What is The ‘So What? Test’? – And how to use it.

So What? is probably your most important question.

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?” test is an essential tool for preparing presentations so that your content is relevant and engaging for your audience.

The idea behind the “So What?” test is simple: as you develop your presentation, ask yourself “So what?” after every point you make. In other words, ask yourself why your audience should care about the information you are presenting. This can help you to identify any 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. 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 distill 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.

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3. The “So What?” test helps you to tailor your presentation to your audience.

When you ask yourself “So what?”, you are essentially 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.

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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?” – of 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.

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 CEO’s completely transform their business presentations  using this one simple question. If you want help to transform your presentations, get in touch.  We’ll do much more than ask you this questions.

Speak to Louise Angus today to learn how our world-class team can help you put together powerful communications

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About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates Team

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better.

Over 12+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of 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 louise@benjaminball.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.

Help me prepare a compelling presentation

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

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