Your boss calls you up and asks if you can get in to see a client tomorrow.  You know you need to have a focused tailored presentation but you have no time to do it?  What do you do?

Most people at this point take a hatchet and start putting different presentations together.  You end up with a cluttered mess that you can’t talk fluently through and the client feels trapped in the Twilight Zone while you present.  Neither of you are happy.

Here are two steps to help you deliver a focused and strategic presentation.

1) Come from the audiences angle

When you are asked to present at the last moment this usually causes a flurry of panic as you try to think of all the information you need to share with the client. 

You automatically think, “What information do I need to share with this client or what do I think they would want to know.”  The problem with this approach is that it will cause you to “brain dump” everything you know and then some JUST to make sure you hit on any concern they might have. This approach causes your brain to search for what they need to know, why they need to know that information and how your product or service works.  It is all about you and your company and then you relate it to them.

A better approach is to immediately think, “Why does this client need to know this?”  This approach will cause you to focus on their problems and concerns, how you can help them and what you need to do together to make things work for them.  It is all about them and their company and how you relate to their needs. 

Now you have them riveted in their seats.

2) Develop a theme

If you are doing a solo presentation, the easiest way to carry a theme through a presentation is to decide what the presentation is going to be about and then go back and figure out what theme fist the goal you are trying to reach.

Once you have figured that out, take that theme, look at each of your main points and see how you can wordsmith them to tie in better to your theme.

For instance, let’s say the convention theme is “Light Their Fire” and your presentation is on sales. You might say your theme title is, “Lighting up your sales force.” Your first main point might be, “How do you start a fire without any matches?” Your second main point may be, “How to keep the fire burning?” Your third point might be, “What to do when all you get is smoke?”

Try not to be too cute with themes, for you will lose some credibility with an analytical audience.

Remember you are not there to impress the listener, but to connect with them.  So just relax and have a good time!

About Anne Warfield

As the leading Outcome Strategist, Anne Warfield shows people how to say the right thing at the right time every time.  The revolutionary Outcome Focus® Approach shows how to build a candid corporate culture of communication that allows you to lead, present and negotiate transformationally rather than transactionally. When applying Outcome Thinking® our client’s results include sales cycles reducing by 75%, turnover reducing by 30%, silos evaporating, and a 25% savings of time by executives.  Find out how you can maximize your corporate culture for greater productivity and results!  Contact us at 888-imp-9421, visit,  or email