Change Your Presentation Approach To Focus on Target Audience

Presentation Outline > Presentation Approach

What is the you to me approach and me to you approach to presentations? The difference between these 2 presentation approaches and their impact on presentation outline is discussed below.

What is the image that comes to your mind when you think of PowerPoint® presentations? Do you see busy slides with rows and rows of text, followed by complex graphs and tables?

Welcome to the club!

Everyday, millions of presenters are killing their audience in the corporate boardrooms with bullet points.

Why do presenters create these weapons of mass destruction called Regular Bullet Point Presentations?

Usual Bullet Point Slide Image
The issue is not with the intentions of these presenters but with their presentation approach. They create presentations with the usual Me to You approach without thinking about their target audience.

What is the Me to You approach?

It is the default approach adopted by most presenters. In this approach – Me represents the presenter and You represents the audience.

Such presentations are a download of information from the presenter to their audience.

The questions asked by presenters who use this approach are: –

What can I cover in this presentation?
How many slides should I use?
How can I showcase my expertise on the subject? etc.

Such questions lead to excessive information download or what we call the water cannon effect .

It is like using a water cannon to quench the thirst of their audience.

Water Cannon Me to you presentation approach Image
The result of this presentation approach is audience who feel like this:

Unable to process information Image

Audience feel like they are being bombarded with information at a pace they cannot process.

They let the information flow by them without really taking the effort to retain what is being said.

They breathe a sigh of relief when it gets over.

Why do presenters use this presentation approach?

To understand, let’s see how George , a busy business executive, creates his presentations.

Let us say, he is asked to present to senior management about the impact of the new Complaint Management System introduced in his department last month.

He sets his presentation objective as – impress the senior management with in-depth insights.

As the first step, George spends two days agonizing over what to include in his presentation. Then he decides to go the usual Me to You way like this:

  1. Get old presentations: He begins digging out all his old presentations on the topic and comes up with 126 slides that can be included in his ‘new’ presentation.
  2. Get others ppts: He then searches his mail box to fish out slides made by his colleagues from other departments like Marketing and HR. He gets lucky and adds another 112 slides to his collection.
  3. Google it: Just to be sure that he doesn’t miss out on any vital information – he types the words ‘Complaint Management System’ in Google and adds 149 more slides to his collection.
  4. Get set: Now, he is ready with his first cut presentation with an obscene number of 387 slides. Realize that this massive slide deck is NOT really a clear presentation outline.
  5. Cut Cut Cut!: Since he is allowed only 30 minutes for his presentation, the next task is to cull out 30 slides from his collection of 387 (at his usual rate of 1 minute per slide).
  6. Finally….But, as he edits – every slide looks like a gem, packed with useful information. After hours of toil with his ‘problem of plenty’, he retains 57 slides. These slides individually look good, but may have no overall flow or structure
  7. Hide Slide: Since he can’t cover all of them in his allotted time, he uses Hide Slide option for 12 slides and decides to go with 45 of them.

He may have to rush the presentation a bit, but that is nothing new.

Does the story ring a bell? The presentation approach used by George is Me to You.

There is a better way to start your presentations.

Are you interested in sharpening your presentation skills by working with detailed examples and exercises?

We recommend the Business Presentations Skills Training Video. Learn how to make remarkable presentations step-by-step and at your convenience. Plus you can also download all the 540+ slides in ppt format with notes for training your team.

The better way is to use the You to Me presentation approach.

Process easily

It is like quenching the thirst of your audience by giving them what they want, in the way they want it.

Water cannon may give you far more water than a bottle of water. But, you always run away from a water cannon, but pay to drink from a bottle of water.

In a presentation, it is never about how much information you give, but about how relevant your information is.

A good presentation is not about covering the subject , but solving the problem. Such presentations are always shorter, sharper and grab the audience attention.

The process of presenting information with you to me approach in a systematic way is called the Minimal® process.

The first step in this process is to set a clear objective for the presentation based on the target audience and the benefit for them.

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