The 3 p’s of presenting

During the first weeks of their education, masses of freshman marketing students still get confronted with Jerome McCarthy’s 4P model. A tool created more than 50 years ago, in an age where customers were labeled “buyer” or “consumer”. And though the 4 P’s still may provide a fair means for defining a traditional marketing mix, I dispute that “putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time” is the most important course that 21st century students should get on the menu.

In the era of content, communication, conversation and customer experience (coincidently all starting with a C,) a marketer’s capability to create a decent message house, translate it into a captivating story, and use it to engage with a specific audience is probably more essential than mastering the 4 P’s.

So it was no surprise to me that (as already mentioned in an earlier article on this blog) the French ManpowerGroup identified the storyteller as one of the emerging job profiles for the future: “a craftsman of engagement, the storyteller gives meaning to the company’s engagement and communicates with internal and external stakeholders through dialog and social media.”

Being able to create and deliver a compelling business presentation is certainly one of the basic competencies a storyteller needs. As Richard Branson once said in an Entrepreneur magazine Q&A:

“Good speakers aren’t just talented or lucky – they work hard.”

This is why I am dedicating this week’s post (as well as the three next ones) to mastering the 3 P’s of presenting: your Pitch, your Preparation and your Presentation.


The setting is simple: when you want to deliver specific content to a specific audience via a specific medium, you will need to connect the corner points of the triangle in the picture above.

  1. First of all you will need to define your Pitch. The message(s) you want your audience to remember. How you will grab their attention and capture their interest. The story you want to tell them. This is where techniques like power mapping, message house building and storyboarding will come in.
  2. Take ample time for your Preparation. Choose the most effective medium (e.g. PowerPoint show, Prezi, naked speech, video testimonials, …) for getting your story across and adapt your content to it. This is where your right brain hemisphere comes to the fore. When creativity, design and empathy turn out to be your most valuable attributes.
  3. And finally, the moment will come when you are scheduled to face your audience and deliver your Presentation. Be prepared. Use all possible means of visual, verbal and non-verbal communication to persuade your listeners with your value proposition and to call them to action.

The attentive reader may have noticed that there’s something more in the center of the picture: YOU. Because, as  KPCB’s Bing Gordon rightly observes,

“The first and most important element of your presentation is not a slide: it’s you.”

Now, mark your agenda! In my next 3 posts, I will further elaborate on the 3 P’s and give some tips, tricks and tools for better pitching (December 4), preparing (December 11) and presenting (December 18) your content.


5 thoughts on “The 3 p’s of presenting

  1. Pingback: Plan and deliver ― your presentation | B2B STORYTELLING

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