To end the year, I’m sharing a super-wayback post that started it all. This is the first post ever written for the thoughtLEADERS Blog back in 2007. It’s just as relevant today as it was then. The perspective herein is at the very core of our Structured Thought & Communications course. If you’d like to help your organization build these skills, drop us a line to discuss running the course for your team. So here’s the wayback (and more info about the orangutan is at the end of the post)…
We’ve all been there – sitting through that dreadfully long presentation full of facts, figures, and complex analyses only to leave an hour later wondering “so what?” So what do we do now? What was the point of that? What was the conclusion?
We’ve all heard about “tricks and tips” to engage the audience: use props, tell stories, and use flashy PowerPoint. The list goes on. The problem is, if the audience doesn’t “get” your recommendation or personally care about it, no number of tricks can help.
Unfortunately as presenters, we often fail to define that key “so what” before we create our presentation. This ultimately leaves our audience wondering what our point was.
Fortunately, this problem is easy to avoid. Doing so requires you to identify your “core idea” well in advance of doing any analysis or creating charts. This core idea is the one thought you want your audience to remember. It is the “what should we do and why should we do it?” recommendation that captures their attention and gives them a compelling reason to act.