Using a Presenter Cheat Sheet to Deliver Better Presentations

During a recent presentation skills training, a participant shared that her company has a “presenter cheat sheet” to help employees who have to present to the company’s executives.

For each executive, it lists the name, title and photo, as well as his or her frequently-asked questions and pet peeves.  For example, the head of R&D always asks, “how long will it take to develop a version that we can sell?” and the CFO hates it when you use “impact” as a verb rather than a noun.

While you may argue that an executive shouldn’t base his or her decisions on the perceived misuse of one word or phrase during a presentation, unfortunately, that is the reality in some organizations.
That objection aside, I think it’s a wonderful idea that allows the presenter to “know the audience,” which can be particularly helpful if you’ve never presented to that person. 

A presenter cheat sheet can help focus on what is important to your audience, following what I call The Golden Rule of Communications™ - communicate unto others as THEY want to be communicated to, not as YOU want to be communicated to.

Knowing what’s important to each person can help you organize your material and better anticipate questions.  You can deliver a more effective presentation if you know that the Vice-President of Sales always wants to know how a product change will affect customers in a particular region or that the most important consideration for the COO is cost. 

What do you think? Does your company have a “presenter cheat sheet”?

Gilda Bonanno's blog 

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