1. Build your story: By the time you get around to presenting a plan, you will know the subject inside and out. The people you are sharing the plan with will likely have no context or understanding, so methodically build your story. Too many people jump around between the details, big picture, strategy, execution…It becomes a confusing mess. Tip: If you are delivering the plan as a presentation and need a slide with lots of bullet points, you might as well stop talking, everyone will read the slide and ignore you. Either give people time to read the bullets before speaking, or (sparingly) use animation to build the list and unfold the story at your pace.
2. State the problem your plan is solving: To build a story, you must start by describing the problem or opportunity that got things rolling in the first place. A little information about why it matters to the business is not a bad idea either, it helps set the context and let people know why they should keep paying attention.
3. Discuss how you analyzed the problem and the data sources: This step is designed to head off a bunch of questions by people that don’t like the result of the plan and want to undermine it any way they can. Briefly discussing the methodology proves you didn’t crack open the Ouija board to devise a plan. This should be short…don’t bore people with lots of details, just communicate the main points to demonstrate there was a logical approach.
4. Provide the key findings of the analysis: You are well on your way to building your story…You have explained the problem and told people how you figured it out, now don’t ruin it by jumping straight to the details of the plan! Give people the key findings of the analysis and you prepare them to hear the plan. This is crucial because it is where you pivot to the plan.
5. Cover the main points of the plan and tie it back to the initial problem and analysis findings: Don’t get into the weeds yet; the details are for the project team and individual groups you need to take specific actions. Deliverables, schedule, success measures, project team, and budget are all typical items to include.
6. Give information that all employees should be aware of: Now that the outline of the plan are clear, go one click down and provide information that everyone should know. This could be in the form of FAQ’s or key takeaway messages you want to stick with people. 3 – 5 is the sweet spot.
7. Have specifics about what you need each role in the company to know or do differently: People need to know what you expect of them. You can’t give them a general message and assume they will know how to function differently in their role, so create a slide or two that is very specific…”Now that you know the basics, here is what this plan means to the Accounting department”
Hopefully this is helpful – Leave a comment to let me know how your next presentation goes!
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