The first step in preparing your presentation is to clarify the purpose
The most critical step in preparing a presentation is to clarify the purpose. If you’re not clear on your purpose, you could end up anywhere except where you want to be.
When you have your purpose clearly defined, it’s easier to create your presentation and you are less likely to wander off on tangents.
Your purpose isn’t’ about you. It’s not about the result you want.
The following statements do not describe your purpose
- Cover the topic
- Provide a project update
- Explain the new policy and procedures
Perhaps you want to accomplish these objectives. They might be part of how you plan to achieve your purpose but that’s not your purpose. Why? Because each of those actions is about you.
Your purpose is about your audience
You might believe that you need to deliver a perfect presentation. That’s never the goal. Your goal is to move your audience. To do that, you need to deliver an effective and successful presentation.
Don’t waste time and effort trying to be perfect because you will only frustrate yourself and possibly fail with the relevant audience-centered purpose.
A successful presentation is one defined in terms of the audience.
How do you identify your purpose?
The most important question that you need to address before any presentation is this:
What do you want people to think, feel and/or do as a result of this presentation?
What do you want people to think?
What do you want people to feel?
What do you want people to do?
You might want one or more of the three. The first question is based on logic. The second is based on emotion. The third and most important result is driven by both emotion and logic.
In most cases you speak to encourage people to act as desired. This means that the key question is “What do you want people to DO?” A successful presentation is about moving people. In what direction do you want to move them? If you moved them as desired, it was a successful presentation.
Write the purpose of your presentation from the perspective of the audience. What does a successful presentation mean to them?
This is where you start in preparing your presentation and this is the destination you pursue.
Create and Deliver your Presentation on Purpose