Craft Your Project Presentation
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Create a content outline for your presentation.
- Highlight key points of your project.
Now, let's create your outline! This is your opportunity to take that outline and create your masterpiece of corporate communication. Let’s look at some ideas for creating a great presentation.
Executives rarely have time to go into a lot of detail for a project, so use the first slide as a summary of your project. Provide an overview of the key points at a glance. The truth is, this may be the only slide you get to present so be succinct and to the point. By concentrating on this single slide, you’re forced to focus on presenting only the essential information. Bullet points are appropriate, especially if you have your more detailed project plan ready to be emailed to everyone, including those who are not able to attend. Remember that you can still go into detail during the rest of the presentation as needed or as time permits.
In this slide, give a little direction and talk about your plan in more detail. This is where you want to outline the key pain points, align the transition strategy with the enterprise’s business objectives, and describe the future state. Don’t forget to include items such as:
- Project stakeholders
- Parts of the business that are affected or that need to take action
- How much the project costs
- How long the project takes to complete
It is important to acknowledge if there are risks with your project, so it’s best to identify them here. If the executive team adds a few more through their discussions and questions, make sure to write them down.
This is also a good time to talk about the costs of the project. Make sure to go into a little more detail about what the costs are and where the money will come from. When giving cost estimates, it’s important to mention savings or benefits, even if they are only forecasts. The key point here is that you have given thought to that business aspect of the project. Remember that any initial cost estimate will be used to guide the budget for your project.
This is where you dive into the timeline for the project. If it’s a long-term project, divide the project into several segments with stop-points or phases. Stop-points are gates that assess the results of the completed phase before making the decision to move further forward (also known as go/no-go decision points). You don’t need to include the timeline on the slide, but be sure to describe what will be done during a particular phase and how long it is expected to take, what the costs are, what risks are known, and what changes are envisioned. And don’t forget to highlight the expected achievements for your project!
At the end of the presentation, quickly summarize the key phases and achievements, the projected costs, expected potential savings, changes to the existing state, and what the target state looks like. This is also your call to action for the executives. What are you asking of them or what do you need from them? Be sure to allow time for questions and let the team know you will email or hand out a more detailed plan later.
General Considerations When Creating Your Presentation
Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your presentation.
Focus on the Flow
Work on creating a presentation that clearly summarizes your project, why you are talking about it, what you think will happen, who needs to take the action, and how long that action will take.
Have a Single End Goal
Having a single end goal helps you remain focused on your topic. You want to ensure your data, facts, quotes, and evidence all back up your main points. WIth a single end goal in mind, you should be able to say what you need to say within the time frame allotted to you.
Include Relevant Statistics
Use your data to tell a story. Make sure your statistics are relevant to your project and that they are valid. Double and triple check your data before giving your presentation.
Present Data So It Gets Attention
Highlight the most relevant data so it makes an impact and drives home why this project is relevant and important.
Focus on Slide Design
Avoid filling a slide up with too much content. Try to avoid a wall of text. Make sure your key information doesn’t get lost in all of the words. You don’t want too many colors, or too many words on a page. Charts are great, but make sure they are not too cluttered with data. Use color wisely, and label everything clearly. You want the slides to look good but not overcrowded.
Next, let’s look at some strategies to ensure you rock that presentation.