A Framework for Compelling Presentations

Here is a format for presenting and proposing a compelling solution.

Current State

It is helpful to you and your dream client to review their current state at the beginning of your presentation and proposal.

It’s useful to you because it demonstrates to your dream client that you were listening to them and that you understand where they are now. The fact that you paid attention and captured their current state indicates that you care enough to pay attention to what’s important.

It is helpful to your prospective client because it reminds all the stakeholders in your presentation meeting of the challenge they are facing and why you are presenting your solution.

It is important to remind your dream client as to the compelling reason they need to change at the beginning of this process. The current state answers the question, “Why should I change now?”

Future State

The next section of your proposal and presentation is your recounting of your prospective client’s desired future state.

The current state describes the problem. The future state represents your potential client’s world when they no longer have the problem. It is what you’re proposed solution is designed to help them achieve.

This recounting of the future state is your shared vision of where you are going together and how you will get there. This section of your proposal and presentation is a reminder as to why your dream client must change now if they would have this future state.

Once you’ve described the future state, you can begin to describe how you will help your dream client get there.

Your Solution

Your proposal and presentation are now carefully positioned and framed up correctly. You’ve addressed at the current state, and you’ve described the future state, and now you provide the substance of what you will do to help your dream client to change, how you will change the current state, and how that will deliver the future state they are driving towards.

Your proposal and presentation should explain exactly how what you do will eliminate the challenges in the current state and provide the better future state.

If your proposal is a real transformation, you may need to include milestones, implementation plans, and a vision of what needs to occur over a longer period.

The Investment

The investment is what is necessary to deliver the solution that provides the future state and eliminates the current state.

The format described here is especially appropriate when you have a higher price than your competitor. It shows a deeper level of understanding than a proposal that starts with the solution. It also demonstrates an attention to detail that is proof of how you will execute. It differentiates you from competitors who begin with their proposed solution.

Note that there is no part of this where you begin with your company’s history, your locations, or an organizational chart your executive leadership team. The entire format is customer focused, as it should be.

  • How do you begin your presentation and proposals?
  • How do you demonstrate your deep understanding of your prospective client’s current state and future desired state?
  • How do you position your solution in a way that compels your prospective client to take action?

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Filed under: Storytelling

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