Power Presentations Tip 58: So What?

You probably didn't hear it but your audience is asking this question often during your presentation. So what? There it is again. Most of the time, it's silently echoing in their minds. If you don't answer this question you might lose them. And your presentation fails.

This question is the silent killer of many presentations because it is seldom spoken yet often interrupting their thoughts. This question is important because it is about relevance and it is relevance that determines decisions and actions.

A variation of "So what?" is "Why is that important to me?"

This question generally pops up after you state a fact. For example:

We are using the latest technology in this new product.

So what?

It's been tested by the military.

So what?

We received the industry award last year.

So what?

Don't assume that your listeners understand the relevance just because you do. Instead it's more productive to assume that they are asking "So what?" after every key fact you state.

You can keep them engaged by anticipating that question and answering it. Here are some sample phrases that you can use to connect your facts to relevance:

  • What that means to you is
  • How that helps you
  • The reason I tell you that
  • Why that's important is
  • And that means

By answering the questions in the minds of your listeners they will feel that you understand what's important to them. That keeps them interested. It builds trust and credibility for your message.

So what? There it is again.

If you want to persuade people to act you need to show them the relevance. What that means to you is more effective presentations.

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