Every effective proposal begins with a main idea. Brand communication expert, Carmine Gallo (2010), recommends identifying that idea and explaining why it matters.
This grounds your presentation on a specific topic and keeps you from straying too far from what you want your audience to remember.
Getting to that point is a tricky business. Every problem requires a different solution.
If your company needs to introduce a new product in a technology expo, how will you go about explaining this new device? Will you start with its specs, or elaborate on how it stands above your competitors?
All great PowerPoint presentations begin by asking these kinds of questions. Regardless of the specific problem and approach, there are three things that can flesh out your main ideas:
1. What is the Problem That Needs to be Solved and Why?
Needing to pitch something means that someone has a problem. It could be anything: low sales returns, a product that needs re-branding, or even a campaign plan for a new product.
Find the root of your client’s dilemma to keep your pitch focused on presenting an on-strategy solution.
Once you have this information, the next question is: “Why?” Why is the problem important? Why do your clients need your help? Why shouldn’t you let that issue go unsolved?
Asking “why?” defines the gravity of the situation.
It also establishes why your idea is relevant, helping you find the needed insights to back up your claim.
2. What Kind of People Do You Want to Relate to?
An idea can affect people, especially if it agrees with what they believe in. This is why it’s crucial to know exactly who you want to talk to.
These people are the ones looking for the cures to their headaches. You have to show them that you share something in common.
Try to remember the last product you bought. It could be a gadget, a car or even your shoes. Chances are, they were from Apple, Audi, or maybe even Nike. Why do these brands have most of the attention?
According to Chuck Brymer’s article on Marketing Magazine, the reason why the best brands stay the best is because they give you what you need and strive to stay relevant. They also use common values that their customers can relate to.
Every company stands for something. Some want to provide a fun experience by creating superior products.
Others may believe in making things more convenient by engineering easy-to-use technology. As long as a brand lives, its values should never change. It needs to keep itself relevant as time goes by.
When pitching, always keep your company’s beliefs in mind. More importantly, make sure these beliefs match those of your client’s.
3. Is Your Insight in Line with Your Client’s Current Strategy? Or Does It Need Rethinking?
Insights work both ways. While your insight can inspire strategies, make sure that whatever solution you come up with doesn’t conflict with your client’s corporate values.
Would Apple accept a cheaper but less reliable supplier? Since Apple offerings are known for being stylish and easy to use, they probably wouldn’t if it compromises their overall product quality.
Compare your proposals with your client’s business goals. Propose alternative insight to an idea that might negatively affect your client’s business.
This part of the process is arguably the strictest of them all. It tests whether your offer is resilient but flexible enough to adapt to your client’s needs.
Once you satisfy this condition, you’ll have an easier time outlining your topic in PowerPoint form.
Offering answers won’t do any good if you can’t justify them. That’s why simplifying your pitch ensures clearer communication between you and your audience.
To better remember these techniques, condense this three-step process into a single formula: Find the root cause of the client’s dilemma, and find the insight that will lead to the answer.
If this is in line with the client’s corporate beliefs, it’s a valid solution. If not, consider an alternative.
Once you consider these questions when pitching a topic, you’ll be more likely to get on-point with your target market’s needs.
Understanding the main reason why people need your company’s work makes it easier for you to convince others that they should get on board with your idea.
“A Presentation Expert’s Guide to Knowing the Audience.” SlideGenius, Inc. Accessed April 28, 2015.
Brymer, C. “What Makes Brands Great.” Marketing Magazine. 2004. Retrieved from:
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
“Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. Accessed April 21, 2015.
Featured Image: Stock Photography of A businessman working on modern technology on fotosearch.com