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When was the last time you gave a PowerPoint presentation that both inspired and convinced your audience? In our ever-changing, complex work environment, it isn’t always easy to define a problem, find a solution that works and powerfully convince others of this solution. Instead of outlining concrete steps towards a new situation, we are often left with a vague idea of how things should improve.
Especially in the world of finance, banking and insurances, to ensure growth and enhance customer success, it’s paramount to have everybody on the team on board. Yet we all know that it’s not self-evident to have our colleagues understand our proposed change or implementation. Because let’s be honest, don’t you also dread another boring, un-inspiring presentation that leaves you confused rather than enlightened?
At 5miles, we believe there’s a way to bring your presentations to the next level, so that both you and your audience leave the meeting convinced, inspired and ready to take on next steps. To put the money where the word is, we developed a training specifically about this subject.
In this article we’ll explain the importance of building your presentation, starting with step zero; by defining the problem, outlining your arguments and structuring these arguments effectively in your PowerPoint presentation. We’ll also demonstrate why our Create better presentations training will help you feel organised, inspired and confident to develop your next presentation.
“Many people feel that creating a presentation takes too much time. They tend to disregard the structure of the presentation. The 5miles challenges provide a solid base to improve the thought process towards a presentation. By doing so, you will learn to create a clear and convincing presentation, in as little time as possible.”
Suzanne Meijles, Sr. Writing Trainer, ProTaal
A practical training that helps you improve your presentations
We all know how to build a PowerPoint presentation, but the question remains if it’s always clear to others what we mean. We often formulate our message too woolly, too long and not in tune with our target group. To convince your audience, you have to convey your message clearly and logically in a presentation. To do so, let us inspire you by McKinsey.
Chances are you’ve heard of the McKinsey organisation. They’re not just one of the most successful consulting firms in the world; they’ve also developed a method that helps their consultants deliver the best possible presentations. This method, called the Pyramid Principle, is used by the top consulting agencies, banks, and insurance companies in the world. Instead of reinventing the wheel, in our Create better presentations training we teach you this method with short, practical assignments based on real events.
Are you interested in learning what this training is about? Download the course one-pager.
Let our training bring your presentation to the next level
Our training has a learning by doing approach, with a mixture of practical questions, theory and real-life data. Step by step, you’ll learn to understand and apply important McKinsey terms such as Pyramid Principle, SCQ(A), Argumentation tree, Storyboarding and Slidewriting.
A characteristic of the Pyramid Principle is that the core message of your story is the starting point of your presentation. The remaining of the presentation is structured in such a way that the questions raised by this core message are answered one-by-one. This differs from presentations in which the 'traditional narrative form' is used, where the presentation works towards a conclusion that is only given at the end.
SCQ(A) stands for Situation, Complication, Question, Answer. This first step of the Pyramid Principle helps you map out exactly what the problem or challenge is that you, your team or your organization is facing. The purpose of SCQ(A) is to clarify what the problem is, where the problem comes from, which questions your audience might have and what answer you have to this question. While creating your presentation, you already take into account potential questions from the audience. You’ll answer most of these questions before they’re even asked.
How often have you actually compared, considered and logically structured your arguments? When you try to convince your audience, it’s one thing to emphasize the best solution to a problem or situation. It’s another to understand exactly why and how you’ve come to this solution. Understanding your own arguments will help you convince your audience of these arguments as well.
It’s time to get your post-its out! Once you’ve decided upon your core message and the arguments that lead to it, it’s time to think about the structure of your presentation. Which slide comes when? What information can be left out, and which arguments need visual support such as a graph or table? Going offline for a second and use pen & paper helps you to logically structure your presentation.
Not just your presentation needs a structure; so do your slides. The key to convincing your audience is to keep your slides short & sweet. In your PowerPoint presentation, it’s best to cover up to 5 arguments per slide and to write those arguments as concisely as possible.
Want to read more about PowerPoint and presenting? Read the following materials:
- Create stunning PowerPoint slides: The broken mirror effect
- Create visually attractive PowerPoint slides with SmartArt
- Design your PowerPoint slides faster with format painter
Creating better presentations
Now that we’ve discussed the 5miles learning journey of the Pyramid Principle, in which you yourself can learn to create better presentations, you might be wondering what some of the benefits are by starting your own personal 5miles learning track. We’ve got you covered! By the end of our training…
- You’ll have learned how to effectively structure your thought process when you need to create a PowerPoint presentation
- You’ve become a pro in considering, formulating and structuring your arguments towards a solution to the problem, challenge or change in situation
- You are able to apply storyboarding and slidewriting techniques to deliver a well-organised and neatly covered presentation
- You are able to build a presentation that’s both inspiring and convincing
“This training gives you new insights. It helps you to look at a presentation from a client perspective.”
This is only the beginning
Do you feel inspired to start creating better presentations? At 5miles, we offer our training in bite-sized challenges. It’s up to you to decide how and when you learn; whether you spend learning something new an hour once a week, or 5 minutes a day. Apart from this training, we cover many other subjects as well, with Excel, Teams and other PowerPoint tracks among our most popular ones.
If not now, when?
Stop finding excuses and start learning something new each day. Learning now will save you time later. Yes, you can start today! Sign up for a free trial at www.5miles.nl.