Create clear and convincing internal communications, strategic plans, research reports and other boardroom-style slides.

Above-Water Argument

Now that you’ve answered the executive’s question, their natural followup question will be “Why?”. Why do you say we should expand into Canada? Why do we need a multi-million dollar marketing campaign? Why should I hire you?

Do not overwhelm the reader with support points. All great communicators know that less is more. Your executive just needs 3-4 good reasons to believe your answer.

These 3-4 reasons are called your above-water argument.

The best way to create your above-water argument is to divide your deck up into some natural sections, such as Price, Place, Product and Promotion. Now, make a statement about each of these sections. What about price? What about place? Make a statement that supports your recommendation.

Your executive is more likely to agree with you if they understand you. Many presentations lack a clear support story. Even if they have a recommendation, they are often supported by random charts and graphs and no clear storyline.

You want to sell ideas, so you need to make your support points visible. Just like an iceberg, though, you only need to surface the top 10% above the water. The rest of your argument – your evidence – makes up 90% of your deck but is safely below water waiting to be surfaced.

Next: Evidence

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