Preparing before your presentations: Sharpen Your Focus


In this tip, you will learn how to become more aware of the type of presentation you deliver.

What do you mean by presentation?

Understanding when you are presenting and when you are expected to present is a key first step in awareness. Some companies don’t use traditional meetings, with stand up presentation and PowerPoint slides. But does that mean they don’t present? Of course not. A business presentation can take place in almost any location or venue. For example, conference calls, annual meetings, board of directors gatherings, marketing or product roadshows, client meetings, trade or industry conferences, financial IPO roadshows, department meetings, or just a cup of coffee with your boss. The list goes on.

Originally the word “presentation” was first used in the 14th Century from the word “representation” which often referred to a theatrical performance. Moving forward to the 21st Century, my definition of presentation is “a performance with a purpose“.  Today’s tip looks at the purpose part. Future tips will consider performance.

What is your purpose?

Why are you presenting? What is your general purpose? A four step model can help you define your purpose:  DRIP

D is for differentiating. Your general purpose is to highlight the differences between your proposal, your product, your company and other choices. What is special or unique about you, your proposal or your product.

R is for reminding. Your general purpose includes updating a group of people on a project’s purpose, keeping a team on track for a project deadline or even keeping you and your purpose top of mind with a senior management team.

I is for informing. The most common type of business presentation. Topics cover new regulation and laws which a group needs to know about, product updates and upgrades.

P is for persuading. This general purpose is to bring a group of people around to your point of view. Necessary when selling, gaining acceptance for an idea or proposal, or asking for budgets.

Any time you need to communicate a message, you need to first be aware of your purpose. Once you are clear on your purpose, selecting appropriate content, examples and delivery becomes more focused.

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