How to Set Your Presentation Goals

Setting goals for a presentation is not about the individual words you are going to say, but about the communication of your overall message. If you do not set clear presentation goals, your speech can easily go off topic.

For example, I had a client that was pitching a bid to a large organization for a technology contract. When I asked what the goal of the presentation was, he promptly responded to win the contract. The answer was too broad and focused on him, so I questioned further. I found out that the competition was presenting after him, and the board would be making a decision at the end of the day based on the presentations (which followed a round of proposals). Just to win was not an appropriate goal; the true goal was to educate the board on the best criteria to look for when choosing a provider. If we successfully convinced them of this criteria was best, then his contract would win easily.

web_offer_banner_2losingPractical things to consider when setting presentation goals:

1) List the Purpose – A presentation can be influential, educational, or a request for support. You must establish the tone and nature of the presentation before your goals can be set. Listing a purpose will help you with what types of goals are realistic and what wording you should consider.

2) Goals Should be Realistic and Specific – Without a destination, it is impossible to get anywhere. Presentations cannot be successful if developed with generic criteria. Think deeply and specifically list out what you are trying to get the audience to achieve, consider the purpose. Goals surpass winning a bid or getting the money; take the first response and ask if it goes far enough.

3) List Take-Aways – What is the audience supposed to gain and what should they do with this information?

4) Set the Thesis – Also called a theme, the thesis statement is to let your audience know what you are covering. Letting the audience know what is upcoming sets them at ease and allows them to be receptive. Every presentation should have a single thesis statement; it is one way to assure there is only one thought per presentation and not multiple, competing ideas. Your audience should be able to recite your thesis once the presentation is over.

The biggest mistake presenters often make is forgetting that the audience is the primary focus, without dedicated listeners, you wouldn’t be presenting at all.

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How Speak Simple Can Help You

Win more work, increasing your billing rate, and prospects coming to you are all results of being a good presenter. Erica Olson created Speak Simple to help technical professionals to become comfortable presenting and excel at each presentation, whether a bid presentation or an educational, content marketing presentation. Learn more about Speak Simple’s flagship program is SpeakU, a self-guided presentation training program.

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