Make It Relevant. Ask, "So What?"

Every piece of content created should answer the question, “So what?” Whether you’re creating one slide, an entire presentation, a brochure, an email or even a tweet, it should tell the audience why that point is important -- and, especially, why it’s important to the intended target. It will take you out of your own head and put you in your audience’s frame of mind. That mental exercise will push you to create more compelling content.

Here are a few messages that stand alone.

Our sales increased 15 percent.
Our widgets were rated No. 1 by this prestigious industry organization.
You are a jerk.

Now let’s take those three statements and add “So What?”

Our sales increased by 15 percent, which means you will get a bonus at Christmas.
Our widgets were No. 1, which means you will get the best product for the lowest price.
You are a jerk, which means no one wants work with you, and your job is in jeopardy.

We want to know, what’s in it for me? When you’re writing a presentation, you want to flat-out tell your audience why this is important, and why they should care. Don’t expect them to make that connection on their own. As a passive listener, that’s not their job. Rather, it’s your job as an active communicator. So what? gives the audience relevance and motivation. Since the purpose of most business presentations is to get people to act, then better presentations provide really good reasons to do so. So what? gives them that reason.