Three Steps to a Better Presentation & Story

PowerPoint Logo 2008 Mac

Precondition your audience at the start of your presentation.

If you’re delivering a business pitch, you are trying to share an idea that the client will want to buy. That means it needs to be memorable. As a presenter, you need to make sure that your future client knows what the heck you are trying to say.

Don’t just tell them that you’re good at delivering a powerful message. Prove it in your presentation.

Here’s a good piece of advice for making presentations memorable, which I learned from my friend and co-worker, John Spingler (aka Sping).

Here are three basic steps to delivering a memorable pitch and marketing story:

  1. Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  2. Tell them.
  3. Tell them what you just told them.

Sounds really simple, right?

But if you’ve ever suffered through a dull PowerPoint presentation and wondered “where is this going?” then you know that delivering a clear message isn’t so simple. When a presentation lacks focus, it’s hard for your listener to remain focused.

The concept is something called “preconditioning.” In this case, preconditioning helps forge a common ground between the speaker and the listener. The listener will be preconditioned to listen more carefully when you reach certain keywords and phrases.

Here’s the example in action:

  1. OPENING: Today we’re going to talk about our awesome “Idea” for your brand. You told us about your brand challenges, which we understand. We brainstormed this “Idea” that will highlight your unique selling proposition in a way that will have people running to the cash register.
  2. DURING THE PRESENTATION: Here’s that cool “Idea” I was telling you about in my opening statement. It’s smart, sexy, and fits your brand personality.
  3. CLOSING: Today we set out to address your brand challenges. We believe our “Idea,” which includes X, Y, and Z, will help you reach your strategic marketing goals.

This will help you deliver a clear marketing story, even when people are multitasking during your presentation. This gives you three opportunities to drive home your idea and the relevant details.

These days, people are giving presentations from the iPad 2 and other new media devices. Forget the technology, it’s about the message. It’s always been about the message.

Follow those three steps and you have a better chance of keeping your your audience focused, your presentation on track, and your marketing story memorable.

Links to explore:




2 thoughts on “Three Steps to a Better Presentation & Story

  1. Fantastic article, Buddy. Here in France where I teach presentation skills, the default style is “give it to ’em on a take it or leave it basis”. Re-programming my clients with the notion of “preconditioning” or “framing” is something I really have to work hard on – and a challenge I enjoy enormously! Thanks for adding to my tool box and those of my clients 🙂

  2. Paul – Thanks for the link. And I am checking out your website. There’s a lot of really good stuff there, which I am going to explore in depth!

Leave a Reply