How to Create a Consulting Presentation (with examples)
How can you design a consulting presentation that instills trust and wins you clients? You focus on both substance and delivery. By knowing your brand and communicating in your own authentic style, you’ll give potential clients a taste of your expertise. When clients see the value and see what’s in it for them, they’ll be happy to work with you.
How to Create a Consulting Presentation
The consulting industry is a highly competitive field, hence the demand for high-quality output. Creating a consulting presentation is totally different from an ordinary presentation. If you want to learn from the best, look up to consultants as they consider crafting presentations an art form.
Here are the steps to take to create a consulting presentation:
Make an Outline.
A clear, logical, and cohesive structure is paramount to a presentation’s success. Walking someone through point A to point B is challenging enough, persuading and convincing them are different stories. Consultants tell us that the most optimum approach is to do the following:
- Start with the main point, which is your solution or answer
- Organize your supporting arguments
- Order your supporting ideas logically
This allows your audience to assess your logic and reasoning as you go along with your presentation. They won’t have to try and figure out what exactly your point is. Hence, the key here is to give the info without them having to try hard to comprehend it.
Give your presentation structure by dividing it into three parts. These are:
- An introduction
- A conclusion & next steps
Knowing these will help you structure your presentation with only the necessary details. These will help you determine how many slides you need and what goes into each of those slides. A more comprehensive list would be the following:
- An executive summary
- Table of contents
- An appendix
Include Visuals that Support the Story.
How to create a consulting presentation that gets you credibility? You need to craft a story that makes sense and inspires. This is what will sell your idea or solution. However, simply dumping evidence on all the slides won’t cut it.
What helps is graphic design that can pull in your audiences, highlight your main points, and make the presentation a resounding success. We’ve listed 15 of the best consulting presentations below to serve as inspiration. And if you read until the end of the article, we’ll show you why Penji is an excellent design partner. Watch our demo video here to learn more.
How to Include Graphics in Your Consulting Presentation.
- When developing your visuals, always keep in mind that the simpler your graphics are, the better.
- Avoid the use of distracting colors, illustrations, or font styles
- Use negative space
- Don’t overdo the designs, each element you add should have a purpose, otherwise, ditch them
- Limit your presentation to one message per slide
- Take note of formatting, sizes, and other details
McKinsey & Company and BCG, the world’s top consulting firms, use the following guidelines in their PPT presentation slides:
- If possible, ensure that all text within a slide is of the same font size
- Create margins and make sure that the content doesn’t go outside of these
- Titles should only be two lines or less and use the same font size
- And as earlier mentioned, one slide per one point
These are only the key points, there may be more, but a reputable graphic design firm will know. They will utilize their knowledge to ensure that your consulting slides follow these rules.
Showcase Your Best Data.
This needs no explanation, but you must have your information organized to place them in the correct order. Think of your presentation designs as having a story to tell and doing so in a coordinated and appealing way that gets the audience’s attention.
Use infographics, charts, illustrations, or images to stress a point. This may seem simple, but some abstract concepts and ideas may be hard to relay in a single slide. This is the best time to consult a graphic designer who knows how to create a consulting presentation that shine.
Check for Errors.
Some people may consider this part boring, yet, it is crucial to your consulting presentation’s success. What you can do here is run through your presentation and check if there are any errors. In some cases, you can ask a colleague to check your work. Any incorrect grammar or wayward icon can diminish the value of your message, so make sure you edit your work before you publish it.
15 Consulting Presentations that Get the Job Done
1. mckinsey & company.
This digital globalization presentation from McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s largest in its industry, is a great example. It has beautiful graphics that use a minimum of colors and charts that are easy to read.
2. BCG Consulting
Composed of 11 slides, this consulting presentation example from BCG Consulting remains consistent throughout. The presentation is about sustainability which may be the reason for using the color green, which is very appropriate.
In 2017, Deloitte created this consulting presentation about their Technology, Media, and Telecommunications outlook. This 47-slide long presentation encouraged the audience to participate, which made them engaged and interested.
As mentioned above, keep your graphics as simple as possible. This consulting presentation example from KMPG may seem ornate, but it’s only the action title page. The rest of the slides are easily understandable as they are minimalistic in design.
Your content is the most crucial part of a presentation. PWC blended fine aesthetics and meaty content with this consulting presentation example. It has actionable recommendations as well as case studies included.
6. McKinsey & Company
With clear, actionable plans, data-rich charts, and charming photographs, this example from McKinsey & Company shows its authority well. People look up to them for consulting presentations, and this is proof of it.
Another Deloitte consulting presentation example uses a minimalistic approach that gets the point across quickly. The image on the title slide is colorful, but the rest of the slides use very few colors.
For the World Economic Forum, PWC published this eye-catching consulting presentation. It includes learning points showed in multicolored graphics.
9. Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young, another consulting giant, released this presentation template in 2015 for their Business Pulse in 2013. The slides have photos of landscapes that are very pleasing to look at but definitely not distracting to viewers.
With each slide carefully planned and executed, this consulting presentation PPT from BCG is genuinely noteworthy. It has done an excellent job of explaining abstract ideas clearly with the graphics and images they used.
11. Ernst & Young
The clever use of icons, photos, and other graphics made this consulting presentation from Ernst & Young land on this list. The key points were made clear in the slides using charts, maps, and other design elements.
12. McKinsey & Company
On their 50th anniversary, McKinsey & Company released this PowerPoint consulting presentation. As they are the gold standard in creating consulting slides, this one is where you should be getting your inspiration from.
Get free Powerpoint slide designs here.
One of the best consulting presentations we found is this one from Deloitte. It uses a storytelling format with infographics, icons, and is tied down with different shades of green for consistency.
This beautiful and easy-to-follow consulting presentation is another one for the books. This was created by BCG, a consulting firm that’s in the high ranks with McKinsey.
15. McKinsey & Company
The use of custom illustrations is what made this consulting presentation unique and engaging. The need for texts is reduced, resulting in slides that are easy to follow.
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How McKinsey Consultants Make PowerPoint Presentations
Table of contents
Section 1: frontpage, section 2: executive summary, section 3: body of slides, section 4: conclusion/recommendation, section 5: appendix.
This article covers the structure of a McKinsey presentation, its key elements, and formatting tips and tricks. The principles are nearly identical to those found at BCG, Bain, or other top consultancies, although there are differences in terms of design and style.
As a note, the type of presentations we are covering in this post are what you would call ‘corporate’ or ‘management consulting’ presentations. These types of presentations are typically longer, data-heavy slide decks that serve as the foundation for complex decisions and recommendations. We are not referring to decks for keynotes, college projects, or design presentations.
The structure of a McKinsey presentation
A complete consulting presentation typically contains the following five overall sections:
- Executive summary
- Body of slides
- Recommendation / Next steps
Let's dive into each section one by one.
The front page consists of a few simple elements: a title, a sub-headline, name of company, date and time . The title is usually less than 8 words long. A sub-headline is an optional second description line, used for further elaboration.
In consulting the 'name of company' and the template theme typically depends on whether the client wants to position the work as internal or external. If the client wants to position the work as external, then the front page will have McKinsey’s name and use its signature design template and color scheme. Vice versa, if positioned as internal work, the slides will be branded with the client organization's logo and design.
The executive summary, sometimes called 'At A Glance', is the presentation's first slide and usually the single slide that takes the most time to write and perfect.
The executive summary summarizes the key arguments, storyline, and supporting evidence of the body slides. This helps the reader get a quick overview of the presentation and take away the most important insights and recommendations.
Executive summaries written by McKinsey, Bain, and BCG usually follow the Situation-Complication-Resolution (SCR) Framework, which is a straightforward and effective approach to communicating the complete storyline of your slide deck.
See our post on How to Write an Effective Executive Summary for tips and tricks.
This is the central section of the presentation. This section often contains 50+ slides filled with quantitative and qualitative content. To avoid 'death-by-powerpoint', it is crucial to structure both the overall storyline and individual slides in a clear and engaging way.
Let’s start by taking a look at the way McKinsey consultants create individual slides.
The anatomy of a slide
At its most basic form, each slide must consist of 3 main parts:
(a) Action title - a sentence that articulates the key implication or insight (b) Subheadings - what data are you using to prove the insight? (c) Slide body - the actual data used to prove the insight (text, numbers, visuals, footer).
As a rule of thumb, there should be nothing in the action title that's not in the slide body, and nothing in the slide body that is irrelevant to the action title.
a) Action title
When you become a management consultant, one of the first things you are taught is that the title of a slide should always be an 'action title' that articulates the key takeaway or 'so-what' of the slide.
