How to set a clear presentation objective

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Ask any presenter, and they will tell you that it is essential to set a presentation objective. However, when asked how to go about setting these objectives, they often draw a blank. The term 'objective' is often used quite casually by many presenters, without fully understanding its importance.

Unclear Objective

Most presentation objectives tend to sound like this: "I want everyone to appreciate my unique ideas, leave a strong impression on my audience, and make a great presentation." However, these goals are too broad and lack specificity to help a presenter create a presentation that will truly resonate with their audience.

The objectives of a 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 three essential questions: Who, What, and Why. 

  1. Who is the intended audience? 
  2. What action should they take?
  3. And why should they take this action? What is in it for them?

 Let's delve into each of these questions in turn.

WHO – Who is the last person in your audience?

The last person is the one who must take action based on your presentation. This could be the ultimate decision-maker or someone who has an influence on the decision-making process.

 If your presentation is purely informational, such as a training presentation on products, the last person is the one with the least amount of knowledge on the subject.

When crafting your presentation outline or story, it is important to keep the last person in mind in order to ensure that the information is presented in a way that is understandable and engaging.

Define the Last Person

Why do you need to define 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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