Creating Effective Business Presentations

Get your ideas across by presenting them the right way

Your ability to present ideas in a precise, articulate and convincing manner makes a huge difference to your listener. Strategy consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain or BCG have perfected this art. Here are the key takeaways I use for my presentations.

Tell a story

Craft your presentation like a story. The Freytag’s Pyramid is a model used in many classical stories and you can use it to build your story presentation.

  1. Situation: Clearly explain the problem and the situation faced, why this problem matters and the potential consequence of the situation is not addressed. Show the tension.
  2. Analysis: Synthesis your key finding from the research phase, the new insights that you learned from the work you did. Explain where the insight came from. Explain why those insights are surprising and valuable. Show the tension on the insights, they hint that something can done about the situation.
  3. Recommendation: In the light of the insights you just mentioned, propose your recommendations. How are your recommendations addressing this situation? Propose what you think the company could do. Make sure that there is no ambiguity in your message, and be as specific as you can. Provide an example of how this recommendation could work with the specific use case.
  4. Impact: Impact of the recommendation: here take a deeper dive into your recommendation: what are the strengths and weaknesses, what is a possible implementation plan? What other benefits are expected?
  5. Conclusion: Summarize the key points of the presentation and reiterate the importance of implementing a solution to the business problem.

Design slides for clarity and impact

As for the slide to support your arguments, you can use the following principles:

  1. Titles are the takeaway: The title of the slide should be the key insight or takeaway and the slide area should prove the point. Detail the slide leveraging the Pyramid Principle.
  2. Leveraging the Pyramid Principle

Discover the 3 other principles from Phani Marupaka on how to “Present like a consultant from Big4”

C’est quoi le Lean Startup ?

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.29.20

Une startup a environ 9 chances sur 10 de se planter. Et la majorité se plante non pas parce qu’elles n’arrivent pas a construire le produit qu’elles voulaient construire, mais parce qu’elles ont construit un produit que personne n’utilise et qui ne répond a aucun besoin.

Le Lean Startup renverse l’approche et remet le client au centre du processus d’innovation. On cherche à prouver la demande pour un produit avant de le construire.

Il faut vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué…

Un participant à l’une de mes formations me dit que pour l’approche Lean Startup, il faut vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué… C’est exactement ca. Si personne veux acheter de peau d’ours alors la peau ne sert a rien. Il faut trouver le client avant de partir à la chasse.

Donc, ne rien construire rien sans preuve de demande. On veux vérifier le plus rapidement possible si une idée est faisable desirable et rentable. Pour cela, on pose les différentes hypothèses sur lesquelles cette idée repose sur un Business model Canvas ou Lean Canvas. Ensuite on les testes méthodiquement une à une, en construisant des MVP (Minimum Viable Product) par iteration rapide (build-measure-learn). Si le processus est un success, on termine avec un business model validé, prêt à la croissance.

Cette approche est simple à comprendre mais difficile à mettre en application car souvent contre intuitive. Et c’est par la pratique que l’on se perfectionne.

Pour vous entrainer, vous pouvez venir aux atelier et conference organisé par Lean Startup Experience ou Lean Startup Workshop.

Lean Startup Machine experience

I recently attended the Lean Startup Machine workshop in London.

WOW. What an experience. 2.5 days of immersion to develop an idea into a viable and meaningful product, searching potential customers and refining the idea. A lot more excitement than what many of us get in our day job.

This workshop provides an opportunity to work on a real case, in the safety of the sandbox, guided by very helpful and insightful mentors. In teams, we practice the running experiments, building MVP, invalidation assumptions, pivoting, and ultimately doing customer development.

If you have read the Lean Startup book, this workshop is very much in the continuity and applying the theory to a practical business idea. Definitely recommend for anyone who has enjoyed the book.

Here are photo photos of the event:

Rafael explaining why you get out of the building and talk to people.
Rafael explaining why you get out of the building and talk to people.

