Effective Presentations Guide #2

Knowing Your Objective

by  Al Valletta

As a marketing or sales professional, there will be many situations requiring you to deliver a presentation. This presentation might be in front of several people, in a formal setting or it may be the kind of presentation delivered to a few people around a conference table. Whatever the situation or set of circumstances, you need to be ready.

The bottom line to any presentation is the objective of the talk. Without this objective there is no effective presentation. The objective is the reason for the presentation and what motivates and moves it forward. You should know exactly what you want to achieve in planning your objective. In your objective you are accomplishing a goal for yourself. This goal should mutually benefit to both you and the audience. The more information you have about your audience the greater the probability of success. Carefully analyzing the audience will help to insure success. Look at this material as an audience member. See it through their eyes. What are their backgrounds, knowledge and attitude toward the subject, your company? What is their prior knowledge of the subject? Your approach will be quite different depending on whether or not they know a great deal about the subject or very little. Are they coming with negative or positive feeling about the proposal? How do they feel about your company? All these questions must be answered before you can effectively plan the objective of your presentation.

In any effective presentation, the audience should gain as much as you by accepting your proposal or by taking action on what you propose. Once you've analyzed your audience, look at your objective. Is it realistic? Can it be accomplished? There is no sense wasting time on something the audience will eventually be forced to reject.

Once you've established your objective, you must make sure it's specific and clearly stated and that the audience understands the benefits to be gained. Planning your objective this way will keep you from wandering around subjects that have very little or no relationship to what you're trying to accomplish. If you don't stick to the subject and begin wandering, you will lose the audience. They won't know what their action should be. It will be difficult for them to say yes to anything.

As the speaker, take all the material you have and boil it down into 2 or 3 main concepts, items or ideas. Force yourself to eliminate. You'll be very surprised on how effective your material will be once you force yourself to eliminate material and boil things down to 2 or 3 main items.

Look for a continuation of this guide in the near future.

‹‹ Al Valletta
[About the Author]

Contact Al Valletta at valletta@dslextreme.com