Often presentations are read by busy executives. Action titles make your slides easier to understand because your reader doesn't have to dive into the detail of the slide body to understand the key takeaway of that slide.
As an example, imagine you are creating a slide showing yearly development in revenue and costs for a business unit.
A passive title for that slide could be: "Historical development in Revenue and Costs". As a reader, you need to study the chart to deduct the 'so-what' of the slide.
An action title would be: "Over the last 5 years, costs have grown 10% per year, which is double revenue growth" As a reader, you immediately understand the message of the slide. You can now choose to look at the data on the slide more closely, if you want the details.
See our blog post on Action Titles for a more comprehensive guide.
Subheadings are meant to give a clear summary of the data used to prove the insight in the action title, or alternatively add some nuance to the main takeaway. Keep it crisp and short.
Here are a few examples:
- Sales of personal luxury goods, US Market, $ billions
- Forecasted evolution of battery cell costs by 2030 ($/kWh)
(c) Slide body
A clear and concise slide body is essential for effectively communicating insights to an audience. The slide's main insight, articulated in the action title, should be supported by all relevant information presented in the simplest possible way. You have likely done a lot of research, and it is tempting to include all the interesting data you have found. Avoid this. Instead, try and remove all facts and figures not directly supporting your key insight stated in the title.
Here is an example:
In this case, the title is clear, and the content of the slide only serves to prove and support the slide's main insight.
When building your slide, you may only sometimes start with the title and then fill in the data to support it. Often it is more of an iterative process where you try out different titles to capture the data you have collected and the flow of the overall storyline.
Now that we have covered the building blocks of individual slides, let’s move on to how McKinsey, BCG, and Bain consultants construct a storyline.
Horizontal flow: The structure of a storyline
‘Storyline’ refers to the way the slide deck is built up or in other words the ‘flow’ of slides. The exact storyline created by McKinsey, Bain, and BCG consultants is typically tailored to that specific use case. But in general consulting storylines follow an SCR (situation-complication-resolution) framework.
The SCR framework is a way of structuring your findings in a clear and concise way that is engaging and intuitive. Here is what each part of the framework means:
- Situation: The situation is the starting point or context of the problem or issue you're addressing. It might include information about the current state of affairs, the background of the problem, or any other relevant details that help set the stage. The situation can also focus more narrowly on a specific opportunity or threat.
- Complication: The complication is the specific challenge or problem that has arisen within the situation. It might be a roadblock, an unexpected development, or a major hurdle that needs to be overcome. It can also refer to gaps in capabilities needed to capture an opportunity.
- Resolution: The resolution is the proposed solution to the complication or problem. It should be a clear and actionable plan for moving forward and overcoming the challenge. This might involve specific steps to be taken, resources needed, or other details that help ensure success. We cover this in more detail in the next section.
Your storyline should be clear at the slide title level, which is why action titles are so important. Your audience should be able to read only your action titles all the way through the presentation and a) understand what the main conclusions are and b) understand how you got to those main conclusions through analysis. In other words, your action titles should flow like a story and be readable on their own.
In practice, when starting a new deck it can be helpful to sketch out your overarching sections on paper. Then follow them up with empty slides using just action titles (or fill in the slides with rough notes on which analysis or sub-conclusion goes on that slide). Print out your slides and lay them on a table or put your slides in ‘Slide Sorter’ mode in PowerPoint and see if the flow of slides makes sense.
You can also choose to write your entire storyline in a word document focusing first on the action titles of each slide and then supplementing the action titles with underlying bullets describing the data or information that will go on the slide to support that action title.
McKinsey consultants have a library of old cases to use, which helps create a skeleton or inspire a new deck and allows them to make better presentations in much less time. Build your own library by saving excellent presentations you come across in grouped categories and creating an ongoing general PowerPoint where you collect good slides to reuse.
Take a look at our templates to find specific storylines to match your needs , complete with multiple real client examples.
A crucial part of any consulting presentation is the conclusion/recommendation section. These slides outline the actions or responses required to address the situation and complication you've covered earlier in your slide deck. They often also include a suggested implementation plan and immediate next steps.
While there is generally flexibility in how you lay out your conclusion/recommendation slides, the following three guidelines will help you create effective recommendations that are easy to understand and follow:
- Groups: Group your recommendations into categories to make your reader's understanding easier.
- Labeling: Label or number your groups and/or individual recommendations to help your reader follow the structure when you discuss your recommendations across multiple slides.
- Active voice: Write your recommendations in active voice starting with 'action words' (verbs), such as "Grow...", "Minimize…", "Improve…", "Increase…", "Target…", "Increase…", etc.
Here are a few examples of recommendation slides from McKinsey, BCG, and Bain:
It is not uncommon for the appendix, also called backup pages, to be significantly longer than the main deck. The main deck tells the story, and the appendix contains details and all supporting evidence that might be relevant but is beyond the scope of the main storyline.
In other words, keep the storyline of the main deck as crisp and clear as possible and move all supporting documentation and details to the appendix. Here they will be out of the way but available for reference.
Presentations from top consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG tend to feel very different and convincing compared to other corporate presentations. A part of this is the ability to effectively structure both individual slides and the full deck, which we have talked about in this post. But another part is the rigorous training in slide design and formatting details that ensure the output is of the highest quality.
Below we have gathered some common formatting tips for designing compelling and consistent slides:
Color: Color matters. Keep the color pallet simple and use bright colors selectively to draw attention to key data or insights. Create a color hierarchy and apply it consistently across your deck.
Fonts: Pick one (or two) font types and stick to it. BCG only uses the font 'Trebuchet MS'. McKinsey’s new 2020 template uses 'Arial' for slide body content and 'Georgia' for titles and select visual elements.
Margins: Never go outside of the slide margins. Use 'Powerpoint Guides' to clearly view margins when in design view.
Titles: All titles throughout the presentation should be two lines or less and use the same font size.
Lists: Only used numbered lists if the numbers themselves are relevant (e.g. if you are ranking items). In most cases, use bullets instead of numbers.
Icons: Icons are simple but can completely transform a boring text slide when used correctly. Replace bullets with icons that represent the bullet item if your slide is otherwise relatively simple. Ideally, use icons in places where the icons ‘have meaning’ and can be used later in the presentation when referring back to or going into detail around a certain topic. Use icons in the same style and boldness. Buy access to a large premium icon set like Streamline Light or Streamline Regular if you can. https://www.streamlinehq.com/icons/streamline-light .
Align, align, align: Content on all slides should be aligned. Titles and subheadings should have the same exact position across all slides. When you flip through your slides, the position of the headline should not move, and the font size should not change. This also goes for other common repeated elements (logo, source, page number etc.), as well as similar items on a slide (column headers, graphs etc.) Using a well-designed master template is the easiest way to keep alignment accuracy.
Animations: Refrain from using fancy graphics and animations in the slides.
Slide number and source: Each slide should also have a slide number and a source in the bottom section that provides the source of the data used.
Text: Review the text on each slide to ensure that it is clear, concise, and well-structured. Eliminate unnecessary words and sentences. Keep it as simple and short as possible.
Visuals: Ensure that visuals in the form of graphs, charts, diagrams, tables, and images are high quality and add value. Add call-outs, highlights or similar wherever it makes sense to make the so-what of that visual more clear. Colors, fonts, and layout should be consistent with the rest of the presentation.
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How to Give a PowerPoint Presentation Like a Management Consultant
Published: May 17, 2023
In the consulting industry, management consultants are expected to clearly and concisely synthesize their clients’ market positions, competitive advantages, and financials, and then offer meaningful insights and actionable plans. Typically, presentations that include all this information are created using PowerPoint. Therefore, to become an impactful consultant—and to give an impactful client presentation no matter which industry you work in—it’s important to understand how to use PowerPoint effectively as well as how to structure a presentation effectively.
Below, you’ll find five guiding principles that will allow you to give effective client presentations like a seasoned management consultant.
1. Start with the conclusion
People typically think chronologically and so like to present information chronologically. Presentations usually begin with an introduction, are followed by a problem statement and analysis, and end with recommendations and a conclusion. However, since clients are most interested in your insights and the basis upon which you framed your insights, it’s best to flip this structure upside-down and start with the conclusion. After that, only then communicate your supporting ideas and salient points that form the basis of your conclusion (and don’t forget to use the MECE structure when presenting supporting ideas).
2. Make slide titles meaningful
When creating presentation slide titles, most people use generic titles like “Introduction” and “Analysis.” But this is a mistake. Clients don’t want to have to scan through an entire slide to figure out your insights, so the best practice is to put your insights front and center—make them the titles of the slides. For example, instead of using “Competition” as the title of a slide on how competitors have a significant scale advantage, use the entire sentence: “Competitors have a significant scale advantage.” One thing to keep in mind, though: make sure that every slide communicates one or two (but not more) meaningful insights—it’s best to create more slides rather than crowd them.
