Concordia Consulting is kicking off a monthly series on Presentation Skills with “Mastering the Basics: A Clearly-Stated Purpose.”
Last quarter I helped an organization prepare for a high-stakes board meeting. In this multi-part blog series on presentations, I will share the tips that I shared with them. And the good news is that these tips will serve you and your organization well, whether you are preparing for a board meeting, a conference, a training session, a staff meeting, or any other type of presentation.
When we were starting our work together, the first question I asked was, “What is your call to action, that is to say, what is the outcome you want from this meeting?” This group had their act together and several people said almost immediately, “We want the board members to see the importance of a new facility and to help us find donors and solicit funds. We want them to help lead the fundraising.” Said more succinctly, “Lead fundraising efforts for new facility by finding donors and soliciting funds.”
Whew! That’s great! It’s a clearly-stated purpose. The only thing that could make that purpose even a smidgeon better would be some clearly-related substeps such as:
- We want Anthony, the treasurer, to show us how much each member needs to raise.
- We want Jeremy in membership to work with Trisha in marketing to create a call campaign and a meet-and-greet plan.
- We are hoping that Mirtha will donate $20,000 at the meeting and role model giving.
A clear purpose for every meeting you hold is imperative for success.
Below are some examples of weak goals:
- We will report to the board about what we have been doing.
- We will share any problems and concerns we have about our membership drive.
- We will show the work of our marketing and advertising teams.
Here are some stronger goals:
- Each board member will leave with an assignment for to be completed before the next board meeting.
- We will convince the board to spend $8.3 million on our advertising campaign.
- We will show the trends of our new product, and simultaneously ask for 8% increased funding for research and development.
In the next article in the series, I will share the best use of visuals. Stay tuned, and get focused!
How are the goals for your next presentation?
During our 90 minutes together, each time a device rang or beeped, she responded. Although she responded to each of the 12 summonses in less than a minute, I left our meeting feeling jangled.
The next person I met with closed his office door as he came to greet me. He turned off the ringer on his phone, then looked up, and made eye contact. We covered our agenda. He took notes. We were not interrupted.
After 45 productive, business-focused minutes (and 10 minutes of chatting), I left feeling informed and connected.
Is it always responsible to be responsive?
Are you ever wired instead of connected?
We’ve already examined reasons why a webinar is a more engaging way to conduct meetings than a conference call. Now, what are some ways you can make your webinar even more effective?
First of all, remember to take full advantage of the additional sense your participants have with a webinar; the sense of sight.
What will you present visually?
Below are some ideas:
- A relevant cartoon or comic at the very start or mid way through the meeting. They can be found ???
- An overview of the meeting goal
- A chart showing the pros and cons of the topic
- Head shots of the presenter and the participants
- Still pictures of the weather if attendees are across the country or across the world
- Charts and graphs
- A picture of a salad, pizza or sandwich if it’s time to end the meeting and it’s right before lunch.
What are some additional visuals you have seen that have made webinars memorable for participants?