Presentation Vision Sheet

Building a presentation as a group can be a tough challenge.

If you're not careful you can end up down rabbit holes discussing details that might, or might not, make it into the final deliverable.

To avoid this you should agree the high level points first and leave discussing exactly what content you're going to include until after.

Presentation Vision Sheet

When you run this activity at the start of a presentation design process you save yourself a lot of time and energy by getting straight to the point of what matters most.

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Objective

  • check
    To overcome resistance when planning a presentation as a group by focusing on the vital parts: Your idea, Your target & Your message.

Why Would You Use It?

  • Agreeing to the fundamental design of a presentation can prove tricky if there are several people involved.
  • Everyone will have their own ideas, own structure, and own style so it’s important to get alignment and consensus before you start writing the content and designing the slides.

Resources Required

  • The Presentation Vision Sheet template.
  • Whiteboard and pens.

Process

  • 1
    Form a small working group: Presenter + 1 or 2 supporters.
  • 2
    Print off 1 copy of the Presentation Vision Sheet on A4 or larger.
  • 3
    Use a room that has a large whiteboard.
  • 4
    Beginning with Step 1 (The Idea), spend a maximum of 10 minutes on each question (timing brings discipline and focus).
  • 5
    Use the whiteboard as the focal point of your discussion.
  • 6
    Once you have an answer for each question that you are all committed to, write it in the space on the sheet.
  • 7
    Transfer all your answers to the Executive Summary sheet and if needed, get higher up commitment, this can help protect you from scope-creep.
  • 8
    Use the Presentation Vision Sheet to hold yourself on course when you are writing your presentation.
  • 9
    If you need to change your vision, use the Presentation Vision Sheet to defend your new choices.

The Presentation Vision Sheet

Please note: you can download a blank template of the Presentation Vision Sheet at the bottom of this page.

Step 1 - The Idea

Question

Answer

What idea is the core of your presentation?

A different end state? e.g. Sustained cash flow

A new belief? e.g. Climate change means profit

A new tool? e.g. Our AI-driven customer service bot

What changes have occurred to make this idea important right now?

Broad economic/public policy forces

Industry/customer trends
New corporate aspirations
Technology changes

At the end, what will the best outcome look like?

What is the clearest contrast between the as is and will be

If they fail to accept, what pain will they suffer?

What’s stopping the idea from being implemented right now?

Lack of technology
Lack of know how
Insufficient access to capital
Untrained or insufficient talent
Lack of or redundant structure

Step 2 - The Target

Question

Answer

Who are the key audience segments? What are their roles in your idea?

Who is championing your idea?

Who is cynical about your idea?
Who is actively opposing your idea?
Who is the actual decision maker?

How do the concerns of various audience segments align and/or differ?

Cost concerns

Trust issues

Timing concerns

Implementation issues

After sales service questions

What is their knowledge level and/or previous experience of the idea?

End user

Systems admin

Operator

Competitor

Partner/Supplier

Financier

What shared experiences do you have with the key audience segments?

Similar emotions about the idea

Similar challenges
Similar goals/successes
Similar markets
Similar technologies

Step 3 - The Message

Question

Answer

Simple: What is the simplest form of the message they must takeaway?

Tesla: Quickest production car on earth.
DHL: When it absolutely, positively needs to be there overnight.

Unexpected: How will you disturb their current perception of the topic?

A fact they don’t yet know

A question they can’t answer

A twist on a statistic

A dispelled myth

Concrete: What are the specific details of your idea must they comprehend to get your main message?

How will you show (not tell) these?

What is the clearest link between these details and them?

Credible: What is the most persuasive evidence that you have access to?

Relevant examples
Stakeholder testimonials
Quantitative data (stats)
Qualitative data (interviews)

Emotional: If they say yes, what will be the clearest and most personal benefits in the short, medium or long term? If they say no, how will they suffer personally?

Secret Sauce

KEY POINT: This is a planning sheet, not a storyboard. Having said that, at the end of this process you will have: A starting point, an end point, a protagonist, an antagonist / challenges (perhaps more than 1). Your next step is to sequentially storyboard the protagonist’s journey from beginning to end, overcoming the challenges using your idea.

  • A common pitfall to avoid for someone running this for the first time is jumping on first ideas and rushing to much to fill in the boxes. This is normal, relax and use your brainstorming techniques to build on ideas fully before making a commitment.
  • Don’t be afraid of going back. It’s perfectly ok to revise your Message and your Idea after you have thought more carefully about your Target.
  • Ensure there is a strong facilitator to lead the process. This person must understand normal ideation, brainstorming rules.
  • Have all three sheets up on the whiteboard so that people can see the relationships building between Idea, Target and Message and revisit the links between them as ideas gain more color and depth.
  • If the Idea is struggling to emerge, feel free to begin with a conversation about the Target. This is especially true for consulting projects. In the end it’s all about making the Target happy.
  • Make sure everyone gets a copy of the summary at the end.

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About the Author

Nick Martin has more than 18 years experience as a change manager and is the founder of WorkshopBank.

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