3. Use visuals and bullet points (don’t write paragraphs)
Remember, it’s not your PowerPoint presentations but you who is responsible for running client engagements. That is, clients need to be more focused on what you have to say as opposed to what your slides say. Therefore, it’s important to not fill your slides with paragraphs and long-form texts that require significant reading commitments on behalf of clients. Instead, use easy-to-digest visuals like charts and graphs along with bullet points to communicate your most salient ideas.
4. Don’t read slides verbatim
People sometimes think that once they’ve put their slides together, they’ve reached the finish line. Not true. Once your slides are complete, you should then spend a considerable amount of time developing a narrative to complement them. As mentioned above, you (not your PowerPoint presentation) are responsible for running the client engagement. So, if all you do is read your slides verbatim in front of clients, you’ve added no value. Instead, develop a separate narrative for your presentation and weave your slides into that narrative. Ideally, your narrative should begin with a well-formed conclusion, followed by the basis for your conclusion.
5. End by reiterating your conclusion
It’s good practice to end your presentation by reiterating your conclusion while also giving a couple of key takeaways. When you end this way, your salient points are reinforced, and your client has a clear understanding of the next steps and action items going forward.
Recipient of the Presidential Award from The White House, Vibhu Sinha is an intrapreneurial and bottom-line driven senior management professional with experience in leadership roles across banking and capital markets. He has advised institutional clients on corporate strategy, idea generation and pitching, financial planning and analysis, M&A, investor relations, and ESG. Vibhu developed his acumen in Behavioral Psychology at Harvard University as part of a master's degree program. He also earned an M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson.
Effectively Creating a Management Consulting Presentation
Importance of designing a management consulting presentation.
Are you searching for best practices for creating a management consulting presentation ? In this article, we give the industry’s best practices being widely followed by agencies offering management consulting presentation services . Businesses employ presentations for a range of purposes, including education, information dissemination, motivation, and training. Management consulting presentation services can be highly advantageous for consulting companies, just like any other business sector.
Role of Management consulting
Management consulting is a professional service that helps organizations improve their performance and achieve their goals. Consultants work with clients to identify areas for improvement, develop strategies, and implement solutions to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. The ultimate goal of management consulting is to help organizations succeed and thrive in a competitive business environment.
7 steps of consulting process
Consulting is a process that involves several steps to ensure that the client’s needs are met.
The 7-step framework of consulting process includes:
- Defining the problem
- Structuring the problem
- Prioritizing issues
- Developing issue analysis
- Analysis plan
- Conducting analyses
- Synthesizing findings and developing recommendations
Each step is crucial in providing effective consulting services and achieving the desired outcomes for the client.
Need to invest in management consulting presentation services
Management consulting presentation services can provide a range of benefits for businesses, including:
- Help improve communication and collaboration within the organization
- Identify areas for improvement
- Provide expert advice and guidance
- Help businesses stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices
- Improve the overall performance and profitability of businesses
Sections of a complete management consulting presentation
A complete consulting presentation typically includes
- Problem statement
- Analysis of the problem
- Proposed solutions
- Implementation plan
Other sections may include
- Project timeline
- Recommendations for next steps
Consulting firms often use a consulting deck to showcase their services and expertise to potential clients. Consulting decks typically includes important information such as the scope of work, proposed timeline, pricing, and other relevant details. By providing a clear and concise overview of their offerings, consultants can effectively communicate their value proposition and win new business.
Optimum approach to create a management consulting presentation
When creating a consulting presentation, it’s important to start with your main point – the solution or answer you are proposing. From there, organize your supporting arguments and ideas in a logical order that will effectively convey your message. By presenting your ideas in a clear and organized manner, you can help ensure that your audience understands and is convinced by your recommendations.
Tips for Structuring a Management Consulting Presentation
One crucial aspect of delivering an effective management consulting presentation is establishing a clear and concise structure. A comprehensive consulting presentation typically includes the following components: an executive summary, a table of contents, an action title, chapters, a body of slides that align with the overarching narrative, a conclusion with recommendations, and an appendix. By thoughtfully organizing your presentation in this manner, you can effectively convey your insights and recommendations to your audience with clarity and impact.
How to create a consulting presentation?
When creating a consulting presentation, it’s important to start with a clear and concise main point that outlines your solution or answer. From there, organize your supporting arguments in a logical and coherent manner, ensuring that each idea flows smoothly into the next. Finally, order your supporting ideas in a way that makes sense and effectively supports your main point. By following these steps, you can create a compelling and effective consulting presentation that will impress your audience and help you achieve your goals.
Management Consulting Presentation – Top Rated Presentation Agency in India – Visual Sculptors
What are Management consulting presentation services?
Management consulting presentation services assist organizations in effectively conveying their message and achieving their objectives through the preparation and delivery of professional, impactful presentations. With a team of experienced professionals, they provide expertise in the areas of presentation design, content development, and delivery. They ensure that the presentation is engaging and informative, while maximizing the impact on the audience.
Management Consulting Presentation – Ex-McKinsey Designers Team – Visual Sculptors
Do top management consultants use PowerPoint?
As consultants, crafting compelling presentations is an integral part of the job. PowerPoint Presentations are a key deliverable that clients receive and serve as a testament to the consultant’s capabilities.
Advantages of using PowerPoint presentations
- Effectively engage the audience and make key points stand out
- Easy to set a theme
- Organize and present information in a logical and easy-to-follow way
- Use visual aids like images, animations, audio, and video
- Maximize the power of your story
- It can be tailored to suit individual client requirements
- Creating a professional and polished finish.
- A Presenter can maintain control over the flow of the presentation
- Consultants utilize the Think-Cell plug-in to optimize the PowerPoint graphs and visuals.
- Presentations can be stored and distributed to co-workers, both on-site and off-site.
Management Consulting Presentation – PowerPoint Advantages
Advantages of hiring an agency providing Management consulting Presentation Services
- Get access to a team of highly-skilled presentation design professionals
- Latest design tools and software to create compelling and engaging presentations
- Create customized presentations that perfectly align with your brand and goals
- Improve the overall look and feel of your presentations
- Provide valuable feedback on the design and content of the presentation
Management Consulting Presentation – Advantages Hiring Presentation Design Agency
How to Create a Management Consulting Presentation
The preparation of presentations is a critical element of the management consulting project, as it is integral to two key areas.
- The presentation is the lasting impression of the work produced and will determine the longevity and success of the project.
- It serves as the vehicle by which the consultants can effectively communicate the outcomes of their analytical efforts.
In consulting, daily tasks revolve around creating deliverables – presentation slides and spreadsheets – to convey information to customers with clarity and impact. These documents are used in pitching, providing project updates, and communicating the end results in an engaging and compelling manner.
McKinsey 7-S Model
The McKinsey 7-S Model is a comprehensive framework that facilitates effective management of organizational change by strategically addressing seven critical components of a company’s organizational design.
These components comprise: 7-S
- Shared values
By leveraging this framework, change leaders can gain valuable insights into the interplay between these elements and devise a well-informed change strategy that fosters sustainable and long-lasting organizational success.
The Significance of Formatting in Management Consulting Presentations
Formatting is an important factor in creating a successful management consulting presentation. It helps create an organized and professional visual impression, which is key in impressing potential clients. To effectively communicate data, it is essential to use eye-catching visuals, such as graphs and charts , while adhering to a consistent theme and structure.
Designing consulting presentations are typically undertaken by presentation specialists . Some consultants work with agencies that specialize in providing management consulting presentation services.
Step-by-step guide for creating an effective management consulting presentation
- Outline the hierarchical structure of the problem
- Construct an outline for the presentation
- Record the points you wish to communicate
- Outline the key points of the presentation slides
- Create a template in PowerPoint
- Obtain pertinent data for each slide
- Use effective data visualization
- Make any necessary adjustments to individual slides or the structure
- Create Executive Summary
- Outline the key points of the presentation and conclude with the main takeaway
- Verify the accuracy of information
Structuring A Management Consulting Presentation
Here is an overview of these steps:
1. Outline the hierarchical structure of the problem
Analyze the issue tree to identify any potential problems that may be present in the company.
2. Construct an outline for the presentation
Organize the problems from the issue tree into cohesive categories and use this to create the structure of the presentation (sections, chapters, etc.).
3. Record the points you wish to communicate
Use the 80/20 rule – 80% of a presentation’s impact is determined by 20% of the content. Obviously, messages should be aligned with your issue tree and the structure.
