Effective Presentations Have Purpose

People who present on a regular basis, and those who don’t, are often so preoccupied with the content of their presentation that they neglect the purpose or objective of the presentation.

Some examples of objectives are to inform, to educate, to persuade, to establish thought leadership, or to advance the sales cycle.

The presenter’s job in putting their presentation together is to first ask themselves what they want their audience to do after they hear the presentation.

When you begin your preparation by thinking about what you’re trying to achieve and the desired outcome, you’ll focus on two critical components of a successful presentation-your message and your audience’s response. This will help you choose what you can do, say, and show during your presentation to get you to your purpose and desired outcome.

If your goal is to educate, be sure your points are clear, that your visuals support your words, and that you check for understanding with each new concept.

If your goal is to move a prospect farther along the sales cycle, ask yourself what call to action you could use to accomplish this. For example, sharing testimonials or demonstrating how a product or service would benefit the prospect. This is especially important for virtual presentations such as webinars where you want the viewer to visit a URL, make an inquiry, or request a sales call.

Whatever your purpose/objective, be sure that the message and content of the presentation are clear. When it’s clear what you want your audience to know or do, you’re far more likely to achieve your purpose and desired outcome. If you aren’t clear, your audience will leave the presentation not knowing what is expected of them or what the next steps are going forward. The message will have been almost immediately forgotten and everyone, with the possible exception of the presenter, will go on with their everyday activities. Never be afraid to clearly state the purpose and desired outcome of any presentation.

For more information on how to ensure your presentations have purpose, please check out our courses for both business presentations such as Executive Presentation Skills® and Delivering Memorable Presentations™, and Sales Presentation Skills™ for sales presentations.


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