The Art of Presenting a Business Plan

The Art of Presenting a Business Plan
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Presenting a business plan requires a talent for being a showman as well as a shrewd business manager.  Writing of the business plan as difficult as it might have been only eclipsed by having to present, and therefore defend, the logic and soundness of its forward-looking statements and forecasts whether it’s to an audience of one or an audience of one thousand.

Mr. Saturday Night

Your main goal is to sell your plan.  You would have adequately prepared for the event with your knowledge of all aspects of the proposed strategic and tactical recommendations.  Personality and training in Toast Masters are now important because your likeability is important.  Many presenters stress for weeks about their Opening Statement, which sets the tone and purpose of the plan’s goals.

The Substance of the Matter

Often the logic and sense of a message will get lost from the delivery of the messenger.  Many a business manager has Monday morning quarterbacked a presentation gone-bad and wondered what went wrong.  Often it’s the tone that gets set by the first opening statements or images witnessed.

You should identify the unique proposition of your plan and make sure this message is communicated over and over again throughout the presentation in words and images if possible.  The old presenter adage of “telling a group what you’re about to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them” is true whenever you’re presenting.

Hit your central benefit message, again and again, to ensure the net takeaway is the benefit to be realized from a green light whether revenue growth, new distribution outlets, or other important objectives. There should be a logical flow of situational analysis, concepts, and recommendations.  Sell it!

Anticipate Questions

Part of your preparation for presenting is to anticipate answers to the probing questions and perhaps even disagreement with major initiatives of the business plan such as its revenue projection or other key success metrics.  You will want to play devil’s advocate with yourself or with the aid of colleagues to pose challenging questions and formulate answers and response scenarios.

Bells and Whistles

Ok, so you’re no Friar’s Club member but you can still wow them with a presentation that utilizes multimedia.   Microsoft’s PowerPoint in the hands of a skilled presentation specialist can yield.  Elicit the help of specialists to develop a presentation that uses sight, motion, and sound to describe complex scenarios and keep audience attention.  Make use of charts and graphs to explain systems or complex material.

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