You finally got your foot in the door with a meeting to pitch your ideas for the coming year to the board. Or maybe you’re speaking to a room full of supporters about a new program that needs funding. It’s your big opportunity! You can ace it, or you can let it slip through your fingers.
To create and carry out a successful presentation:
- Do your research. What problems, challenges, economic factors, etc., impact your organization and its clients? How does your idea or program address those issues? Make sure you have all the facts before you try to persuade your audience.
- Make it relevant. Paint a detailed picture of how your idea or program will best serve your clients. Tailor your information to the interests of your audience. Board members want facts and figures; supporters may want to know how they are helping individual clients.
- Be professional. Create an attractive presentation that includes graphics and takeaways. Graphics are easier to understand at a glance than a long paragraph of text. A summary sheet or brochure helps your board members or supporters remember key facts later, perhaps when sitting down to write a check or taking a vote on the program. If you don’t have the expertise to do this yourself, get help. If your presentation looks sloppy, you diminish the perceived value of your idea or program.
- Come prepared. Remember to practice, practice, practice–and make sure you’re ready to answer any questions that could come up. If you’re prepared and confident, and you present relevant information, then your board members or supporters are more likely to trust you.
- Engage your audience. When appropriate, ask questions that enable your audience to interact with you and see you as a problem-solver. The more involved they are, the more they will remember what you’ve said and feel invested in your idea or program.
- Always ask for something. Every presentation should have an objective, a request, a next step. Give your audience a compelling reason to take the next step now.
By following these simple steps, you will ”wow” your board members and supporters and generate excitement about your proposal.
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