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The do’s and don’ts of a consulting presentation

Posted 2023-09-12
The do’s and don’ts of a consulting presentation


Effective consulting presentations guide clients through insights and strategies. In this blog, we emphasize the dos and don'ts to ensure audience understanding and engagement. Steering away from common pitfalls will keep your presentation on track…... read more Effective consulting presentations guide clients through insights and strategies. In this blog, we emphasize the dos and don'ts to ensure audience understanding and engagement. Steering away from common pitfalls will keep your presentation on track and meet audience expectations.

In the world of consulting presentations, every slide you present needs to be able to guide clients through a maze of insights and strategies. They juggle several objectives at once: sharing information, persuasion, and building connections. When executed well, they flaunt your credibility and leave an enduring impression on clients. But as it is with any medium, there are do’s and don’ts that shape how well a presentation can be made. Regardless of which stage you’re in, this blog will discuss points you need to keep in mind to create slides that are impactful and beneficial.

The do’s of a consulting presentation

A consulting presentation is your chance to narrate a compelling story and to ensure that you’re able to do so, you should consider the following:

DO consider your audience’s point of view

Sitting through a presentation might not always seem exciting for the audience, but sitting through a presentation that they can’t understand? Not the best scenario. Although being considerate of your audience sounds obvious, you might find yourself getting carried away with your data and analysis, not realizing that it might be too much. Recognizing what your audience wants to learn is one step in creating a slide deck relevant to their interests. They are seeking insights and actionable plans, and if you find that you’re sinking too far into the extensive details, take a step back and remember the bigger picture. 

DO recap and look forward

Even in the best scenario, where the audience is fully engaged and invested, a final recap remains essential. Providing an overview of the key points and a summary will help solidify your core message and guarantee that you and your client are on the same page. Also, use this opportunity as a way to discuss the next steps or any follow-up actions to provide clarity regarding the next phase.

DO format your slides

In the consulting world, firms like McKinsey and BCG are known for their fixed formats and style templates, and for good reason. Formatting here is less about aesthetics and more about functionality, it is needed to ensure consistency, clarity, and appeal. Some general rules for formatting a consulting presentation include avoiding spilling out text and committing to staying within the margins, using a uniform font size, a uniform title size, and length, and using each slide to communicate a single point. These rules ensure a clear slide design that helps avoid misunderstandings while maintaining a professional and clear appearance.

DO use impactful headings

The headings you use have a crucial role in guiding your audience through your presentations. To craft an effective header for a slide, use clear, punchy language that incorporates action words. Headers should be sharp, catchy, and brief, preferably between 6 and 10 words that can capture the essence of the slide without relying on jargon. When created with intention, a well-written heading introduces the slide and sums up the story.

The don’ts of a consulting presentation

Presentations can persuade, inform, and inspire, but they also risk being ineffective. To evade common consulting presentation mishaps, avoid the following:

DON’T use jargon

For the sake of effective communication, using industry jargon can feel necessary. But you tend to walk a fine line. While they can boost your credibility as an expert, they can also alienate those who are unfamiliar with your vocabulary. The key here is to simplify your language; make sure to use common and straightforward language when discussing your insights and analysis. In cases where a jargon term is more appropriate, take the extra step to define it to clarify its meaning.

DON’T use generic templates

The world of consulting is dynamic and constantly changing, and your slides need to reflect that. Relying on a generic template can unintentionally communicate a lack of effort from your side, suggesting that your slides were created as an afterthought. To showcase genuine engagement, it’s essential to create slides that resonate with your audience and address the unique nuances of every consulting session. Personalizing a presentation to the context not only boosts your credibility but also demonstrates your commitment to delivering tailored solutions.

DON’T structure improperly

When navigating a vast sea of information, clearly structuring your presentation is crucial. Otherwise, you are aimlessly wading through dense data without any rhyme or reason, leaving the audience in a state of confusion. A logical structure can create a seamless narrative that flows naturally from one point to another, it is also where every slide can build off its predecessor. Invest time into your content to personalize it and intentionally showcase it in a way that transitions smoothly to create an effortlessly compelling presentation.

DON’T mischaracterize the objectives

Before sitting down to create your consulting presentation, you must first determine its primary objective. Is your purpose here to diagnose a problem or provide a solution? When there’s a disconnect between the intention and content, it can be confusing and, worse, unprofessional. Consider what the client’s anticipations are and aim to align the objectives with their expectations. Establishing the purpose will guide and shape your content and message and enhance the efficacy of your presentation.

In conclusion, it’s important to note that a consulting presentation is a lot more than just sharing insights on a slide. It reflects your expertise and the depth of your knowledge, and it shows off your communication skills. By keeping in mind these do’s and don’ts, you can elevate the quality of your presentation and share a resonant and impactful experience with your audience.