Photo by Matthew Henry, From Burst.

Great leaders are communicators. In most organizations, that means leaders demonstrate skill presenting to groups of all sizes in every format. The guidelines in this article will give you a solid foundation for your next successful presentation.

What does it take to build your next business presentation and nail it?

How You Craft Your Message

A person may have a great voice, look confident, and deliver with finesse, but a business presentation requires a foundation of relevant, clear, and concise information. A business leader loses credibility if her/his message fades into implied meaning, tangents, and obvious winging-it. The foundation of every successful presentation requires smart initial crafting. So how does the leader craft their message?

Identify Your One Big Point

Every compelling business presentation has one big point.  Sometimes leaders succumb to the temptation of piling on the key points, data, and then believe it adds up to one big point. Not so. Your one big point is opinion, recommendation, goal, or observation. Never assume your audience will hear your one big point, especially if you imply it or bury it once somewhere in your presentation. Repeat your one big point throughout your presentation.

Support One Big Point with Three to Five Components

Support your one big point with three to five key components. If you have more than five supporting points, prioritize the list to the top five factors noting there were more, but these are the most critical.

For example, Janet leads a multidisciplined strategic initiatives team. As she prepares her presentation to the c-suite about the status of initiatives, she determines her one big point is that within next 30-days, four of the five strategic initiatives reach critical decision points for members of the c-suite. That’s an important one big point. Listeners will immediately know where Janet is heading and will engage within the first 30 seconds of her presentation. C-suite listeners will immediately want to know what decisions, when in the next 30 days, and the impact of these decisions on the organization.  Smart crafting Janet!

Bonus: Thaw the Brain-Freeze

A bonus of having one big point supported by three to five components is if (when) you suffer from presenter’s brain freeze, you can quickly thaw the freeze. How? Take a deep breath (or two), relax your shoulders, then repeat the one big point. That sneaky brain-freeze will rapidly thaw, and your brain will kick into gear again. Whew!

Speak Their Language

Use terminology relevant to the audience.  Present based on the prevailing style of the group.

In the previous example, Janet knows the members of the c-suite demonstrate a get-to-the-point style (logic style), a rambling approach would be fatal to her presentation. She uses words that show decisiveness, fact-based,  results-oriented, and backed up by precise analysis.

If the prevailing style of your audience is collegial (emotion style), Janet will craft her main point in a short illustration using more emotive words and phrases. The point is the same, but how she says it determines if her audience receives the information.

Paint the Picture

Prepare one verbal illustration or story to accompany your one big point and at least one key component.  Stories are only useful if they are short and concretely reinforce the message.

A new client told me that their previous consultant irritated her because he never directly answered a question. When the client asked a question, the consultant responded to her question with a rambling, pointless story. This consultant’s communication style clashed with the client’s information intake style. Our team matched her style and business needs.


Successfully presenting in business requires several skills and lots of practice. The foundation for any presentation starts with how you craft the message.  Your message must have one big point supported be three to five components. Use of the audience’s terminology and present based on their style rather than your style.  Build with these guidelines, and you are on the road to nailing your next business presentation.

Contact KM Leadership Solutions today at to learn more about how to nail your next business presentation. Schedule hands-on expert consulting and coaching that moves your leadership team’s business presentation skills to the next level.


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