Master The ‘So What Test’ – Ask the So What Question
April 11, 2023
The So What? Question is probably the most important question you can ask when you plan a presentation. The So What Test will help you create compelling, confident, successful presentations.
When you plan your talk or presentation, how do you decide what to include and what to leave out? Our recommendation: Use the So What Test.
The So What Question is an essential tool for preparing presentations so that what you say is relevant and engaging for your audience.
The idea behind the So What Test is simple: as you prepare your presentation, ask yourself “So what?” after every point you make. In other words, ask yourself why your audience should care about what you are saying. This can help you identify unnecessary or irrelevant information and ensure that your presentation is focused and impactful.
There are a few key reasons why the So What Test is so effective for preparing presentations.
1. The So What? helps you to identify the key takeaways from your content.
When you ask yourself “So what?”, you are essentially forcing yourself to clarify the main points of your presentation. This can be especially helpful if you have a lot of information to cover and are struggling to distil it down to the most important points. By asking yourself “So what?” after each point, you can easily identify the key messages you want to convey and ensure that they are at the forefront of your presentation.
If you don’t have a compelling answer, then leave it out. Don’t be afraid of having too short a talk. Most audiences would prefer a shorter rather than a longer presentation. Or perhaps you need to add a few words to explain what your statement means. If what you say clearly answers the So What Test, it will be much more interesting for your audience.
You will find the So What Test to be invaluable for all your presentations.
2. So What? helps you to engage your audience.
If you are able to clearly articulate the relevance of your content, your audience will be more likely to pay attention and retain the information. On the other hand, if you present a bunch of information without explaining why it is important, your audience is likely to become disengaged and tune out. By asking yourself “So what?” and ensuring that you can clearly explain the relevance of your content, you can keep your audience engaged and interested throughout your presentation.
3. The So What Test helps you to tailor your presentation to your audience.
When you ask yourself “So what?”, you are forcing yourself to consider the perspective of your audience. What do they care about? What are they interested in? By considering these questions, you can ensure that your presentation is tailored to the needs and interests of your audience, which can make it more impactful and memorable.
How to use the So What Test
There are a few different ways you can use the “So What?” test as you prepare your presentation. One approach is to go through your content point by point and ask yourself “So what?” after each one. This can help you to identify any points that are unnecessary or irrelevant and ensure that your presentation is focused and streamlined.
Another approach is to ask yourself “So what?” after you have completed your first draft of the presentation. This can help you to see the big picture and identify any areas where you might need to add more context or explanation to make your content more engaging and relevant for your audience.
In conclusion, the So What Test is a simple but powerful tool for preparing presentations. By asking yourself “So what?” after every point you make, you can identify the key takeaways from your content, engage your audience, and tailor your presentation to the needs and interests of your audience. Whether you are preparing a presentation for work, school, or any other context, the “So What?” test can be an invaluable tool for ensuring that your content is relevant and impactful.
The So What Test should be an essential part of preparing all presentations.
What’s In It For Me? or WIIFM?
WIIFM? Another essential question for planning your presentation
As well as asking ‘So What?’ for everything you say, also imagine someone in the audience asking ‘What’s In It For Me?” – or WIIFM. Your job in putting together a presentation is to help your audience always have a good answer to that question. As a presenter it’s your job to connect the dots to explain what you say means for your listener.
And, don’t forget The Takeaway Test, another essential presentation planning tool.
The power of these questions
The So What Test and the WIIFM test are some of the most powerful tools we use in all our presentation coaching. We have helped CEOs completely transform their business presentations using these two simple questions. If you want help to improve your presentations, get in touch. We’ll do much more than ask you these questions!
Speak to Louise Angus today on +44 20 7018 0922 to learn how our world-class team can help you put become a powerful, confident presenter.
About Benjamin Ball Associates
At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help our clients to communicate better. You get presentation coaching for executives.
Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of presentation skills & techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.
We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.
Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and discuss transforming your speeches, pitches and presentations.
Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.
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