A LOT of business presentations contain incredible amounts of info – all the details are there – the presenters can be proud of all the preparatory work they did. And yet … after many presentations, the audience feels a bit ‘dazed’, thinking “waw – thàt was a lot of info”… If you asked them “so – what’s your key takeaway?” – many, if not most, would have a hard time answering. THE sign that the presentation was ‘off target’. So how to prepare an engaging presentation, where your audience considers ‘thàt was really interesting‘?
In our experience, too many presentations are written from the perspective of the presenter.
- “these are the numbers”;
- “this is the progress we made”;
- “these are the resources I need”;
- “this is how we want to move forward”.
These presentations provide a lot of info, but they just FAIL to answer the answer the main questions of the audience.
- numbers alone don’t suffice – the audience wonders ‘will we reach our budget this year?’
- an overview on the progress made on a project is not sufficient – the audience wants to know ‘are we on track?’
- a detailed explanation of the (additional) resources you request makes your audience wary – they want to know ‘is this investment worth the budget?’
- the new plan forward leaves uncertainty – they want to know ‘is this sufficient to reach our ambitions and sustain our market position?’
To put it bluntly: No, the audience doesn’t want to see all the details. No, they’re not waiting to hear how good you are. No, they don’t want to know how hard you worked. No, they don’t care about the things YOU need. They just want a clear answer to their own ‘primary question’. If you fail to provide such answer, you miss an opportunity to be engaging and impactful.
As a conclusion: the 3 key success factors to make your next presentation engaging & interesting are as follows:
- find out your audience’s primary question on the topic
- be able to give your answer in 1 SIMPLE sentence
- build your presentation around that answer
Good luck with your next presentation!