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Presenting to Persuade

Presenting to Persuade

I first heard of WIIFM from one of my Australian mentors Winston Marsh.

It stands for “what’s in it for me?”

It’s often a measure by which people make a choice about whether to do something or not. For example, what is the payoff or what do I get in return?

When I work with organisations and their teams to help them leverage Microsoft PowerPoint to present internally or externally, I always raise WIIFM x 2 as a foundation piece to think about BEFORE planning a presentation.

When presenting information in a business context most people consider WIIFM to be the outcome of the presentation, ie acceptance of a proposal by a client, acknowledgement of a job well done by a manager, approval by a board or stakeholders for achievements in the past year.

But there is a secondary WIIFM that is overlooked.

The WIIFM for the person on the receiving end of your presentation?

What do they get for giving you their attention whilst you present??

Time and money are NOT equal. We can always make more money but we CANNOT make more time.

In a world of 24/7 connectivity, if an audience member can’t see the WIIFM for them (and see it fairly quickly), they disconnect. This is a major problem if you are relying on the group you are presenting to you to act on something you say.

The disconnection may take the form of simple disinterest; playing on their smartphone; or feigning an urgent incoming call and leaving a meeting to “take” it.

When you plan your presentation all you need to do is highlight to your audience WHY they should listen (what’s in it for them), why this topic, why do they need to know now, you draw attention to the one thing EVERYONE loves to talk about THEMSELVES!

So next time you’re preparing a presentation to persuade don’t forget WIIFM x 2 – what’s in it for me – your outcome and what’s in it for you the audience.


Donna Hanson works with executives and their teams to increase productivity and performance with everyday technology.

Contact Donna for help donna@donnahanson.com.au or visit www.donnahanson.com.au for more information.

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