12 Questions for Better Presentations

I recently had to put together a presentation. While I enjoy putting together presentations, sometimes I forget that I’m not the audience. ¬†While my technical knowledge of how to conduct a meeting, plan an iteration, or hatch an evil plot to take of the world may be fascinating to me, if those listening don’t know what’s in it for them, they may rather eat a spoonful of sand than hear me talk about it.

That’s why I like to refer back to Presentation Zen often to make presentations that are engaging, relevant, and don’t make my audiences want to stab their eyes with a fork. Here is the list of questions from the book that I find very helpful, from the book, to help focus my presentations:

1 How much time do I have?

2 What’s the venue like?

3 What time of the day?

4 Who is the audience?

5 What’s their background?

6 What do they expect of me?

7 Why was I asked to speak?

8 What do I want them to do?

9 What visual medium is most appropriate for this particular situation and audience?

10 What is the fundamental purpose of my talk?

11 What’s the story here?

12 And this is the most fundamental question of all. Stripped down to its essential core: What is my absolutely central point?

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