“What do you want your presentation to do?”
It’s not a hard question – well not any more than “What’s the meaning of life?”. 🙂
Typically, when I ask it, the answers I get are to do with process, not outcome – and that’s entirely naturally and normal. It’s my job to get past that to the really important things. It’s why people pay me, after all.
Common answers are things like:
- I want the audience to be engaged
- I need to feel confident as I talk
- It’s got to be punchy
and all of those are good things, certainly. But they’re means, not ends. Why do you want the audience to be engaged? Why do you need to be confident? Why has it got to be punchy?
The answer to those questions is the starting point of how you design your presentation – because the answer to those second-level questions starts to tell you what the presentation is supposed to do.
After all, there’s no point in your audience being engaged, you being confident and the whole thing being punchy if your presentation has no impact.
It also helps with my training, too. For example, what if I your presentation could be at least as successful without spending time training you to feel confident? That’s the same impact, but without the time and effort.