What's In It For Me?
That's what you're audience is asking. That's (for the most part) all they care about. It doesn't matter what you're presenting. Could be a presentation about your company. Could be a new product release to your sales team. Could be a new initiative you're starting. It doesn't matter. Your audience only cares about one thing - what's in it for them?
Does that sound selfish? Yes. Is it true? Yes. Is it selfish? No.
Quite often when we sit down and start sketching out our presentation, we rarely think of it in terms of what we're offering the audience. We think about what product features to mention, or which client logos to show, or how worthwhile our cause is. But you're presenting to reach a certain goal, and if you want to reach that goal, your audience is going to have to take you there.
I just finished a presentation for a great client who is launching a revolutionary type of software. It has awesome features. It blows away the competition. It looks slick. Really, it's the cat's meow.
My client is presenting this to his national sales team - that's his audience. So when we started the design process, one of my first questions was, "What's in it for them?" How is this product going to change their lives? The goal of his presentation wasn't to unveil this new software, though at first glance you may think it was. There's nothing in that for them.
What we needed to do was craft the message in a way that gets the sales team excited about selling the software. How will this software ignite their sales figures? How will this software help them solve the problems of their customers and make them look good? How is this going to change their lives? We had to connect the software with the things that matter to the sales team in order to empower them.
Think about your presentation and your audience. Is your presentaiton about you or is it about them? Is it about features or is it about how those features will help a business make more money? Is it about your charity or how helping your charity will enrich your audience's lives?
I'd love to hear your approach to WIIFM in the comments. How do you make sure it's all about your audience?