“We are running over – please can you just summarise the main points in five minutes.”

The words everyone dreads when they have just spent the last two weeks working on their twenty-minute presentation.

If there is one thing you must do when you are prepping your next presentation it is this:

Get crystal clear on the key message that you want to get across. Articulate this in one or two sentences tops, and then base your entire presentation around this core message.

Like this, you will have a clear thread running through the presentation. Furthermore, in the situation where you have prepared a 20 minute presentation, but the chair tells you “just give me the bottom line, we don’t have time for a lengthy presentation” – you have the key message ready to roll.

Cheat sheet: a great executive summary that you might find helpful is :

  • this is the situation
  • this is the resulting problem or opportunity
  • this is my recommendation to resolve that problem or take advantage of the opportunity

Would love to hear your thoughts and experience on this – send me an email at joanna@joannadenton.com, or let me know in the comments below.