Guest Post by: Sam Kolich (Mentee, Session 3, The Product Mentor) [Paired with Mentor, Jonathan Berg]
As product managers, we are tasked with managing stakeholder expectation throughout the lifecycle of our products. In doing that, one must master presentations so they are always prepared to speak on behalf of their product. It doesn’t matter if you are producing fire hydrants or making a mobile app, solid presentation skills are required for the success of your product. During this mentorship, I learned and demonstrated in my current role, the presentation strategy AIM. A highly effective and easy way to create presentations based off of three key principles: Audience, Intent and Message.
At my current job, I noticed my presentations were becoming less and less effective and after every meeting, I would have to spend time reiterating the message either in email or in person. In other words, I was having to defend my idea after the presentation instead of getting an immediate blessing from whoever I was speaking to.
Public speaking is not an easy task but I was not struggling with the sheer act of talking in front of people. I was struggling with making the message memorable. By learning the AIM model, it quickly diffused any problems I was having when creating the presentation. As mentioned above, AIM is broken down into three ideas, that do not have to be followed in order:
You need to analyze your audience and figure out exactly who will be attending or eventually viewing your presentation. Getting a brand’s blessing to work on a product under their name is different then requesting investment for a new idea no one has seen or heard of before. You must know the wants and needs of whatever group you are speaking to.
In addition to understanding what your audience needs to get out of your presentation, you also have to establish what you intend to get out of the meeting. By identifying your intent and setting the objective, it will bring immediate purpose to the presentation.
Unless you are able to make your message persuasive you will likely have trouble leaving people with something learned. By establishing your key points and making the message memorable, you greatly increase the chances of a successful presentation.
Another positive side effect of this new format for presenting is the ability to scale your presentations. Let’s say you have a 10-minute presentation planned. Because of the way AIM is structured, you can express the same key message from that planned 10-minute presentation into a 30-second elevator pitch for when you run into a senior level executive heading home for the day. Even though you are leaving out some details from the longer talk, your message is quickly transferable at a moments notice. By identifying your audience (executive in the elevator who represents part of the business), what your intent is (what you need out of this brief meeting) and the ability to persuade them (get to the point and make it memorable), you should be able to get off the elevator with a sense of accomplishment.
In closing, adopting this new process into my professional artillery, I was able to make significant improvements in the way I was communicating to anyone no matter the severity of the project. I now feel more confident that my message is not getting lost and my audience is left with the intended knowledge I worked so hard in preparing.
About Sam Kolich
Sam recently completed his first full-time role as a product manager at the publishing company Rodale. Previously, he worked as a photographer, photo editor and freelance product consultant while gathering the skills to transition into a new career in product management. At the moment, Sam focuses on mobile and web products, working to help brands develop a larger reach in the mobile world.
More About The Product Mentor
The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Management Mentors and Mentees around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…
Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People.
Each Session of the program runs for 6 months with paired individuals…
- Conducting regular 1-on-1 mentor-mentee chats
- Sharing experiences with the larger Product community
- Participating in live-streamed product management lessons and Q&A
- Mentors and Mentees sharing their product management knowledge with the broader community
Check out the Mentors & Enjoy!
The Product Guy