What is a presentation about? In a nutshell, you could say that you first want to capture the audience’s attention. After that, it’s about generating a deeper interest in your presentation topic that triggers an emotion in your audience. Ideally, this will then lead to an action you want them to take. This scheme is old hat, so to speak, but it still works great today. We know this setup from elevator positioning, the elevator-pitch.
Are you ready for a little test? Please try to summarize in a few sentences what your next presentation is about. What is the core of your messages and what do you want the audience to take away? Can you sum it up briefly and succinctly?
YOU NEED TO KNOW YOURSELF EXACTLY WHAT YOUR PRESENTATION IS ABOUT.
If you floundered during this little exercise, it’s a sign that you need to get more specific about the core of your presentation. If you can’t name the core messages, it will be difficult for you to structure your presentation and the individual slides clearly.
THE ELEVATOR-PITCH IS A HELPFUL METHOD TO GET TO THE HEART OF YOUR PRESENTATION TOPICS.
The elevator-pitch originated in the USA. At the beginning the aim behind it was to enable a sales representative to convince customers or decision-makers of the merits of his or her offer during the duration of an elevator ride. Since the time spent in an elevator, even in skyscrapers, is usually no more than 60 seconds, all important information had to be conveyed briefly and comprehensibly in this time span. The sales staff were trained to get to the point. This was so successful that the principle of the elevator-pitch is now used worldwide. You can use the structure and principles of this technique to prepare your presentation. In this way, you create the necessary clarity at the very beginning of your PowerPoint presentation preparations to give your slides and your dramaturgy a convincing structure.
THE STRUCTURE OF AN ELEVATOR-PITCH AND HOW TO USE IT FOR YOUR PRESENTATION
What do you want to say to your audience, in what way, and with what desired effect? You should know this before you design the first slide. Use the individual steps of the elevator-pitch to prepare.
The elevator positioning or elevator-pitch is divided into four steps:
Step 1: Create attention
Why do you want your audience to listen to you? What do you want to offer? When you start your presentation, you should arouse your audience’s curiosity about what’s about to come. This has to be really good, otherwise you’ll only have half the attention to begin with. What could you announce? A world first? A completely new take on a topic? What do you want to create interest with?
Step 2: Arouse interest
What hard facts and information can you offer? What will you use to back up the expectations you raised in step 1? Work out the important core messages that absolutely must be conveyed.
Step 3: Trigger emotions
Hard facts are important, but they’re only half the battle. You need to get to the emotions of your audience. What emotions would be desirable for your presentation objective? Joy? Fear? Outrage? Greed?
Step 4: Call To Action
You should always include a call to action at the end of your presentation. After all, you don’t just want your audience to be passively regaled by you. You want the audience to be prompted to take an action that is in your best interest. This can start with small things, like signing up for your newsletter. It could also be buying a product or signing up for a training. The important thing is that you don’t leave it up to the audience to take the right steps. You should already be prompting action.
If you can get to the heart of your goal and approach to preparing your PowerPoint presentation, you will know exactly what information needs to be on your slides and what is unnecessary. Be really goal-oriented in the early stages of planning and be specific about what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it.