Updated: May 25
Having a presentation next Monday to pitch a new idea in front of your senior leadership and not knowing where to start? In this blog post, I'll share with you 4 simple steps to prepare a killer presentation.
Step1: Start from why and your goal?
Often time, when you need to deliver a presentation, you turn to automatically open google slides and start to worry about the theme and background picture. Quite opposite, this would be one of the last things to do.
First thing first, take a deep breath and ask yourself, WHY do I need to do this presentation? What's the ideal outcome I want to achieve? What's the biggest takeaway for my audience and the action I'd want my audience to take after this presentation? The answers to those questions will be your guiding points for your presentation prep work.
Whether it's an informative education session or a pitch presentation to convince investors to invest, without a clear goal in mind, you have already lost half of the battle at the starting line.
Usually, you should not have more than 1-2 goals maximum from this presentation, otherwise, it should be broken down into different sessions or presentations.
Now, take a few minutes to write down your why and goals.
Step2: Who is your audience?
What comes next is to get clarity on who will be your audience. Ask yourself those questions and they will guide you on how to prepare effective content.
What's the purpose of them attending the session and listen to your presentation? e.g. Are they only here to learn something from you? Are they here to assess a potential business idea or a solution to a problem? Or are they gonna be your advocate, to spread and implement your ideas?
Who are those decision-makers for your business proposal? Who is the most important audience you need to address?
What level of information have they already known about this topic?
What impression do you want to leave to your audience?
What kind of emotion you'd want your presentation to evoke?
What are the specific actions you'd need your audience to take after your presentation?
Step3: Tell a story that makes your audience care.
With a clear goal in mind and a good understanding of your audience, now it's time to write a storyline for your presentation. You may wonder why it has to a story? It's just a business idea.
Human beings always seek novelty, regardless it's in our lives or at work. Who doesn't like a good story? If you want your audience to take action, you have to tell a story that makes them care.
So what composes a good story? You ask.
A good story needs a character, a good story needs conflicts, a good story needs a problem and one or more solutions, a good story in your presentation scenario also needs a happy ending which usually is how your audience's action can facilitate that good outcome.
You may think, what if I work in the old fashion business and the product is super technical and boring. How on earth can I make it a good story? In fact, regardless of what type of presentation and what kind of business you are in, you can always find a way to compose a good story starting from creating a HERO.
Step 4: Give your audience a hero to look forward to.
To make a story worth your audience's time and attention, you have to create a hero. This is the so-called ''the hero's journey''. Basically, a hero's journey is a person who has to overcome obstacles to achieve a goal. This will be the overarching structure of your presentation.
Some structures you can use in your presentations are:
Problem - solution - call to action.
What's today- what will be the future- how can we get there.
Imagine one day- what we need to do to get there.
What - why - how
Doesn't matter which structure would you use, what you want to achieve is: By the end of the presentation, your audience and especially the decision-maker would want to take the action and help the 'soon-to-be hero' overcome the obstacles so he/she/they can become a real hero.
For instance, if you need an investor to invest in your business idea. Your business idea will be the product that helps the hero to resolve the problem to achieve the goal. Or if you want your audience to start living a healthy life by meditating, then your presentation about how did meditation help you to live a healthy life will be the inspiration for your audience (soon-to-be hero) to start meditating and overcome those challenges in their lives and live happier.
Now you have your hero and the story. The next step is to outline the structure and add content to it. And of course following with the preparation of the delivery, the presentation itself, and the follow-up after the presentation. There are so many aspects in those steps that can make it or break it.
If you want to learn more and practice with an experienced presenter like me, reach out to schedule an initial assessment session with me and I'll guide you through those steps so you can slay your next presentation!