Do you have a Clear Purpose for your Presentation?

What is the purpose of your presentation?

You need to be clear about what you want to accomplish with your presentation. Then your next step should be to make sure that your talking points and your slides are all designed to help you reach your goal.

While your presentation goal or purpose is specific and unique to you as a presenter and to each presentation you give, there are some general categories we can consider for why people give presentations.

Your presentation purpose most likely falls into one of these 3 broad, overall categories:

  • educational or informational
  • sales or marketing
  • inspirational or entertaining

But you may have much more specific results you want to accomplish from a specific presentation.

For instance, you may be focused on collecting business cards from prospects by offering them some sort of ethical bribe for dropping their cards into a bowl after your talk. You may need to ensure that employees at your company have been trained on some important policy change. Or you may be giving a keynote address that is intended mainly to inspire your audience.

Sometimes your purpose may seem more complex. In the case of the keynote speech mentioned above, you are probably also interested in marketing a certain message about yourself or your organization. In such cases of multiple goals, it is important to remember your ultimate goal: in this case, letting your audience get to know you and your organization.

As you develop your presentation, you need to keep in mind this ultimate result you are seeking. While you would not include explicit marketing or sales information in a keynote address, you would still want to ensure that you’re presenting a message that reflects positively on you and/or your organization. The marketing would be subtle in this situation, but it would still be there.

Informational marketing presentations are another hybrid example. While the ultimate goal is to generate leads and, hopefully, sales, this type of presentation would be mainly focused on providing so much valuable information to your audience that they form a very favorable impression of your company and are naturally interested in learning more about you.

Don’t forget to implement some method for tracking the results so¬†you will know whether or not you actually achieve the goal you defined for your presentation.

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