Use the right presentation style to convey your message

Presentations are about selling. Whether it be a product or even an idea, you are trying to communicate your point and get people to buy-in. But sometimes your message isn't presented in a manner that connects with your audience. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The contents of the presentation were not suitable. As a presenter you'll notice bewildered looks, the checking of watches and the occasional sleeper. Expectations need to be set! They should be set before you even start.
  • Your presentation did not use an approach that related to the audience. Some people are convinced by facts, others want to know the end goal while other people want to see a plan. Know your audience!
  • The presentation was not structured appropriately to convey your message. Even if you follow all the tips I've previously provided, a well thought out structure will be very beneficial.

This post will deal with providing the best template for your message depending on your objective. Its inspiration was a course I attended from Bina Feldman. Some of the material is derived from her work. As such, I will only go in-depth on a few of the templates.

First what are you trying to do?

  • Present a solution to a problem?
  • Share information?
  • Sell a product?
  • Recommend an alternative?
  • Give bad news?

The key is to understand what you are trying to accomplish and then use a presentation template that aligns with your goal.

A template for "recommending an alternative"

For arguments sake, let's suppose you are trying to recommend one alternative versus others. A suitable presentation template would be as follows:

  1. State the key decision.
  2. Define the key selection criteria (e.g., "must haves" and "nice to haves.")
  3. Rank the, "must haves." To quote George Orwell's Animal Farm, 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.'
  4. List the choices.
  5. Eliminate choices that do not satisfy the, "must have," criteria.
  6. Analyze the remaining choices against the, "nice to have," criteria.
  7. Outline the pros and cons of each choice.
  8. State your recommendation.

Notice the whole presentation style focuses on the recommendation and how it was reached. Everything works towards building up a strong case.

A template for "selling an idea (or product)"

  1. State the purpose.
  2. Outline the audience's needs.
  3. What are the features of your idea (product)?
  4. What are the benefits that your audience can reap?
  5. What's the problem with the status quo? Why don't we want to do nothing?
  6. Reconfirm the benefits.
  7. Show how to achieve the benefits. What needs to be done to get there?
  8. Ask for acceptance (e.g., complete the sale.)

Unlike the previous template this one focuses on illustrating the need for your idea and the benefits it provides. Create demand for your idea by stating the problems that are being faced.


I am only outlining 2 of the templates; in truth, there are many different ones (If you need some ideas feel free to contact me. Also, if you want formal training I suggest contacting Bina Feldman.)

Depending on the objective of your presentation, it is important to select a template that aligns with your goal. The use of an inappropriate template can render your presentation ineffective.

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