Get What You Need With a Powerful Power Point Presentation by Michel Theriault

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

power point presentationNo matter how many technical issues you get involved with, at some point, you need to use your business skills to make progress because you need resources or funding.

To achieve your goals, you may need to deliver a presentation to senior management to get approval or funding for an important initiative. When delivering presentations as a Facility Manager, a successful presentation isn’t about the PowerPoint or Keynote slides you create – it’s about much more than that.

These tips will help you deliver a much more powerful presentation to get the resources, funding and approvals you need to implement your Facility initiatives.

Include a goal early in the presentation

If your audience knows the purpose or goal of the presentation up-front, they are more likely to relate what you have to say with that purpose as you present your material. This makes it easier at the end to get the action you want, whether it’s funding, approval to proceed with an initiative, to change their minds or simply get agreement and understanding.

It will also help you shape your presentation by focusing you on that goal rather than straying from the primary purpose.

Just don’t forget to position it in a way they understand – don’t use FM acronyms and terminology and focus on what they care about – usually risk, costs and productivity.

Use supporting material liberally.

You need to establish the credibility of what you say during your presentation. Instead of just presenting the material, accompany it with information that supports it and gives it credibility. You don’t have to include it in your PowerPoint or Keynote slides, but make sure they are in your speaking notes.

For instance, you can give a clear real-life example, provide data or statistics (keep it relevant to the audience and at the right level) and provide additional support from other sources where possible.

And don’t be shy about addressing credibility – you can even say ‘you may be skeptical about this, but…….’ Or ‘I know this is surprising, but….’

Begin separate ideas with powerful quotations or Images

For more impact, introduce each separate topic or idea with a relevant quotation or full-screen image that evokes the topic instead of using a stock title slide. Add a word or two about the topic if you have to or simply say it out loud and let the quote or image support it.

This gives your topic more impact since a strong quote or image will stick in their minds as they listen to the related material. It also breaks up the presentation, particularly if you have no choice but to include dry material or bullet points in your Power Point presentation.

Ask rhetorical questions

An effective way to convey information is to ask a rhetorical question first instead of launching into the presentation material. This will get them thinking about the material in the context you want.

For instance, you could say ‘You might wonder why….’ or even ‘When I started to look at this issue, I asked this question’ or ‘at first, we thought we understood the solution, but when we asked……’

Be sure to consider your audience and the things they would wonder about and phrase your questions so you answer those things for them  while at the same time advancing your message and your goals for the presentation.

Make startling statements

Sometimes the best way to get attention about information you are presenting is to make startling statements. It gets their attention and if you can back it up with your information, you will drive home your point.

This works particularly well when there are high costs or risks involved in the solution you are trying to get funding for.

If necessary, you can pull one fact out and use it, even if it isn’t your main point. It is simply a catalyst for your message.

Be prepared up front for some of the most difficult questions you might be asked.

Questions may come up during your presentation so you need to be prepared for the most difficult ones, particularly ones that may derail your presentation or subvert your goal. Since you should know your topic and your audience, you should plan for them.

Consider all the objections the audience might have or questions they may raise about your points and information. Include the most critical ones within your presentation to sideline objections or be prepared to answer them when they come up.

This can be as simple as being able to justify statements or address concerns about an approach from subject matter experts like finance, IT, HR, etc. who may be part of your audience.

Have your own questions ready in case nobody else asks them

Even if you are delivering focused business presentation to get resources or funding, you should leave time for questions and answers at the end. If nobody asks a question, be prepared with your own questions that you can then answer. These should be designed to convince them of your case. Ease into them by saying something like ‘you may have wondered about….’

Of course, your questions should be directly related to getting your message across and achieving your goal so use them strategically. Even if you get questions, you can still use yours.


Michel Theriault, FMP, RPA, LEED AP Principal, Strategic Advisor

Michel is Principal of Strategic Advisor, an FM consulting firm helping facilities departments develop strategies, solve problems, improve services and implement best practices.

With 25 years in Facility Management delivering facility services in-house and with an FM outsourcing provider, Michel has deep practical experience managing facilities from high-profile office towers to critical facilities. He has earned awards for the buildings he managed, including several BOMA Certificate of Excellence awards and the Pinnacle Award for customer service.

He is also activity involved in the industry, with 22 years as an IFMA member, participation in FM associations and currently as the Academic Coordinator for Ryerson University’s Facility Management Certificate Program in Toronto, Canada.

Michel has been recognized for his contribution to FM with a Distinguished Author award from IFMA for his book “Managing Facilities & Real Estate”. He contributes FM articles to leading magazines around the world, delivered seminars at national and international FM Conferences and delivered Facilities training in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Singapore, Abuja (Nigeria), Kuala Lumpur, Muscat, Bermuda and Toronto.

Michel’s experience, knowledge and approach to FM comes across in his consulting and training, with practical, real-world solutions that help Facility Managers develop and implement strategic initiatives.

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