How to Plan for a Successful Innovative Presentation - dummies

How to Plan for a Successful Innovative Presentation

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

When you have an innovative presentation, you want it to be successful. The following six steps detail the overall planning process for a successful innovative presentation.

  1. Identify your desired goal.

    This is a goal(s) you want to achieve, but don’t yet know whether it’s reasonably possible. First, you must find out more about your audience and the situation you face regarding the topic and other aspects of your presentation. You can call it your hypothetical goal at this point.

  2. Analyze your audience.

    Research and discover as much as possible about your audience — their needs, wants, priorities, concerns, current focus. Gather information about the situation as well: Who is your competition? What obstacles, risks. or constraints for your audience pose problems for you? What factors beyond the situation could impact your presentation?

    For example, is the solution (idea, program, capital expenditure) you propose aligned with the plan and priorities of the organization you’re pitching to? What policies, values, strategic directions, and long-term priorities of the organization dictate your goals and strategies? You may have a great solution to the wrong problem. Analyzing the situation gives you a critical edge in your talk.

  3. Confirm or modify your goals.

    After considering the audience and situation, you can confirm your hypothetical goal stated in Step 1, if it’s still realistic and achievable or modify your goal based on information you learned about the group that makes your hypothetical goal unattainable.

    For example, your hypothetical goal may be “sell a project to the group.” You discover that the group isn’t ready to make a decision, so you change your goal to “generate interest in the project and schedule a follow-up presentation when they’re ready to decide.”

  4. Create a strategy.

    After establishing a goal that meets the needs of the audience and situation (based on your research and analysis), you can create a solutions-focused strategy that encompasses aspects of persuasion, communication, psychology, finance, and other factors. Because you are an innovative presenter, you consider creative strategies that are bold, daring, exciting, and interesting — perhaps with elements of surprise, anticipation, suspense, and a bit of tease to them.

    Think of all the ways you can reach your goals and objectives, and then develop the one you feel has a chance of getting the best results.

  5. Develop content and visuals.

    Research, select, and develop your content and visuals to support your strategy.

    The content should transition from general to specific during the course of your innovative presentation. Using real facts and examples, it should focus on the needs, wants, and priorities of the audience while explaining and supporting your main points in a relevant, insightful, and motivating way.

    Your strategy may require targeting people in your group who are both right and left-brained, so you want the content on your visuals to appeal to both intellect and emotion. Create visuals that effectively and efficiently describe, define, explain, prove, and justify your most important messages and claims.

  6. Rehearse and fine-tune.

    Doing several rehearsals (and videotaping them, if possible) helps you evaluate your presentation. You may decide to modify (add, delete, enhance) your strategy, content, and/or visuals. Ask for feedback from colleagues attending your rehearsal, and use their input to polish and sharpen your presentation.