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Presentations (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series) by Harvard Business Review

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Craft Your Message

Many presenters mistakenly assume that a great idea will speak for itself, as long as it comes in an appealing package. Packaging matters, no doubt, but your audience needs much more than that. Guide people through your logic, facts, and examples, but without bogging them down in details that don’t pertain to them. You want them to arrive where you are and, ideally, enjoy getting there. So chart a clear path by following three basic steps.

Step 1: Define your core message

What main point do you want people to remember when they walk away from the presentation? That’s your core message. As with the phrase stating your purpose for presenting, it should be short and sweet. But test your assumptions: Have you really chosen the ...

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