Gotcha! I’ll bet you dream of the days that you can get in and out of a meeting in seven minutes. It’s not a dream – it’s a function of a killer presentation formula that I learned from the book “Say it in Six” by Ron Hoff. This book should be required reading for anyone as they step into a meeting whether it’s face-to-face or virtual.
I’m going to share this formula with you because neither you nor anyone you work with should have to sit through another miserable waste of time every again!
The Power Presentation Formula
This is a simple formula that you can use to structure your thoughts and your message in a way that will literally take your audience by the hand and lead them exactly where you want them to go, while informing and educating them about the situation.
Tell it like it is – What’s the burning issue?
What’s happening? This is the first statement of the presentation – but it will probably be the last thing you actually write. Starting your presentation with an authentic statement about what’s happening will get everyone on the same page. After you make your “What’s Happening” statement, the little voice inside your audience’s head should say something like “WHAT? How can you say that?” Your “What’s Happening” statement should be no more than two or three sentences.
Overwhelm them with facts
How did we get here? In this section of the outline, you get to prove your point. This is the section where you place all your data, charts, and graphs. Don’t overwhelm your audience with numbers and tables. Make the title of each graph what you want your audience to be left with. Instead of “2011 Sales By Region” use “Southern Region Exceeds Sales Goals.” Your audience will thank you because they won’t have to analyze the data themselves and you can move on with your presentation.
What’s your idea?
What will we do? At this stage, the little voice inside your audience’s head is begging for solutions. Now you have them where you want them. They are eager to hear your ideas. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste. Take the time to present your idea in a tangible, visible way. Use props or demonstrations to engage your audience and get them living into the future of your idea in action.
Why is it good for the audience
What’s the payoff? You have a great idea, but why is it good for your audience? That’s what they will want to know and you get to tell them. Be clear and descriptive about the benefits. Use lots of adjectives to describe how wonderful the future will be with your solution in place.
Tell them what to do
How do we get started? By the time you get to this stage of the outline, your audience will be excited and ready to do something. Tell your audience what you want them to do and make it easy for them to take action right away. If there is something to be signed, make sure that you have the forms, the pens, and anything else that’s required.
Get the monkey off your back
Do you remember that old supervisory phrase “Get the monkey off your back”? Well, this outline will not only get the problem-solving monkey off your back, it will inspire your employees. Give this outline to your employees and encourage them to use it at meetings. This outline will naturally force anyone using it to focus on a real problem, the data behind it, and the possible solutions. It takes the problem off of the manager’s desk and puts it squarely in the hands of the people who are best qualified to see it and solve it.
When I trained a client on this outline and had the team members develop a presentation as part of their final certification, the management team was blown away by the ideas and energy that came out of the process.
Try this simple outline for yourself and see how productive and energizing your next meeting is.