4. Outline the key points of the presentation slides
It is now time to create a visual representation of each message we have set out, utilizing our established structure.
5. Create a template in PowerPoint
In order to ensure a successful start to any consulting project, it is recommended to take the extra step of transforming sketches into PowerPoint slides.
6. Obtain pertinent data for each slide
You should recall our prior statement that for each slide, one message should be validated or negated using the applicable data. Consequently, generate an Excel analysis to aid in the compilation of data and elucidate conclusions for each slide.
7. Use effective data visualization
Think-cell is a powerful presentation software which is widely used in the management consulting industry. It provides a range of features such as data analysis, charting, timelines and other visuals which can be used to make presentations more impactful. Microsoft offers different chart types for effective data visualization. Just like Think-cell, MS Graph Charts also helps in creating various types of charts based on the data.
8. Think-Cell PowerPoint Add-on
The Think-Cell plugin is a powerful tool for creating professional and visually appealing charts and slide layouts in PowerPoint. Widely recognized as the most popular charting add-on for PowerPoint, it boasts a user base of over 950,000 individuals at more than 23,000 companies worldwide. Notably, it is trusted by 8 of the top 10 consulting firms, making think-cell a go-to choice for professionals in a variety of industries.
9. Make any necessary adjustments to individual slides or the structure
After filling in all slides, it is important to ensure the presentation makes sense. On review, you may find that the flow is slightly off and require some adjustments; typically, 10-20% of slides need to be relocated. This step also provides an opportunity to modify the content for clarity and efficiency.
10. Create Executive Summary
Consultants to provide a concise Executive Summary comprised of 20-30 slides highlighting the key points and, if applicable, supporting analytics. It is important in the Executive Summary to provide the main results and to generate interest, thus prompting the reader to proceed to the main presentations.
11. Outline the key points of the presentation and conclude with the main takeaway
To provide a succinct introduction and conclusion, reviewing the Executive Summary and identifying the key takeaways is essential. Ensure that the start and finish of the presentation are captivating for the viewers, as they are typically the most noticed parts.
12. Verify the accuracy of information
As most presentations are produced by multiple people, there may be some discrepancies. To ensure that the presentation is consistent and error-free, it should be reviewed 5-10 times before sending.
11 amazing charts created using think-cell
Management consultants create amazing charts using think-cell. While designing a management consulting presentation, consultants select appropriate chart types based on the data. We give below a few of the chart types in think-cell.
1. Waterfall Chart
Think-Cell Waterfall Chart
With think-cell, users can easily create a waterfall chart by selecting, dragging, and releasing the necessary data. The software also allows users to enter positive and negative values in the datasheet to ensure that the chart is displayed accurately.
2. Gantt Chart
Think-Cell Gantt Chart
Think-cell charts simplify the creation of Gantt charts, which are calendar-based charts used for project management. With built-in calendar features and a self-adjusting time scale, think-cell makes it easy to create and customize Gantt charts.
3. Mekko Chart / Marimekko chart / Mosaic Plot
Think-Cell Mekko Chart
Mekko Chart / Marimekko chart / Mosaic Plot is a 2-dimensional chart that displays data as columns with varying widths. This allows for a more accurate representation of the data and can be customized to fit the specific needs of the presentation.
4. Scatter and Bubble Chart
Think-Cell Scatter And Bubble Chart
Think-cell automates the labeling process for scatter and bubble charts. With think-cell, labels can be applied to each individual scatter point, making the chart more organized and easier to read.
5. Pie Chart
Think-Cell Pie Chart
Think-cell charts offer a simple way to rotate pie elements. By dragging their handles at 90, 0, 120, or 270 degrees, you can easily adjust the orientation of your chart to better suit your needs.
6. Line Chart
Think-Cell Line Chart
Think-cell charts offer a range of advanced features, including interpolation, error bars, and date-based axis formatting. These options allow for greater precision and customization in creating charts and visualizations.
7. Clustered Chart
Think-Cell Clustered Column Chart
Think-cell charts offer advanced options for clustered charts, similar to stacked column and bar charts. These options include the ability to add arrows that are automatically calculated and highlight important relationships within the data.
8. 100% Chart
Think-Cell 100% Chart
Think-Cell charts offer a convenient way to mark and select elements of the same type with their intelligent logical selection mechanism. This feature allows for quick and efficient chart creation, saving time and effort for users.
9. Stacked Column and Bar Chart
Think-Cell – Stacked Column And Bar Chart
Think-Cell is a powerful tool that simplifies the creation of stacked column or bar charts. While this chart type is relatively straightforward, adding labels and decorations in PowerPoint can be a tedious process. Think-Cell, eliminates this time-consuming task, allowing users to create professional-looking charts quickly.
10. Area Chart
Think-Cell Area Chart
With Think-Cell, users have access to a range of advanced options for creating charts, including the ability to customize axis tick marks, axis range, and grid lines.
11. Area 100% Chart
Think-Cell – Area 100% Chart
When creating charts with think-cell, users have the flexibility to input either percentages or absolute values, depending on their preference.
Common Design layouts used in Management Consulting Presentation
1. pillar diagram.
Management Consulting Presentation – Pillar Diagram
A pillar diagram is a visual tool used in management consulting presentations to represent the key components or pillars of a strategy or plan. It typically consists of a central pillar representing the main goal or objective, with several supporting pillars branching out from it, each representing a different aspect or component of the strategy. The diagram is often used to help stakeholders understand the various elements of a complex plan and how they fit together to achieve the overall goal.
2. Matrix design
Management Consulting Presentation – Matrix Design
Matrix design is a popular presentation technique in Management Consulting that arranges information into a multi-dimensional grid for easy comparison. The matrix visually displays data in rows and columns that can be customized to the audience’s specific needs and preferences. By using this structure, you can compare multiple topics at once to help illustrate your message or case study, while using dynamic visuals to ensure maximum engagement.
3. Process Flow Diagram
Management Consulting Presentation – Process Flow Diagram
A process flow diagram is a visualization tool used in management consulting presentations to illustrate the phases and processes of an project or topic. It can help a presenter explain complicated concepts in an easy-to-understand visual way, enabling the audience to better comprehend what is being presented.
4. Harvey Balls
Management Consulting Presentation – Harvey Balls Design
Harvey balls are round symbols that visually display the relative completeness of items, such as projects or tasks, within a set. They consist of solid circles divided into quarters with varying lengths of lines extending right and downward from the center creating arcs in the style of a bullseye. Each arc is shaded differently and generally represent empty (blank), partial, almost full or complete status.
5. Venn Diagram
Management Consulting Presentation – Venn Diagram
A Venn diagram is a visual representation of the relationships between different sets or groups. It consists of overlapping circles or shapes, with each circle representing a set and the overlapping area representing the elements that belong to both sets. Venn diagrams are commonly used in mathematics, statistics, and logic to illustrate concepts such as set theory, probability, and logical reasoning.
6. SWOT analysis
Management Consulting Presentation – SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to identify and analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or project. It helps to identify internal and external factors that may impact the success of the business or project, and can be used to develop strategies to address these factors.
7. Market sizing visualization
Management Consulting Presentation – Market Sizing Visualization
Market sizing is the process of estimating the potential demand for a product or service in a specific market. It involves analyzing data on the size of the market, the target audience, and the competition to determine the potential revenue and growth opportunities. This information is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and investment opportunities.
8. Map Slide
Management Consulting Presentation – Map Slide
Map Slide is a simple and powerful tool that enables users to turn geographical data into interactive, visually appealing maps. This allows for a clearer understanding of trends, patterns, and correlations in location-based data, helping to make more informed decisions. Map Slide also offers layer-based mapping capabilities for drawing additional chart layers on the map.
9. Organization Chart
Management Consulting Presentation – Organization Chart
An organizational chart is a visual representation of a company’s structure and hierarchy. It shows the relationships between different positions and departments, and how they fit together to achieve the company’s goals. Typically, the chart will include the names and titles of key personnel, as well as their reporting relationships and areas of responsibility.
10. Heat Map Visualization
Management Consulting Presentation – Heat Map
A heat map is a data visualization tool that uses color-coding to represent different values in a dataset. It is often used to show the distribution of data across a geographic area or to highlight patterns in large datasets. Heat maps can be used in various industries, including business, finance, and healthcare, to help identify trends and make data-driven decisions. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_map
Three Key Principles Behind Making Impressive Consulting-Style Presentations
The pyramid principle.
The Pyramid Principle is an important concept in management consulting presentation , and refers to the idea that the core message of a presentation should be presented in an inverted pyramid structure. This structure entails starting with the most important point at the top, then breaking down the argument into layers of related and supporting points.
