August 9, 2016
The main difference is whether the presenter is trying to convince the audience rather than connect with them.
Your presentation needs a good structure
There are many different forms of communication. A written letter. A phone call. A technical paper. A song. A joke. A movie. A presentation. Each of these, when done well, connects. They each use a different medium like paper, speakers or film. And they take on different forms like text, voice, drawings or moving images. Most importantly, they’re built on an effective structure for their intended use.
For example, a letter has an opening and closing salutation and one or more paragraphs. A stand up joke has a set up, some description in the middle, and a punch line. A movie has a 3-act structure.
The structure is the most important aspect in delivering the content. You can’t tell the joke’s punchline first. You don’t say goodbye when answering the phone.
The structure, or ordering of content, helps the communication connect.So what is the structure of a business presentation that connects? It is a modified version of the hero’s journey.
The story flows roughly like this
Download the 1-page summary
We've summarized the story structure outlined in this article in a handy one-pager. Download for easy reference and to share with your team.
Each piece plays an important role
1. Introduce the hero of your story, your customer
2. Share the challenges your hero faces in achieving their goal
3. Recommend a strategy or solution direction to pursue
4. Describe the benefits of successfully solving the customer’s needs
5. Next, share the impact of that success on your business.
6. Finally, make a call to action!
Excellent! You’ve done a great job portraying the customer’s life, their goals and your company’s role in helping them achieve success.
But your job isn’t done yet. It’s time to call your audience to action.
They are ready to support your effort and you should have tacit approval. So don’t disappoint with a stale ending and a hope for compliments and approval.
Instead, cover 3 to 5 specific ways the audience could support the effort.
Perhaps share the need for access to ongoing resources or to eliminate organizational barriers. You might need to be put on the official project roadmap or present to a more influential team. Perhaps the project needs investment.
Whatever you do, don’t lose the benefit of having made a strong presentation! Ask for specific kinds of support from your audience.
Start making more compelling business presentations
Utilize these six components to tell an engaging story
1.Introduce the customer and their goal
2. Showcase the challenges that prevent them from reaching their goal
3. Share a strategy or solution that addresses those challenges
4. Demonstrate how the customer and your company benefits if you pursue this solution
5. Show how both parties suffer consequences if you don’t pursue it
6. Call the audience to action.
While it may seem formulaic, the art remains in the actual content you convey through this structure. Do you really know your customer? Can you convey their aspirations and challenges? Is your solution a good answer to their challenges? Would it provide benefit to your organization?
If you have all the pieces and deliver them in a better structure, you will be able to take your communication skills to a whole new level.
Give it a try and let us know how it goes!