2 Organizing Questions Central to Presentation Structure

By Julie M. Hansen

Whether your presentation is 20 minutes or two days, virtual or live, it must answer one or both of two central questions in your prospect’s mind. Which question you address can help you decide what information to include in your opening, body, and closing and how to position your message in response. The two questions are

  • Why should I buy this product or service? In this situation your prospect isn’t yet convinced that your solution is the answer to her problem. She may have other alternatives or priorities, or she may not feel the problem is sufficient enough to warrant solving. In other words, the status quo is acceptable. Your presentation in this situation will center on convincing her that your solution is the best way to address her problem.

  • Why should I buy it from you? In this scenario, your prospect agrees that the solution will solve her problem or address her need, but she isn’t convinced that your product or service is the best choice. You can easily fall into a price war if you aren’t deliberate about establishing value and communicating your competitive advantage. In this situation your structure will center on convincing the prospect that you’re the preferred vendor.

Your presentation may have to answer both questions, in which case, you should thoroughly address the first question before addressing the second.