Is Your Presentation As Good as You Think It Is?

Remember the rules your parents used to beg you to follow, and hoped that you would, so you’d grow up to be a decent adult?

Now, you should break some rules  –  especially when it comes to giving a presentation.

Because tired, old presentation norms just won’t cut it any longer. 

One of the rules you need to toss into the trash is this: Your purpose is to give a good presentation.

What does this mean exactly? It means you’re focusing on all the wrong things  –  factors that won’t help you deliver a presentation that people will remember and walk away from changed.

Like this:

  • Making sure your slides show every number in existence.
  • Saying everything in the right order.
  • Standing up straight behind the podium.
  • Making sure you don’t pass out.

Sound familiar?

Obsessing over these factors only leads to worry, and more worry. You tell yourself, “Give a good presentation! Don’t mess it up!”

Instead of anxiety-producing thoughts, you need to focus on what’s really important:

What purpose does your presentation serve?


Focus on what’s most important: What purpose does your presentation serve?


When you place the most importance on this question, everything else that doesn’t matter will quickly fade away.

Let’s dive into just how you can make a good presentation happen and focus on the destination you want to take listeners to: The Purpose.

Ask yourself questions like these:

  • What do you want to have happen?
  • What great change will come from you taking the time to talk to people?
  • What will people walk out and DO thanks to your presentation?


Think of the purpose as the “so what” for the audience. That’s where you build your goal from.

Perhaps you want to:

  • Convince a committee to increase your budget by 10% next year.
  • Entertain the youth club so they enter that state championships.
  • Inspire college students to vote for the first time.
  • Anger your community council so they enact laws to protect the homeless.
  • Motivate a client to dump its old vendor and buy your products instead.

Notice how each “purpose” is super specific and targeted.

It’s tied to an outcome, so you know exactly what you need to do and the tools you should put into your audience’s hands. Then, the purpose will direct the presentation’s content and flow.

But this rule can apply to more than just presentations. It’s useful for conversations and one-on-one meetings, too.

Have you ever “donated” minutes, and even hours, to a fruitless conversation or meeting? Imagine how you could streamline these talks and make them more productive and clear if they had a purpose.

Instead of chatting outside your office about your company’s lackluster learning and development program, brainstorm ideas and a possible first step for a new strategy. If the conversation veers outside of these confines, reel it back in.

If you have a clear purpose, it will give your presentation, meeting or discussion focus, drive and clarity.

Now that’s a “good” presentation, and one worth giving.

The next time you give a presentation, hold a meeting or have a conversation, “right” the ship by focusing on one purpose or outcome.

This article is 100% written by a human named Karen Hough. She is the Founder & CEO of ImprovEdge, in the top 4% of women-owned businesses in the US, a 3-time Amazon bestselling author, Yale grad, wife and mom of three.