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”