The MECE Principle
The MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) Principle is a critical concept to master when it comes to management consulting presentation . It ensures that ideas, solutions, or elements of a presentation are organized in a way that is both mutually exclusive, meaning they are distinct and non-overlapping, and collectively exhaustive, meaning that all relevant topics or issues are addressed.
The KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple)
The KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple) is a maxim that has been applied to many different fields, including management consulting presentations . Utilizing intuitive design, the audience will be able to quickly and effectively understand the given material. This framework incorporates the use of bullet points, visuals, charts, and large fonts to ensure maximum comprehension in the shortest possible amount of time.
Why to invest in management consulting?
1. role of management consulting in business startups.
Management consulting can play a crucial role in helping business startups navigate the challenges of launching and growing a successful company. Consultants can provide expertise in areas such as business strategy, financial planning, marketing, and operations, helping startups to make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. They can also provide valuable networking opportunities and connections to potential investors and partners.
2. Role of Pitch Deck consulting services
Pitch deck consulting services play a crucial role in helping startups and businesses create effective presentations to attract investors and secure funding. They provide guidance on content, design, and delivery, ensuring that the pitch deck is clear, concise, and compelling. Additionally, they can offer valuable feedback and insights to help refine the pitch and increase its chances of success.
3. The Importance of a Strong Investor Pitch Deck
A well-crafted investor pitch deck is crucial for startups and entrepreneurs seeking funding. It serves as a visual aid to communicate your business idea, market opportunity, financial projections, and team to potential investors. A strong pitch deck can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of securing funding.
4. Key Elements of an Investor Pitch Deck
Investors typically look for key elements in an investor pitch deck, including a clear problem statement, a unique solution, a strong business model, a competitive analysis, financial projections, and a clear ask for funding. It’s important to also have a well-designed and visually appealing presentation to capture their attention.
5. Why Your Startup Pitch Deck Is Failing to Impress Investors
There are several reasons why startups may fail to impress investors with their pitch deck. These include lack of clarity in the problem they are solving, not demonstrating a clear market opportunity, not having a solid business model, and not effectively communicating their team’s expertise and experience. Additionally, poor design and presentation can also detract from the overall effectiveness of the pitch deck.
6. Designing an successful Investor Pitch Deck that will win through the investor meeting
A pitch deck is a brief presentation, usually created using PowerPoint or Keynote, used to provide your audience with a quick overview of your business plan. It’s commonly used in the business world to summarize the company’s key milestones and present it’s vision. Generally an investor pitch deck will include an overview of the team, description of the product or service being offered, business model, financial projections and fundraising needs.
Here is the list of 12 important slides to be included in an Investor Pitch Deck:
Management Consulting Presentation – 12 Slides Investor Pitch Deck
I. Executive Summary
The executive summary introduces the company to potential investors, highlighting key points such as proof of concept, growth potential, competition analysis and any unique selling points.
This slide showcases the problem your business solves along with its corresponding solutions that addresses that problem.
III. Company Background
Here, you should include an overview of the company history and how it has evolved over time.
IV. Product Overview & Demo
Introduce the product or service with a detailed description explaining what your company does in layman’s terms followed by a demo of your product or service if relevant.
V. Traction Slide
Here you should showcase any user acquisition, revenue generation or impact metric success you have had in the past months or years since launching your business.
VI. Market Size & Opportunity
Summarize regional and global industry trends to explain current market size, future opportunities and specific challenges faced by the industry segment you are competing in as well as what makes your offering noteworthy compared to competitors currently in this space
VII. Team & Advisors
Include slides for each team member along with their relevant experience and why they make great leaders for this venture moving forward – followed by slides on advisory partnerships that provide support and strength to these individual roles within the company.
VIII. Go-to-market Strategy
Outline clearly how you plan on taking your offering further into mainstream markets, utilizing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital media marketing channels (social media campaigns etc.) or launching new products/services etc., according to longer term plans
IX. Competitive Analysis
Map out key competitor names followed by comparing how each differs from yours – highlight areas where there is minimal competition and how that could help boost investor interest in your venture going forward
X. Financial Model
Display financial projections for at least 3 years ahead including projected revenues, profits, expenses and exits (IPO’s) depending on goals
XI. Use of Proceeds/Funding Strategy
Clearly explain based on realistic estimates & assumptions forecasts where proceeds from investment will be used i.e. .for hiring staff/buying capital equipment etc.
XII. Contact Information & Call-to-Action Slides
List off contact info for both main personnel within the business as well as social media handles so investors can stay up-to-date with developments at all times plus thank them sincerely with a call to action like ‘Contact Us Now’.
Management Consulting Presentation – Pitch Deck For Investor Meeting
7. The Benefits of Management Consulting for Established Businesses
Management consulting can help established businesses in a variety of ways, including improving efficiency, identifying areas for growth and development, implementing new strategies and technologies, and providing objective insights and advice. Consultants can also help businesses navigate challenges and changes in the market, and provide valuable expertise and support in areas such as finance, marketing, and operations.
8. Management consulting for business strategy
Management consulting can help established businesses in a variety of ways, including developing and implementing effective business strategies, improving operational efficiency, identifying and addressing organizational weaknesses, and providing objective insights and recommendations. Consultants can also bring fresh perspectives and expertise to the table, helping businesses stay competitive and adapt to changing market conditions.
9. The Role of Strategic Consulting in Business
Strategic consulting involves working with businesses to help them identify and achieve their goals. This can include analyzing market trends, developing growth strategies, improving operational efficiency, and providing guidance on mergers and acquisitions. The ultimate goal of strategic consulting is to help businesses make informed decisions that will lead to long-term success.
10. The Importance of Management Consulting in Company Expansion
Management consulting plays a crucial role in company expansion by providing expert advice and guidance on strategic planning, organizational structure, financial management, and other key areas. Consultants can help identify growth opportunities, assess risks, and develop effective strategies to achieve long-term success. They can also provide valuable insights and support during the implementation phase, helping companies navigate challenges and achieve their goals.
Wrapping it up
Management consulting helps businesses from startups to established businesses in varied ways in devising strategies for business growth. The consultants present their findings in PowerPoint presentations. The management consulting presentations play a crucial role in the day-to-day workings of a consultant. It is imperative to design the management consulting presentations to be more professional and consistent.
Investing in the services of a professional presentation agency specializing in the design of management consulting presentations is worth the money invested. The consultants can leave their design worries and focus on the core works.
Are you looking for a professional presentation agency?
Visual Sculptors can be your best choice.
You can visit our portfolio to get an idea of a typical consultant style.
Visual Sculptors is a leading global provider of Best Presentation Services led by Ex-McKinsey Presentation Designers . A Professional Presentation Agency comprising Business Presentation Specialists with 10+ years experience at McKinsey. A Top Rated Plus PPT Presentation Design agency in Upwork with 4,080 jobs, and 28,254 billed hours. This speaks to our team’s dedication, competing for the Top 10 Presentation Design Agency in India and worldwide.
We offer excellent Management Consulting Presentation Services for clients globally, delivering top-notch presentations in PowerPoint/PPT. Our services includes Business Presentation, Consulting Slides specializing in McKinsey, BCG, and Bain-type Business Presentations, including think-cell charts.
1. What is management consulting PPT?
Management consulting PPT is a presentation tool used by consultants to present their services to potential clients. It involves a consulting firm conducting an in-depth analysis of a company’s current practices, issues, and challenges. This analysis is then presented in a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation to the business’s executives and decision makers.
2. Do consultants give presentations?
Definitely. A key component of being a management consultant is relaying one’s discoveries or advice to customers. Generally, experienced consultants are regularly expected to give presentations to customers, particularly to higher-level executives.
3. How do you make a McKinsey presentation?
Ensure that all textual elements on the slide body are the same font size (a task more difficult than anticipated). Do not enter the margin area of the slide. All titles should be two lines in length or shorter and maintain the same font size. Generally, each slide should only contain one main idea.
4. How do you structure a management consulting presentation?
A management consulting presentation should typically include:
It’s important to keep the presentation concise and focused, and to use visuals and data to support your points. Practice your delivery and be prepared to answer questions from your audience.
5. What are the 7 models of McKinsey?
The 7-S Framework: A McKinsey Model for Organizational Effectiveness.
The 7 models of McKinsey are actually referred to as the 7-S Framework, which includes seven elements that are crucial for organizational effectiveness:
6. What does a management consultancy do?
Management consulting firms help organizations improve their performance by analyzing existing business problems and developing plans for improvement. They provide expert advice and guidance to help companies make strategic decisions, improve operations, and increase profitability. Services may include strategy development, organizational design, process improvement, and technology implementation.
