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The one word shift.

presentation Jun 28, 2021

When you start your presentation, change one key word in the first thing you generally think about presentations.

“Here’s what I want to say.”

Most times that I meet with an outstanding leader such as yourself to discuss the next presentation/pitch/panel they’re going to give, this phrase comes up early and often.

This is a bigger mistake than you might imagine.

Content is less important than purpose.
The reason isn’t so much that you shouldn’t focus on your content – it’s that your content is really a by-product of something more important. That “something more important” is why you’re presenting in the first place.

Too many presentations treat the message as an opportunity to shove content at an audience. In traditional corporate presentations, that can take the structure of: Recognize audience/Focus on last year’s results/Describe what’s happening now/Paint a vison for the future/Rally audience. That’s a traditional chronology narrative, and my corporate presenters default to it in their talks instead of really considering how they might move their audience.

You present for a specific purpose. You want to drive sales. You want to educate a student. You want your audience to email you so they become prospects. When you understand your purpose for presenting, you can then apply the strategies, stories and behavioural approaches that help you achieve that purpose.

To realize that, you simply have to have to change one word from this blog’s lede. Instead of saying “Here’s what I want to say,” try “Here’s what I want to accomplish.

One word. Huge difference. When you focus on the intended outcome of your presentation, you’re thinking “what do I have to do or say to realize my goal?” It unleashes a whole bunch of additional thinking – from “what moves my audience?” to “why is it necessary to avalanche them with a bunch of raw numbers?”

Purpose-led presentations are often shorter, sharper, more meaningful, relevant, and use engagement tools like storytelling, triggering, value and empathy to connect with the audience, and have them not only hear your words, but activate your intention.

Here’s what I want to “accomplish,” not here’s what I want to “say” – it’s the one word revolution that gets your boss giving you glowing reviews after the status meeting, or makes an audience see you as an inspirational thought leader. 

Hey! The next SpeakUp Get Results Masterclass starts July 5.
Join today and access a landmark 5-step process for building presentations that get attention and action. Learn a whole lot more at