If you are working on a presentation and aren’t sure where to start, consider these common but important slides:
This is a one or two sentence summary that defines the main idea of the presentation. It can be the cover or the very next slide. It should have a hook that captures your audience’s attention immediately by identifying a problem and hinting at or outright stating a solution toward achieving a goal. You can start by writing a few sentences, then hone it to perfection until you have a clear but brief phrase that tells your audience what you are offering in no uncertain terms. Place it under your logo like a tagline if you use it on the cover. Or, make it large and bold on the second slide with no competing type to distract from it.
This slide must define who you are and should include why you are qualified to present on the subject. This doesn’t have to be a long list of every attribute you possess—it should be relevant to the topic and audience. The only time to not use this slide is when your audience already knows and trusts you. This could be because you have already been working with them or, in the case of a keynote or seminar engagement, you are given an introduction by someone else.
Without this information, why are you presenting? Even if you are presenting a findings report, state the situation! Why is it important for you audience to listen to you? It can be brief. Speak it without a slide if you need to, but somehow state why your presentation matters. Usually it’s because you are offering information that your audience needs in order to overcome a problem, understand an opportunity or gain insight into actions they need to take.
A value proposition defines the way in which your audience or customers will derive value from your solution. Usually this is talked about in terms of saving time and/or money, but it can also be about level of service, convenience, effectiveness or staying ahead of competitors.
This is the intro to the bulk of your presentation. On this slide you present a more detailed description of the summary statement with a few key points that you will detail on other slides. This may include a product or service you offer, but it also may be as simple as providing attendees a new perspective on a problem. For example, you may be presenting tips for reducing stress and teaching your audience how to do this. Throughout your solution slides you can throw in language that reiterates your value proposition.
What do you want the audience to do at the end of the presentation? Give them very clear next steps. If you are trying to raise funds, tell them exactly how to invest and exactly what you are looking for. If you are trying to finalize a sale, give them the information for buying right now AND give them a leave-behind if they don’t want to commit on the spot. For non-sales situations tell your audience exactly what to do in order to take advantage of the information you just presented to them. For instance: Go vote on Monday, download an app, sign up for something, etc. Then make it convenient for them to do these things.
These six core slides are important to every presentation and help support the other slides. If you are struggling to organize your presentation or outline, then start with these slides and build out from there. You can also get some help from KO/AD. With a simple outline, we can deliver a presentation that drives your message, considering design and structure best practices. Contact us today to learn more.
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