7. What are management consulting skills?
Management consulting skills include:
- Critical thinking
- Project management
- Data analysis
- Strategic thinking
These skills are essential for consultants to provide effective solutions and advice to their clients.
8. What are the three main types of consulting?
Consulting can be broken down into three main categories:
- Strategy consultancy
- Management consulting
- Human resource consultancy
Strategy consultancy is the highest level of consulting, focusing on big-picture issues such as corporate strategy and government policy. Management consulting, also known as business consulting, covers a wide range of organizational issues. Finally, human resource consultancy helps organizations with their human capital issues, including talent management and retirement planning.
How to make consulting PPT – Tips and Tricks
How to create professional corporate slide decks
How to create Professional Business PowerPoint Presentations
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- PRESENTATION SKILLS
How to Build Presentations Like a Consultant
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- Organising the Material
- Writing Your Presentation
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- Working with Visual Aids
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- 7 Qualities of Good Speakers That Can Help You Be More Successful
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Learning how to craft, build and deliver effective business presentations is a skill you need to learn, and continually improve upon, to be successful in the business world.
So once you’ve problem solved like a consultant and developed your solution, next you need to focus on crafting your data into a persuasive and visual presentation. And this is where many professional presentations go wrong.
No one understands this better than consultants, for whom the crafting and delivery of presentations is a lifeblood and even art form.
As management consultant JK of ConsultantsMind.com says, PowerPoint presentations are “ the currency of our work. If you cannot put together a well-structured, persuasive, and visual presentation… well, you won’t be a management consultant for long. ”
So here are four actionable consulting tips you can use the next time you are taking your hard data and crafting it into an effective business presentation:
1- Structuring Your Presentation: Start with Your Point First
A clear and logical structure is critical to the effectiveness of your presentation. Not only do you need to walk someone from point A to point B but, along the way, you need to convince them with a data-backed argument.
And although there are countless theories for how to best craft an argument, consultants typically find the most effective approach is to start with the main point first and then back it up, step-by-step, with hard data and evidence. They call it the Pyramid Principle.
The Minto Pyramid Principle
Coined by Barbara Minto from McKinsey, the Minto Pyramid Principle argues that “ your thinking will be easy for a reader to grasp if you present the ideas organized as a pyramid under a single point. ”
It offers a system for structuring your material so that your message is best received and best absorbed by your audience.
It’s a fairly sophisticated and elaborate system but, in short, it states that to present your solution you should:
- Start with the answer first.
- Group and summarize your supporting arguments.
- Logically order your supporting ideas.
And the reason the Pyramid Principle is so effective is that, by first establishing your point, you immediately give context to everything else within your presentation allowing your audience to evaluate your reasoning and logic along the way, instead of having to wait until the end to figure out what your point was.
Let’s take an example everyone can relate to. If someone was going to break up with you, they could either:
Method #1: Start by listing all of their reasons for breaking up with you, which will seem vague and confusing to you until they finally announce that the relationship is over - at which point you will want to revisit all of their complaints.
Method #2: Announce that the relationship is over and then list all of their reasons, which immediately gives you the context to understand all of their subsequent points.
Neither method is pleasant for the end receiver but, at least with the second one, you know where the conversation is going.
2 - Focus on Highlighting Your Data Visually
Once you’ve structured your argument, you will need to back it up with evidence.
As discussed in the previous post, Problem Solving like a Consultant , using hard data as evidence is critical for bridging the credibility gap with your audience, and for effectively selling your idea or solution.
That said, you cannot simply dump your data onto a slide and expect it to sell itself. Instead, you need take your data and craft it into effective visuals that will back up your point.
In this YouTube PowerPoint tutorial called Highlighting Your Point Visually, I point out that any dataset can be highlighted in a number of different ways depending on what your point is. Because data is neutral in and of itself, it’s up to you to choose what parts of the data you want to highlight in order to present a clear point to support your argument.
3 - K.I.S.S. Your Fancy Graphics Goodbye
When developing your visuals, remember that your goal is to create clear and effective visuals that convince and persuade; not fancy graphics and animations that try to impress and entertain.
Consultants often use the KISS concept, an acronym for “keep it simple stupid,” to avoid making their graphics overly elaborate. The logic is that the simpler something is, the easier it will be to understand and deliver.
Ethan Ramsey states in his book, The McKinsey Way, that when building charts McKinsey consultants:
- Print their charts in black and white – Avoid any and all distracting colors
- Never use three-dimensional graphics unless absolutely necessary – Avoid deceptive perspectives
- Follow the cardinal rule of one message per chart – Avoid mixing your messages
The last rule may seem hard to follow but, as a consultant, you need to be ruthless about it. If there are multiple points to be made from a single chart, simply include the chart twice within your presentation and highlight one point per chart - see tip 2 on Highlighting Your Data Visually.
4 - Be Able to Deliver Your Presentation in 30 Seconds
Know your presentation so well that you can deliver it in the time it takes to ride the elevator, approximately 30 seconds.
Famously known as the elevator test and used across a wide variety of industries, consultants use the test not only to force themselves to hone in on their key message, but also as a means to prepare themselves for any eventuality.
The Elevator Test Scenario
You’ve spent months agonizing over sales data and research, and have now crafted it into the perfect sales presentation.
On the day of your big pitch, the CEO walks into the room and says, " I have something urgent I need to deal with and won't be able to attend the presentation ".
She then asks you to join her in the elevator so you can give her the gist of what you are proposing. The question is, in 30 seconds or less, can you pitch your solution?
So regardless of whether you’re presenting to a busy CEO or holding a ‘once in a lifetime’ pitch, use the Elevator Test to train yourself to sell your idea like a pro.
Crafting, building and delivering a persuasive business presentation is no small task and is something you will get better at the more often you do it.
Although there are countless resources out there, these four tips from the consulting industry will help you to start thinking about how to best take your hard data and craft it into a persuasive presentation.
About the Author
Taylor Croonquist is the co-founder of Nuts & Bolts Speed Training which delivers actionable PowerPoint training courses for working professionals who spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours a year using the program.
Continue to: What is a Presentation? Facilitation Skills
See also: Dealing with Presentation Nerves | Presenting to Large Groups Crisis Communications | Giving a Speech
How to Create the Perfect Consulting Presentation!
As a consultant, presenting is an everyday part of your job. Elaborate slides illustrate coaching, strategies and analyses. Projects are presented to your clients or to management, new concepts are developed, and management consulting results are communicated.
A lot of work goes into a consulting presentation. Slides need to be carefully thought out and highlight important aspects clearly and concisely. In this article, we’ll show you how to create the perfect consulting presentation.
Consulting presentation: What is it?
In most cases, consulting presentations are held by people from outside the company : Management consultants . The presentation provides a closer look at the company by an objective third party . Problems, opportunities, etc., are analyzed and potential solutions are outlined.
The consulting presentation shows new opportunities for the future growth of a company. Managers or the executive board can then pursue new strategic paths. That is why a well-thought-out presentation is essential.
5 tips for creating the perfect consulting presentation
Tip 1: The key message
The key message of your presentation is invariably the central idea that your presentation is built around . Naturally, the first priority is to develop it. You can get tips and detailed information on this in the article, Key Messages in Presentations .
What’s important is getting the key message across correctly . You’re a professional in your field. You’ve spent weeks working on the presentation subject and know it inside and out. Now imagine that the people sitting opposite you in your presentation don’t have the same amount of insight as you do.
Keep in mind: Your audience doesn’t want to know everything.
Much of the information you’ve researched and painstakingly analyzed is simply not interesting to your audience . So don’t overload your presentation with content. Especially not with content that has little relevance.
Also, managers and executives are often short on time. In other words, you have no choice but to keep it short and include only the most important points in your consulting presentation. Get to the point quickly. And at the same time, deliver a clear key message.
Align yourself with your target audience . Remember that less is more. Get to the heart of your key messages. Reduce your presentation to the essentials . If there are any follow-up questions, you still have your notes with more in-depth content as a backup.
Tip 2: Know your audience
In most cases, the audience for your consulting presentation will be managers or executives. In some cases, staff representatives or employees may also be present.
Design your consulting presentation with your audience in mind . For example, you may need to address executives differently than employees. Staff representatives often have different questions than managers. Find out in advance which stakeholders will be present and think about how you can address each group’s interests.
In general, the following stakeholders are interested in this:
- Business leaders are interested in the company as a whole. They want to know how the presentation will move the company forward and what impact it could have on the company and corporate culture.
