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A 3-item Checklist to Make Sure Your Next Presentation is Meaningful

If your audience isn't thinking these three things after your next presentation, you may not have been as effective as you'd hoped.

My colleague, Heather, has been on fire recently with the templates she’s shared on Train Like A Champion. In case you’ve missed them, she’s shared:

All of her recent templates have made me wonder if there’s a template or checklist I could share. Then it hit me. While Heather has been sharing some templates for fairly advanced training professionals, perhaps I could take a step back and offer something up for anyone who ever has to give a presentation, regardless of their experience or comfort level in front of an audience.

Is it possible to create a universal checklist of “must-have” items that can be used by anyone with any presentation style or comfort speaking in public?

A video I saw several years ago of Phil Waknell speaking to an audience to help prepare them for TED-like talks, gives a very insightful set of parameters for anyone who may need to present. Here is that video:

I encourage you to watch his talk, but for those who may not have 15 minutes, I’ll share the bottom line: at the end of any presentation you give, your audience should walk away saying three things:

  1. I didn’t know that
  2. I’m glad I do now
  3. I’d like to know more

Perhaps you like to use PowerPoint in every presentation. Perhaps you prefer flipchart and small group discussions. Perhaps you fancy yourself the next Steve Jobs. Perhaps next week you’re giving your first presentation. Those are the three simple things your audience should walk away thinking after any successful presentation.

What do you think? Is it really this simple, or do you think there should be more to measuring a successful presentation? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

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