Tim and the mentors
Tim and the mentors

My Team, working on the Public Democracy concept, with Luca and Stuart.
My team (Public Democracy concept) with Luca and Stuart and our Validation board.

Kano framework, classification of user needs

As part of the design course by Karl T. Ulrich (pictured) that I follow on (great site btw, which is changing access to knowledge in a very significant way), I came across the Kano framework to classify the user need. Vertically is the user satisfaction (if the user is satisfied or not) and horizontally is if the need is addressed or not (or can be partly adressed). Here is the framework:
kano framework

User needs can be plotted in 4 curves which are:

  • Don’t care: either it’s here or not, but not all users care: for instance on a search engine it could be the need to search for images.
  • Linear: the better it’s done, the more satisfaction the user for the search engine it could be to find an answer to the query, this is provided by the relevance of the search results.
  • Must have: If it’s not there, the user is un happy. For search engine, it could a way to enter the search query (search box).
  • Latent: Little things, un-expected that create delight. For instance the ‘see from cache’ or ‘translate page’.

Marketing budgets: 2 good and short reads

While doing research, I found those two pieces very insightful on how to define your marketing budget:

  • The marketing budget and how to define it:
    • build your budget around your goal,
    • focus on ROI
    • and favor measurable medias.

    From blogtrepreneur.

  • 4 ways to decide your marketing budget:
    • take a percentage of your sales
    • decide it arbitrarily
    • match the competitor budget
    • or built it on your marketing objectives (growth).

    From LegalZoom.

Marketing concepts explained in 2 Minutes

Simple and on spot. This funny video is a bit of fresh air for the marketing class.

Those are the concepts:

1. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: I am very rich. Marry me! – Thats Direct Marketing

2. Youre at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: Hes very rich. Marry him. – Thats Advertising

3. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: Hi, Im very rich. Marry me. – Thats Telemarketing

4. Youre at a party and see gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door of the car for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and then say: By the way, Im rich. Will you marry me? – Thats Public Relations

5. Youre at a party and see gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says: You are very rich! Can you marry ! me? – Thats Brand Recognition

6. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: I am very rich. Marry me! She gives you a nice hard slap on your face. – Thats Customer Feedback

7. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: I am very rich. Marry me! And she introduces you to her husband. – Thats demand and supply gap

8. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say anything, another person come and tell her: Im rich. Will you marry me? and she goes with him – Thats competition eating into your market share

9. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say: Im rich, Marry me! your wife arrives. – Thats restriction for entering new markets

Digital Marketing – student project

This is a post for my students at the Master of Business and Management at University Paris 10 Nanterre la Defense. It aims to introduce the project they will be working on during the first semester. If you are a professor, feel free to use this as well and let me know how it went, I would love to here from you!

This is a group project to get you familiar with different online marketing tools and techniques.

Your group (3 to 4 students) is given the responsibility of marketing a mini-commerce site. This site is selling a product or range of products of your choice. You will actually need to create that site you can do simply using You will be selling the products via the Amazon site of your target market. You need to sign-up to the Amazon Associate program. The user will complete their purchase on the Amazon website. This will allow you to track sales and conversions.

Now that your mini-ecommerce site is setup, marketing effort can start and run during the course of the semester – until December.

Once your store is in place, you can start playing with the different tools to drive traffic to it.

    Here is what is suggested to start marketing your site:

  • Google AdWords (initial free credits available via Google) –SEM
  • get into Google search with Google WebMaster toolsSEO
  • track what’s going on in your site with Google Analytics
  • Bing Ads (you can get a free initial credit by adding your site to Bing WebMaster tools) –SEM & SEO
  • Create a Facebook page (build fan base and market your products there) –SMO
  • Twitter account (engage with people likely to buy the product – your target audience) –SMO
  • Try something of your own

During the lectures we will cover all the thinking that need to be applied to market those products and go into the details the tools that will allow you to do this project properly.