The second question I ask in my typical consulting session is “What is the goal of this presentation?”
The right goal motivates you and is worthy and achievable. So, what's the goal? The answer I typically get is “I want to tell them that…” or “I want to inform them about…” Beep! Wrong answer!
Even experienced executives fall into this trap. You may have guessed by now that the correct answer should connect the audience and the presenter, as shown in Figure 2-1. The correct answer should sound something like “I want them to give me their business card” or “I want them to believe that my plan is going to work.” A good goal is phrased as an answer to “What do I want them to do?” or sometimes “What do I want them to remember?”
I learned this principle very early in my consulting career; really, this is one of the first and most obvious principles you learn in consulting. When I started working with presentations, I was shocked to discover how quickly people tend to forget about it. We all know setting goals is important, yet we either skip this step entirely or just fill the blanks in a checklist without really thinking.