The Effective Presentation Formula

Effective Presentation Formula

The key to an effective presentation is following the 3 I formula.

You may be familiar with the old stand-by for giving presentations of:

  • Tell them what you’re going to tell them
  • Tell them
  • Tell them what you’ve told them

That’s actually a formula I learned from one of my coaches who used to work with Zig Ziglar, and it’s a good formula to follow, but the 3 I formula for effective presentations is better in my opinion.

What is the 3 I formula for effective presentations?

  • Introduction
  • Inspire
  • Invite



Step #1 – Introduce

This step would be similar in nature to telling people what you’re going to tell them, but there are a few distinctions here that will make your presentations much more effective.

Depending on your audience, you’ll want to take some time here to let people know who you are, and more importantly, why they’ll want to listen to your presentation. This is the portion of your presentation where you want to share WIIFM – What’s In It For Me from your audience’s perspective.

In fact, when designing your presentation, it’s a good idea to imagine yourself in the seat of one of your audience members and imagining what will get their attention and make them want to stay engaged with your presentation the whole way through.

There are a number of techniques you can employ to do this effectively including, asking enrolling questions (just ensure you stay on track and don’t allow the audience to control the flow of the presentation), breaking state to get their attention and snap them out of their own thinking and daydreaming. You can also make a bold promise, and then use the rest of your presentation to deliver on that promise. Just make sure you do actually deliver on it. Nobody likes being promised something, and then not receiving it.

Many presenters make the mistake of having too short of an introduction, or even skipping over it all together. Depending on the rapport you have with your audience (do they already know you, or have never heard of you before) you’ll want to spend a good portion of your presentation time on your introduction. Until people know that you have value to offer them, they’ll not likely want to pay attention to what you have to say. In a one hour presentation you’ll want to spend AT LEAST 10 minutes of it on your introduction.

Step #2 – Inspire

This is the body of your presentation, and where many people get into facts an figures and Powerpoint slides full of text and details. If that’s your presentation style, chances are you have a lot of people tuning you out.

This section is called Inspire because you not only want to teach and impart wisdom and value here, but you want to engage the audience in a way that leaves them inspired to take action.

The best way to inspire the audience is through stories. There’s a common saying that says “facts tell, and stories sell”. Unfortunately, too many people (especially left brained people like me) like to present a whole bunch of facts, figures and statistics which don’t really inspire anyone to do anything. Telling a good story that incorporates the information you want to get across is a much better way to keep your audience engaged, and have them remember your message.

Step #3 – Invite

The invite portion of your presentation is where you give your audience a call to action. This is where you tell them what to do to apply what you’ve shared with them. This is what some might call the sales pitch, but doesn’t have to be. It could be as simple as asking your audience to like and share your video, or to book a free consultation.

It also could be to run to the back of the room and sign up for your limited availability program (I’ve certainly seen my share of those “invitations” – and participated in a bunch too)

The key to an effective Invitation though is to be passionate. This is not the time to be drab, low energy and monotone. You don’t need to be shouting, and jumping up and down either, but you need to find a way to ensure your audience feels your sincerity and passion for what you’re suggesting, and why you feel it’s in their best interest (not just to line your own pockets).

Now you know the 3 I formula for effective presentations. I hope you’ll keep these ideas in the back of your mind before you shoot your next YouTube video, host another webinar or give a live presentation.

One thought on “The Effective Presentation Formula

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