless books and articles written on ‘strategy.’
A great number make it sound so complex that it’s no wonder so many people find it confusing.
Here is one of my personal favourite definitions:
“What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to this question are objectives. How will you go about achieving your desired results? The answer to this you can call strategy.”
William E. Rothschild
A presentation strategy isn’t formed by turning on the laptop and typing everything we know onto a template.
Here are the 6 keys to a high impact presentation strategy.
1. You need a vision
In the same way that every great business strategy operates under a clear vision, mission and set of values, so does every good presentation strategy.
The principles applying to both are the same.
A Vision Statement
This describes the desired future position of the company and does exactly the same for your presentation.
What will the future look like for the audience after your presentation?
A Mission Statement
This defines the company’s business, its objectives and how it will go about reaching those objectives.
When it comes to presenting, you also need to be abundantly clear on your topic, message and objectives.
What they are designed to achieve?
You also need to understand how you will achieve those objectives.
A value statement
This reflects the deeply held values of a company. Behaviourally, they explain in part, how you will meet your objectives.
A presentation strategy requires a clear set of values too.
What do you care about and what do you want your audience to care about?
2. Be specific
A persuasive presentation has to be strategically designed to be highly specific and completely relevant to the audience.
It really isn’t good enough to craft a presentation with the message designed to:
– ‘Be the best’
– ‘Improve communication’
– ‘Increase customer satisfaction’
It’s too generic
What does ‘being the best’ look and feel like?
Isn’t everyone trying to ‘be the best’?
A high impact presentation strategy includes content which is germane and distinct; that includes avoiding templates.
Make your content highly tailored, relevant and specific.
3. Talk to them
The best way to get to know your audience is to open up a direct dialogue with them.
Whether it’s your senior management team, colleagues, customers or prospective clients, the only way you can really understand them is by talking to them.
Here are a few questions to ask:
– Why are you attending the presentation?
– What are the 3 most important things to you about the topic?
– What would you really like to know?
– How can my presentation help you?
Send them an email or call them but you have to talk to them first.
4. Talk to yourself
The formulation of a presentation strategy begins by asking yourself some very tough questions first:
– Do I really need to give a presentation and what’s so important that I can’t send an email?
– How will what I have to say significantly help my audience?
– What are all the things I dislike about other presentations I’ve attended and why?
– Why do so many presentations fail to influence or inspire action/change?
5. Be different
A high impact presentation strategy sets the intention to challenge the status quo and to be different.
Without it the presentation is likely to be forgotten well before the day ends.
How do you make your presentation different?
– Listen to Ted Talks at TED.com
TED is an online university of ideas, imagination and talent available to us all.
One way of sparking ideas on how to approach your presentations differently is to begin by seeing for yourself how others achieve it.
Great ideas don’t just pop into our minds because we instruct our brains to make it so.
It takes work.
Brainstorming is the simple but immensely powerful art of setting your mind free and letting ideas run wild.
It’s also very helpful if you do this with others. Set aside some time with friends or colleagues to ask yourself how you can bring an entirely fresh approach to a forthcoming presentation.
6. Bring it to life
You’ve done your homework and so you understand your audience.
You are very clear on what you have to say and why it’s so important for them to hear.
You’ve asked and answered all of the tough questions and have something very specific and relevant to share with your audience.
You’ve also spent stime watching TED and you’ve brainstormed creativity.
You now believe you have a fresh approach to your topic
Now you get to benefit from a presentation strategy which will enable you to bring your message to life.
You can do this through the mindful use of:
– Examples in the form of similes, analogies and metaphors
– A little drama, suspense or surprise
– Vocal energy and variety
– Meaningful movement
– Powerful visual support
– Contrast in the form or media, props and interaction
– Making an emotional connection
Having a clear presentation strategy allows a speaker to plan exactly how they will go about achieving their goals.
If you need help crafting your presentation strategy:
– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.
– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.
– Get yourself some excellent presentation training
Image: Courtesy of flickr.com