Adds Value With Purposeful Presentations

Think Through Purpose

What’s the reason for the presentation in the first place? Figure out the main reason and stay focused on it. You might ask yourself whether any of these purposes fit:

o To provide status

o To obtain approval

o To sell a product

o To communicate a program

o To propose a new business opportunity

o To convince management to fund a project

Know Your Audience

What does the audience need to know? Keep your information fine-tuned to your audience’s needs. When presenting to executive management don’t focus on the nitty-gritty details. Instead focus on the bigger picture. Present the return on investment and any obstacles you need management’s help to overcome. However, presenting to a project team focuses on the detailed and action-oriented items. The purpose of this type of presentation is to answer questions such as what needs to happen by when and who’s responsible.

Get to the Point

Keep it brief. Use only as many slides as needed to convey your message. Avoid presentations more than twenty slides long. If you can’t say what’s needed in twenty slides, you had better work on refining your message. The longer your presentation the less it will be remembered. You don’t want your audience to tune you out. Keep it short and straight to the point. People will appreciate you not wasting their time.

Let’s review what we have learned about presentations with purpose. First we determine the reason and purpose for the presentation so you can stay true to the main points. Second we think about the audience so the message is tailored to them. Lastly, we keep it brief by saying only what is necessary to convey the message clearly.