Most people who have to build a business presentation do it wrong. They start by making a note of everything they want to say in the presentation; dead wrong. All that happens is a lot of rambling with no points and no structure. So if you’ve got a blank page and you have to turn it into a presentation what do you do? Easy start with questions not answers.
As a management consultant I must have built over 300 different presentations over the past ten years. About five years in I got fed up spending hours and hours building business presentations that literally sent my audience to sleep.
Then one day I was given a brief by a client for their presentation. But the brief was different, rather than telling me what they wanted me to say, they sent me a list of questions.
And guess what. It was the easiest presentation I’ve ever built in my life, it practically wrote its-self. But it gets better, the client loved it. The audience gave me 10/10, and look at what they said:
“The clearest presentation I ever heard.”
“It was like reading a good book chapter by chapter right to the sizzling conclusion.”
Since then I’ve never done it any other way. And I’ve taught it to hundreds of trainers and consultants, they all report faster to build, clearer presentations.
So here’s the, nothing held back, secrets.
1. Start by writing out the big question you’re trying to answer, just like a term paper e.g.
“What are the two most important skills a leader needs in business today?”
2. Answer the big question e.g.
“To understand her customers’ problems and know how to fix them.”
3. Write out all the sub-questions you now have about the answer to the big question e.g.
- “Why should you start with looking at the business from the customers’ perspective?”
- “How do you identify what angers and frustrates customers?”
- “Having got the information, what should you do with it?”
- “How do make sure that the organisation has the capability to meet the customer need?”
- “How do you engage your staff in the exercise?”
4. Now you make a note of the answers, with supporting evidence for each question.
5. Finally, based on the information name your presentation, use each question as the agenda, get some cool images, drop them into power point and you’re good to go.
Now do yourself a favour. Stop doing hours of presentation planning. Stop buying expensive speaking programmes. Instead, work on your structure.
If you have a look at all the articles I’ve posted on this site you can get everything you’ll ever need to build outrageously good business presentations for free.
And start with this: stop looking for answers and start asking questions.