How to set a clear presentation objective

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Ask any presenter, and he or she will tell you that it is important to set a presentation objective. Ask them how these objectives are set, and they draw a blank.


The word objective is usually used quite casually by most presenters.


Vague Presentation Objective

Most presentation objectives sound like this:

I want everyone to appreciate my unique ideas

I want to leave a strong impression on my audience

I want to make a great presentation.

These goals are too vague to help a presenter make a presentation with impact.

The objectives of presentation are not vague statements of presenter goals.

They follow a clearly defined structure.

You need to use that structure for setting your objectives because...

A clearly defined presentation objective is the first step to a remarkable presentation.

A clear and meaningful presentation objective determines…

In this article, we will show you Minimal® process for setting up clear objectives for presentation in a step-by-step way.

What is the process for setting the objective?

Setting an objective for your presentation involves answering 3 important questions. They are Who, What and Why.

  1. Who - Who is the last person?

  2. What - What is the action they should take?

  3. Why - Why will they take this action? What is in it for them?

Let’s explore these questions one by one.

Click PLAY to watch the Short Video below on Presentation Objective

Source: Business Presentation Skills Self Learning Video

WHO – Who is the last person in your audience?

The last person is the one who needs to take action based on your presentation. It could be the final decision maker or someone who influences the decision making process.

In case your presentation is purely informational in nature – Ex: A training presentation on products, the last person is the one with the least knowledge on the subject being discussed.

You create your presentation outline or story keeping the last person in mind.

Define Last Person

Why do you need to determine the last person for your presentation?

It is to focus your message. The clearer you are about the last person, the more focused your message gets:

  • By understanding the knowledge and experience level of the last person, you can plan the extent to which you need to build the context and background.

  • By understanding the motivation factors, you can determine the nature of your offer.

  • By understanding the preferences, you can decide the extent to which you need to use data and emotions in your presentation.

If you don’t determine the last person, you end up with a vague and boring presentation. Remember, when you want to appeal to everyone, you convince no one.

So, setting a clear presentation objective is the critical first step in creating your presentation.

Your action step


Determine the last person for your presentation. Create a thumbnail profile – like the age, work experience, job responsibilities, awareness levels etc. If possible, get a picture of the last person and stick it in front of you.

This person represents your audience. Check if your presentation would appeal to this person.

Page 2 What is in it for me?

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Discover the Minimal Approach to creating powerful presentations. Get a comprehensive 3-part self-learning video with tons of examples and exercises.