Last minute presentation…about to wreck your weekend? If your boss just called you in and told you about a Monday morning urgent pitch, you know the sinking feeling. What can you do?
Friday afternoon. You should be heading home for a relaxing weekend with your honey. Dream on. Instead of leaving with a clear slate and an open calendar, you’ve just got the word. Big, urgent client presentation. Must be ready to go at 8 am. Monday morning.
Instead of moaning and groaning, you muscle up to the job. Hey, you do have a job after all. The morning headlines of increasing millions of people on unemployment provide a slice of negative motivation, right?
O.K. What can you do that will still leave you time to play, relax and explore your fair city? Follow this plan and you’ll escape the presentation blues and enjoy your weekend after all.
Step 1. Define What Your Customer Wants
Using insights from your last-minute conversation with your boss, consider the project. What exactly does your customer want from this presentation? Are they looking for a briefing, project update, new strategy, planning or decision?
If you don’t know what the customer wants, do some digging. A quick email to coworkers will help you get clear on the goals and outputs that are best for Monday’s meeting.
Hint: don’t try to do everything in one meeting. Just do the next step so your project stays on track, and things keep clicking. Every other step flows from this one-so get it right from the start. You do have a weekend to defend.
Step 2. Rough Out Big Picture Goals
Select your big picture goals for Monday’s meeting. It’s a good idea to have a stretch goal, a realistic goal, and a fallback position. Naturally, you want to aim high. But with a 3-tiered goal in mind, you are more nimble.
Step 3. Pick Your Strategy
What’s the best strategy with this client? Based in your knowledge of the client, client history, briefing with your boss, and informal insights from coworkers, what do you know?
Instead of taking a hit-and-miss approach, use what you know. If you don’t know enough about the client’s organization, check Google, LinkedIn and spend time on the organization’s website.
Step 4. Plan With A Storyboard
Using a presentation storyboard is where you’ll really save time. Plan the story flow, media, message, calls to action and times for interaction. Working systematically with a storyboard is what allows creative presenters to go rapidly from idea to finished product.
Step 5. Collaborate With Co Presenters
Hey, this is one more place where having a storyboard will save the day. With a snapshot of your storyboard, you can avoid those endless late night emails with coworkers. Instead, send one copy of the storyboard to include any co presenters.
Working with a storyboard, it’s easy to plan the flow, handovers, and interactions between two or ten presenters.
Step 6. Bring Coffee and Goodies For An Early Run-Through
Looking ahead…you’ve got a plan, you’ve got a presentation storyboard and you’ve communicated with your team. What’s next? Bring in coffee and morning snacks to have an early Monday morning run through with your team.
What can I say? It makes coming in early a lot more attractive. Plus, people will appreciate that you are taking the extra step.
Step 7. Go Have A Weekend
Believe it or not, you’re ready to close your computer. And put your pager on vibrate. And turn off any office-related communications. You’ve just created a win-win. Win for your client presentation. And win for your happy weekend with your friends and family.
If you’re ready to escape to freedom, follow this 7-point plan. You’ll never go back to feeling frustrated about a presentation again.