Clarifying your core message for business presentations
I once coached a group of very experienced senior leaders to deliver a presentation at their internal leadership conference.
The audience were all senior executives and they each had 10 minutes to present on the direction of their teams for the next 12 months.
It was clear to me why these individuals were leaders of very high-performing teams. They knew their business strategy inside out. Each one could describe in detail their teams’ strengths, the results they’d achieved in the last 12 months, and the lessons learned – so encapsulating it all in a presentation seemed simple, right?!
Yet as I listened to each of their presentations, there was nothing about them that was in the least bit memorable. In fact, despite their impressive facts and figures that they reeled off, they were starting to sound a little repetitive and dare I say it, boring.
What were they missing?
It was the fact that they had no core message. Or as I call it, One BIG Message™. The ONE thing that they wanted their audience to remember and take action on was missing.
In this article, I want to share with you four ways to help you develop your core message and turn your presentation into a persuasive and powerful tool and help you stand out as a speaker/presenter.
Is it relatable to my audience?
The key to having a successful One BIG Message™ is that it is relatable to the audience in the room.
- Why are they attending?
- What are they hoping to learn/discover?
- Why should they care about your presentation and what benefits could it bring to them?
The presentation is not to demonstrate how much you know about any given topic, it’s what you can impart specifically to them to help them learn, grow and develop.
Start at the end
When I’m coaching very senior executives, I like to start with the end goal.
What do you want your audience to think/feel/do at the end of your presentation?
Make it ONE thing that you want your audience to take action on.
Write it down in a sentence and then say it out loud to see if it sounds convincing.
Remember that presentations are an iterative process, so be prepared for several versions before you agree on the winning message.
Is it repeatable?
Make sure that your core message is repeatable. In other words, when you’ve described it in one sentence, is it easy for others to repeat it?
Try it on your colleague, wife/husband/partner/child tonight and see if they can repeat it as good as you – with no help!
Does your core message describe your presentation?
Everything about your presentation should be around your One BIG Message™. The story you tell, the characters, your slides (if you have them), the intro, and the ending.
Anything that doesn’t relate to your One BIG Message™, either gets cut or is adapted to fit.
Your key points should flow logically from one to another, for example, 1) this is the problem, 2) these are the possible solutions, 3) this is what we’re going to do.
Business presentations are crucial not only to impart knowledge and share crucial information but also to help your audience grow and develop.
If you want your presentation to have maximum impact with a clear core message, book in a session with me and I’ll transform it to ensure it engages and persuades your audience.