- Staff representatives advocate for employee interests. Consequently, they primarily look at how corporate changes could affect employees. Issues of trust and opportunities for collaboration are scrutinized.
- Employees have personal interests: How could changes affect their position in the company? Will there be new points of contact? Could they imagine continuing to work here?
Tip 3: The right slide design
What structure should you use?
Limit yourself to one message per slide . Use the Pyramid Principle as a guide. The key message is at the top and the supporting arguments are arranged in a hierarchy below it.
Use one slide for each part of the pyramid. Start with the headings. Make them as meaningful as possible. Feel free to use action titles. You can find an article on this topic in our blog called, Action Titles: How To Use Your Key Messages as Slide Headers .
What design elements should you use?
Quite simply: Preferably none.
It’s often said that the design is as important as the content. But this doesn’t necessarily apply to a consulting presentation. If anything, a white or blank background looks more sophisticated and makes for a calm, non-distracting presentation. It puts essential elements in the foreground.
Design your slides sparingly. A few important statements with sufficient room on the slide are enough. This allows your audience to absorb important aspects more quickly.
Also, don’t experiment with the font. Avoid anything ornate and go for a font that is clear and legible. Readability is a must. When it comes to font size, you can rely on about 20 points.
Colors should be used purposefully. Overly colorful backgrounds and slide elements are distracting. If you use colors, use no more than three colors from a standard palette.
Few design elements – what does that mean for text, images and diagrams ? Even with these elements, you should stick to the principle, “less is more” . You want your text to be easy to digest. That is, you should avoid long blocks of text to keep the audience listening to your presentation, rather than reading it. Reduce the text as much as possible. Turn whole sentences into single (key) words .
Be economical with images , too. Never overload your slides. Only use images that are relevant to your content.
With diagrams , you need to pay attention to simplicity . Again, reduce content as much as possible and focus on the essentials. Create diagrams that are well organized and don’t experiment with too many colors. Concentrate on your key message and align your diagram with it.
Accentuate what is important . Leave out anything less than or keep it in the appendix for follow-up questions.
Minimalism on slides also means: Don’t use effects or animations. 3D effects and moving elements are out of place in consulting presentations and only interfere with the core content on the slide.
Tip 4: Practice
One point that should be clear is: A consulting presentation needs to be well rehearsed . This will make sure that any gaps in your presentation or points where you feel insecure will become apparent before you present.
As a consultant, you have to be a confident presenter . Your company is relying on your qualities and experience. You have to deliver. Don’t forget to practice and take practice seriously. You could present in front of a test audience or have colleagues review your presentation.
An important thing to keep in mind is the length of the presentation . As mentioned earlier, management often has little time. In your practice sessions, focus on the key points and have more details ready when asked. Allow a few minutes for questions during practice. You can find tips on how to prepare here and how to manage your presentation time here .
Some tips for giving a strong presentation include :
- Speak loudly and clearly!
- Involve the audience (tips can be found in the article, Interactive Presentations ).
- Establish a personal connection with the audience (click here for storytelling tips).
- Maintain eye contact with the audience.
- Be attentive and pay attention to the audience’s reactions.
Tip 5: Structure presentations according to time
Often a consulting presentation will have a set time limit that can’t be exceeded. Some examples are:
- The 20-minute presentation
To stick to the time limit, but still communicate all the important points, you need a common thread . Think about how you want to build the structure. Here’s a structure you can use as a guideline:
Situation: Describe the current situation. Stick to facts known to the audience.
Problem: Explain the problem that has occurred. Describe what effects this can have. It must be clear that a solution that is relevant to the audience needs to be found.
Solution: Present the solution. Make it clear that this can positively influence the consequences of the problem. Briefly address what the solution needs to do.
What comes next : Stay specific and provide suggestions. Now it is the company’s turn to act.
- The 60-minute presentation: Status report
An hour gives you the opportunity to deliver your presentation in much greater detail. That said, you should still stick to the principle of less is more . Even though you have more time to present, don’t go overboard and risk losing your audience’s attention.
This structure is quite similar to the Pyramid Principle we discussed earlier. It can also be modified depending on the topic. The structure is as follows:
The introduction provides an overview of the topic. Frame your presentation in a way that the audience will understand.
This is followed by the issue or objective. At this point, you recap why you’re presenting and clarify the key question.
Next comes the solution or status (3). Present the solution to the key question. Make clear that your proposal will solve the problem. Depending on time, you can add details or keep them ready for follow-up questions.
In the details section, provide a comprehensive description of your solution (4). Make sure it’s well structured – put it down on paper first. Cover quality, costs, resources, time and all other important aspects. Make this section as clear as possible.
The decision/next steps slides follow. At this point, remind your audience again of the problem (2) and its solution (3). Now it is up to your clients to make a decision. The next steps are to give an outlook on how the subsequent actions could proceed (in terms of time/resources, etc.).
- 60-minute presentation: Comparing options
If want to compare options, you can use the following structure in your 60-minute presentation:
- Provide an overview of the topic and context for your audience.
- First, describe the negative impact of the issue that has arisen. Don’t present solutions yet.
- If you had an objective, explain it briefly. Address the person who gave the assignment. Describe your approach to investigating the problem. Don’t present any solutions yet.
- Describe the first option . Really go into detail and consider all factors, such as time, money, resources, etc. Highlight all factors and implications. Keep this part neutral and avoid giving your personal opinion.
- Describe the second and potential third option, as in point 3 . Again, avoid giving any kind of personal opinion.
- Compare the options with each other. This is the main work and core point of your presentation. Conduct the comparison on one slide so that the points are clear and can be evaluated at the same time. Be prepared for follow-up questions.
- Now you can make your recommendation for an option. Justify it in detail.
- At the end of your consulting presentation, combine the problem or objective with your recommended option as a solution.
Example: McKinsey 7-S framework
The 7-S framework was created in 1980 by McKinsey management consultants . It represents seven core elements that are fundamental to a company, and which can be included in the consulting process .Many management consultants use the model as a starting point for their consulting presentation.
The seven elements are:
- Strategy: The company’s strategy must deliver a competitive advantage over rivals.
- Structure: How the company is organized, and departments structured.
- Systems: The company’s activities and processes that are used by employees daily.
- Skills: The competencies of employees (corporate skills).
- Staff: Company employees, their abilities and demographics.
- Style/culture: Corporate culture as defined by management.
- Shared values/superordinate goals: The values and standards that are shared throughout the company (mission statement, corporate identity).
Strategy, structure and systems are the hard factors . The remaining elements are soft factors that are easier to define and present.
Feel free to use PresentationLoad’s professionally designed 7S model for your next consulting presentation!
Here are some things to watch out for and avoid in your consulting presentation
- Creating presentations from the wrong perspective: Stay client-centric. Avoid any “I” phrases, even when the presentation was written by you. It’s not about you but about providing advice to the company that has hired you. Put your audience and their needs at the forefront of your presentation.
- Misunderstand and mischaracterize presentation objectives: Think carefully during your preparation about why you’ve been hired. What is the purpose and goal of the presentation? Are you simply expected to share information as facts, or are you expected to dive deeper and make recommendations?
- Not use enough impactful headings: Go for clear, punchy headers. Optimally, you should also use action titles. For tips, see our article, Action Titles in PowerPoint . Avoid long-winded headings that go beyond two lines. Stick to a length of about 6-10 words.
- Leave open-ended questions: Use concise text that covers all key information. Answer the “so what” question, that is, keep the purpose of the presentation in mind, what does XY mean to your client? What is the significance of the projected numbers?
- A lack of authority and technical preparation: Your client has entrusted you with their problem. You need to be sure of what you’re talking about and stay as calm and poised as possible. Speak freely whenever possible and, most importantly, without making mistakes. Consider all technical obstacles beforehand. Make sure your slides are crisp and easy to read.
- A weak ending: Avoid using “Thank you for your attention” at the end of your presentation. Rather, end your presentation with an interactive, open-ended question to your audience. Or give an alternative outlook on the future. You can find more ideas in our article on how to end your presentation .
Conclusion: Create a professional consulting presentation
The key to successful presentations lies in the right preparation and dedicating enough time to work out all the important points. Take our tips to heart for your next consulting presentation assignment. In no time at all, you’ll see a difference in the quality of your PowerPoint presentation.
Do you have questions about consulting presentations or PowerPoint in general? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at [email protected] . We’ll be happy to help you!
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These articles might also interest you:
- 8 Tips for a Winning Company Presentation
- How to Create an Outstanding Report Presentation
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Table of contents
There’s something different about slide decks from strategy consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain or BCG . For some reason, they just seem more convincing. But it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes those presentations good.
