Make a presentation in 5 steps (1): Objective setting

When you make a presentation, it is important to first clarify your objective. This post outlines different types of presentation objectives and give ideas on how to identify them..

(If you haven’t aleady seen the overview blog-spot for making effective presentations, read this first)


Clarify your objective: Begin with the end in mind to know what you are working for

When asked to deliver a presentation, many people just jump straight in, open PPT and start creating slides. Those that are experts in their topics will dump everything they know into 50 slides and declare themselves ready to present. And not just the techny people – sales people do the same, as do Project Managers and corporate trainers.

Slow down and think. All time spent in this phase will not only increase your efficiency in the following phases, but also:

  • Give you a whole bunch of information to share with your audience when you actually start talking
  • Help you stay on target during both creation and the moment of presentation itself

As the British Army guys say….


In this phase, simply answer these 5 questions (Don’t cheat: Write the answers down!):

1.       Why have I been asked to present?

2.       What do I want to achieve? (Read more about presentation objectives here)

  • Will I try to inform?
  • Will I help the audience to make a decision?
  • Must I convince or persuade? Or impress?
  • Am I teaching something?

3.       How will my presentation support business targets or strategy?

4.       What personal goals do I want to achieve?

5.       What do I want the audience to know and do after my presentation?


Follow this link to see how I answered these questions for myself when creating a presentation on “Infinite Learning ©” for the Epsilon Salon in November 2010


When you have the answer to these questions, move on to defining the audience..


If you have questions, contact me:

If you have comments, add them!

And if you want more ideas, follow me on Twitter or subscribe to this blog by entering your email address above/right…


Published by Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

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