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25 Questions to Bolster Your Strategic Thinking When Preparing Presentations

Always set aside enough time to fully plan your presentations. Here is a list of valuable questions for you (and especially your presentation team) to consider that will greatly assist you in developing ideas, tactics, and approaches in your innovative presentation:

  1. What niche image (besides a competent and professional image) do I want to project to this audience to build my credibility? Examples: strong leader, technology expert, master problem solver, visionary, innovator.

  2. What are the two or three most important things I absolutely have to say and do to reach my goals and objectives?

  3. What must I definitely avoid saying or doing during my presentation?

  4. How should I ideally begin my presentation? How should I end (what do I want from my audience)?

  5. What specific topics must I cover to inform, convince, and compel my audience?

  6. What powerful combination of logical and emotional appeals should I focus on to get my audience on my side?

  7. How can I best counter my competition’s strengths while leveraging their weaknesses?

  8. What is the most compelling combination of audio and visuals to use to meet my goals (photos, illustrations, diagrams, 3-D animations, video, live demonstrations, Skype calls)?

  9. What forms of rock-solid proof (statistics, verifiable facts, results of research, historical precedents, demonstrations, success stories) must I provide to give strong credence and substance to my claims?

  10. What psychological approaches should I employ to attempt to influence the attitudes, philosophy, beliefs, and assumptions of the group in the direction I want?

  11. What tactics might I use to counter those in the group who are doubtful, skeptical, apathetic, or contrarian?

  12. How can I modify my presentation style to best communicate and develop rapport and respect with this group?

  13. In what ways could I creatively use the elements of surprise, eager anticipation, suspense, or shock and awe to give my presentation punch and pizzazz?

  14. What select data, evidence, information, or demonstrations will have the most explosive power to change the audience’s minds?

  15. How can I help those who are strong detractors of my proposal to save face if they want to reverse their position after hearing my presentation?

  16. What actions should I take before and after my presentation to better help my chances of reaching my goals and objectives?

  17. What is the single biggest obstacle I face getting this group’s support, commitment, and action, and what is my strategy to counter it?

  18. Who can I call on in the audience to support and back up my claims and recommendations and how might they convincingly do that?

  19. How might I attack my competition without appearing to do so?

  20. What are some effective approaches to deal with (or defuse) ego issues — potential defensiveness, sensitivity, territorial/fiefdom aspects related to my presentation?

  21. What resources (people, equipment, technology, props, prototypes, visuals, handouts) do I need to support the attainment of my goals?

  22. What might be a bold, daring, unconventional approach to try with this audience since typical approaches will not budge them?

  23. How can I make key financial numbers such as payback, ROI, Net Present Value, Hurdle rate, and other statistics jump out at people in new ways?

  24. Knowing the personality profiles of people attending my talk, how can I psychologically target my information, messages, and appeals so as to customize and tailor them just for those attendees?

  25. What humor, newspaper cartoons, or audio or video of celebrities or others can I use to give a new dimension to or radically different perspective that might soften the attitudes or turn around the beliefs of this group?

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