By Jennifer Marley

The power of a great presentation lies not just in the delivery, but in the preparation phase in writing the speech. These principles will help you to wow your audience and improve the clarity of your message.



1. Know your audience

  • Their role in decision-making
  • Their fears and goals
  • The way they think and work – are they red, green, blue or yellow?
  • Their role in the presentation – can you involve them?
  • Can you inspire and praise yet push?
  • Logistics: Big room vs. little room; Formal vs. intimate

2. Know the business context

  • Have a clear focus or mission
  • Distill it to its essence
  • Where does this data fit?
  • Ultimately it must help the business or we have failed
  • Pick one goal: more growth; lower cost; higher impact; sharper execution; facilitate action; break the logjam

3. Have a hook

  • Great presentations tell stories
  • Comparisons to other brands
  • Analogies
  • Historical references
  • Personal examples
  • Be visual – we’re six times more likely to retain information if it’s communicated visually

4. Use the “Rule of Three”

  • The Rule of Three: Tell them what you’re gonna tell them; Tell them; Tell them what you told them
  • “If I left you with three key messages…”
  • Consider 3 10-minute chunks
  • And remember: Minds wander after 20 minutes

5. Know what Mark Twain knew

  • Less is more: “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead”

6. Work through principles

  • When working on presentations containing market research information, we strongly recommend going through Steps 1-5 BEFORE commissioning the research

If you need help or a sounding board…just ask us. We’re happy to help.