As a strategy consultant, you very quickly realize there are two important components of a compelling strategy presentation:
- The ‘thinking’. This is the rigorous problem definition, analysis, synthesis, and insight that happens before you open up PowerPoint. Without this, even the most well-crafted strategy presentation lacks impact.
- The presentation. This is the distinctive, structured, and clear way that strategy consultants build their slide decks. Without this, even the most powerful insights lose their force.
In this guide, we show you how to do both those things. In chapters 1-3, we discuss how to structure your slide deck, define your objective, and craft a compelling argument and storyline.
Then in chapters 4-6, we show you best practices for building your slides and reviewing your slide deck.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have the ability to craft a compelling strategy slide deck with a clear and compelling storyline that leads your audience to your desired conclusion.
Structure your slide deck
Before we get into the detail of building your slide deck, it’s important to understand how to structure your presentation.
There is a common structure that is used for almost all strategy presentations. It’s based on a concept known as the Pyramid Principle , which was popularized by Barbara Minto at McKinsey & Co.
According to Minto, there are three components to a well-constructed slide deck:
- The executive summary: Provides the reader a full summary of the argument and recommendations within your slide deck for readers that are more interested in the ‘so what’ than the detailed analysis.
- The body slides: Illustrates the analysis that supports each claim you make in your slide deck’s argument and thus slide objective.
- Next steps or recommendations slides: Clearly outlines the key implications or ‘so what’ of your slide deck, as well as any next steps required.
In this guide, we will walk you through how to tackle each of these sections one by one. But first, we start by setting the objective of your slide deck, and crafting your argument and storyline.
Define the objective of your deck
Let’s start at the beginning. The purpose of your slide deck isn’t to show off all the things you know… or how great you are at analysis… or how beautiful your slides are.
Instead, the purpose of your slide deck is to persuade your audience and lead them to an objective. And, as the author of the slide deck, you need to set the objective before you start building your slide deck.
Having a clear objective for your slide deck is important for a number of reasons:
- It helps you focus your research and analysis on things that are relevant to your objective.
- You can quickly test the quality of your content by testing whether it is sufficient to achieve your objective.
- It helps inform the tone and positioning of the messages in your slides.
Your objective can take many forms. For example, it could be simply to inform your audience, to gain endorsement for a decision, or to achieve a specific action or next step.
As the author of the slide deck, you must ensure that the objective is clear and agreed upon. All the work that you’re about to do to build your slide deck is guided by your objective.
Craft the argument and storyline
Now that you’ve determined the objective of your slide deck, you need to craft an argument and storyline that leads to your objective.
To some extent, your slide deck’s argument will naturally appear from insights gathered through research and analysis. As you conduct research, you’ll slowly uncover the “real state of affairs”, which will be supported by data.
It’s your job to translate this argument into a compelling story; one that grabs the attention of your reader and communicates your argument in a clear and easy-to-understand way.
To do this, you should use a situation-complication-resolution storyline .
This is a universal structure; it’s used in books, plays, films, advertising, religion, politics, and more. It looks something like this:
- The scene is set and the characters are introduced (situation)
- Something goes wrong (complication)
- They fix the problem and live happily ever after (resolution)
When storytelling in PowerPoint, you should use the same structure. But in the context of your slide deck, your storyline will look something like:
- This thing is important (situation)
- There is a problem with this thing (complication)
- Therefore, we need to respond — and here is how (resolution)
The dot-dash structure
Writing a storyline for your presentation doesn’t happen in PowerPoint. In fact, you don’t open up PowerPoint until you’re completely satisfied with your storyline.
Instead of jumping into PowerPoint, you start by writing out your storyline in a text document using the dot-dash structure .
By writing your slide deck’s storyline in a text document, you can easily identify any faulty or missing logic in your story and ensure that you have the data required to support each claim you make.
And when you’re completely satisfied with your storyline, you can move it into PowerPoint. Your storyline should be communicated in the slide lead-ins, like so:
And once you’ve built the skeleton of your slide deck with the storyline communicated “horizontally” across the leads-ins, you’re ready to start building individual slides and the “vertical flow”.
Build body slides
Before you jump into building individual slides, there are two main components of slides that you need to understand:
- The lead-in: The text at the top of your slide. This should be written as an action title that communicates the implication or ‘so what’ of the slide, not describes the content of the slide.
- The slide body: The content of your slide. You should only communicate one insight per slide and choose the simplest method possible.
There is a close relationship between the slide lead-in and slide body. And this relationship is best explained by the Golden Rule of slide building.
The Golden Rule of slide building is:
“One slide, one insight, fully articulated in the lead-in, and supported by the body”
In other words, each slide should only communicate one insight. That insight should be fully explained in words in the lead-in, and fully supported by data in the slide body.
In addition, there should be nothing in the lead-in that’s not in the body, and nothing in the body that’s not in the lead-in.
Data, charts, and other quantitative slides
Claims that are supported by data are naturally more compelling than claims supported by ‘expert’ opinions, focus groups, and other qualitative evidence.
Therefore, where possible, you should always prioritize quantitative slides over qualitative slides.
But don’t go overboard with your data visualization. Sometimes it can be tempting to show off our technical skills by choosing the most complex visualization available. This is bad practice.
Instead, you should always choose the simplest chart to demonstrate your insight. But it can be tricky to determine which chart to use. So we’ve put together a simple decision tree to ensure that you always choose the most appropriate chart for your data .
Text, conceptual, and other qualitative slides
There are some insights that simply cannot be communicated with charts or data. In these cases, you need to find the most appropriate conceptual chart.
Unlike qualitative slides, there are no simple guides for text and conceptual slides. And because of this, the ability to craft well-structured conceptual slides is the mark of a skilled consultant.
It’s surprisingly tricky to be able to communicate a qualitative insight in a clear and structured visual manner. The best way to build the skill is to practice. But you can also learn by exploring common qualitative slides used by strategy consultants .
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Write the executive summary
An executive summary slide is the first slide in your presentation but the last slide you build.
The executive summary slide fully summarizes the argument, storyline, and supporting evidence of the body slides. Because we already need to have finished every other part of the slide deck, we write it last.
Executive summary slides help the reader “follow along” with your slide deck. There are a few main benefits:
- They provide context to help the reader understand why the topic of the slide deck is important.
- They communicate the high-level argument before the reader gets into the body of the slide deck. This helps the reader understand your more detailed body slides.
- They are a “map” that the reader can reference back to if they start losing the line of argument in the body of the deck.
A typical executive summary looks something like the following slides, which are from a BCG report on “Melbourne as a Global Cultural Destination” and can be downloaded here .
Good executive summaries follow three best practices:
- They are structured with bolded text for summary sentences and bullet points for supporting data. This ensures that every claim is clearly supported by data.
- The bolded summary sentences can be read alone to tell the slide’s storyline (i.e. you don’t need to read the supporting data in the bullet points).
- The bolded summary sentences reflect the SCR storyline structure of the slide deck
One other good practice (that you don’t see in the BCG example) is to reference the associated body slide throughout the executive summary. This helps direct a reader to the detailed analysis behind every claim in the executive summary.
Review your slide deck
Now that you’ve finished building all your slides and writing your executive summary, it’s time to review and finalize your slide deck.
There are three things that you need to check as you review your slide deck:
- Chart completeness : Check that your charts are comprehensively labeled, including chart titles, axis labels, units, time periods, etc.
- Text brevity : Review your slide text, including your lead-ins, and ensure that you make your points with the minimum number of words possible.
- Slide consistency : Review your slides and ensure that there is consistent formatting across the slides.
Reviewing your charts and visualizations
There’s a surprising amount of detail contained in charts and it’s quite easy to forget to key include key information.
Some examples of common charting mistakes include missing chart titles, labels, axes, units, dates, and legends. You should also consider how you highlights the implication of your charts.
To make this easier, you should use a charting checklist to methodically cross-reference your chart with best practice.
Refining your slide text
There’s an important place for text in slides. Not only can your use text to provide important context to support your visualizations, but also to communicate insights without data.
Most people use too many words in their slides. They tend to use fancy “consulting speak” or long, verbose explanations that actually obsure their message.
As you review your slide deck, you should review all of the text in your slides and savagely sharpen your text by removing unnecessary words .
Ensuring consistency across slides
Finally, you should use your last review to check for consistency across slides.
Start by ensuring that the formatting is consistent. For example, your slide format, spacing, fonts and slide numbers should all be consistent across the slides.
And then finish your review by ensuring all concepts are communicated consistently across slides. For example, if you’ve numbered or colored concepts a certain way, then ensure that they remain consistent throughout your slide deck.
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