Create Persuasive Presentation Content with the Framework Know/Believe/Do

Create Persuasive Presentation Content with the Framework Know/Believe/Do

Create Persuasive Presentation Content with the Framework Know/Believe/Do

When you give a presentation, it goes without saying that you have an outcome in mind.

Do you want your audience to DO something differently afterwards? You might want them to adopt your recommendation or approve a budget for extra resources.

But it’s not easy to persuade people to do something, is it? People aren’t going to do something just because we want them to. We need arguments, facts and data (and stories!) to persuade them. But how do we know which facts and data to include in our presentation which WILL persuade them? 

DO believe know_Create Persuasive Presentation Content

To answer this question there is a great framework you can use based on the concept that for people to DO something to solve a problem they might have, they need to have certain BELIEFS and these beliefs come from what they KNOW. 

Let’s dive into the details, the steps of which can be represented by a pyramid and which we call the ‘Pyramid of Planned Outcome’.

At the top of the pyramid we have the problem that the audience face which your presentation is aiming to solve.

The question you first need to ask yourself is – “what do I need my audience to do so they can solve their problem in the way I recommend?”  What is the ACTION that I want my audience to take? However, your audience will only act if they are motivated to do so. It has been demonstrated that in humans, any action is preceded by a belief. So, the next logical question is, “what does my audience need to believe in order for them to take the action that I want them to?”

In your presentation content, what you need your audience to believe is represented by the INSIGHTS you generate in your audience’s minds via the ideas you talk about.

But what underlays insights? Very simply – knowledge, which comes from FACTS, DATA & ILLUSTRATION. If you don’t support an idea with facts and data, it’s simply an assertion. The data points and how you illustrate these data points, form the basis of the pyramid and fulfil the essential function of proving the insight that sits directly above them. 

In a nutshell, the ‘Pyramid of Planned Outcome’ acts as a thinking tool to help you plan a presentation. But the real advantage of the tool is that it helps keep your presentation content tight and concise as it only includes the information needed for the audience to ultimately want to take action. 

I’ve tried to explain this tool in as concise a way as I can, but if you want to learn more about the Know/Believe/Do framework and see examples of how it works to build a presentation, check out Tim Pollard’s excellent book ‘The Compelling Communicator’. There is also a great TED Talk that teaches this framework called ‘The 3 Magic Ingredients of Amazing Presentations’ by Phil Waknell.


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My mission is to help employees in multinational companies learn the skills and techniques they need to give outstanding presentations in English and receive the visibility and recognition they deserve.

feel confident and engage with your audience Janice Haywood