Thought Leadership Presentations

Thought Leadership Presentations can deliver leads for your MSP

Written by Ian Richardson

February 5, 2024

Thought Leadership Presentations

By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow Group
Inspired by Thursday Process with guest Scott Wright, Click Armor

Thought Leadership Presentations

The dreaded topic of public speaking – you either love it or hate it.

I’ve yet to bump into someone that doesn’t have a developed opinion on the concept.

Thought Leadership presentations are a marketing tactic around building an “element of influence.” You’ll be building in the “authority bucket,” as well as social proof. Authority is exactly as it sounds. Your prospect believes that you had knowledge & experience in the topic at hand. You’re “an authority” on it.

Social Proof is evidence that you’re effective on the topic at hand. It can be positive proof like testimonials or reviews. It can also be negative proof. It’s the “buzz” around your products & services.

Wondering how to get started in Thought Leadership? The rest of this article has some pointers on your next steps.

How to get organized for thought leadership

The single most powerful tool I’ve found for organization is the outline. Yes, I’m referring to that research paper writing concept you got introduced to in primary school.

Creations of outlines have served me well throughout my career. From engineering and project management, to sales proposals, to thought leadership presentations.

  • Take the topic or concept and divide it into sections.
  • You’ll need space for introductions at the top of the talk. You also need questions & answers as well as a closing statement near the bottom.
  • I find that 2-3 minutes on a topic is usually more than adequate to cover it in a live talk. Reserve 5 minutes for a “meaty” topic that may need extra time.
  • For Pacing: Take the total time of the talk (say 60 minutes). Subtract 5 from the top and 5 from the bottom. This is your intro and outro portions.
  • Take the rest of the talk and divide it by 3 minutes, that’s how many segments you have available.
  • If a segment seems “meaty” take two of your “blocks of time” for it. Last step: organize your segments. What is the sequence that makes sense? Generally your talk should build into milestones.

Congratulations! You’ve now got everything you need to run through a presentation.

A secret tip for your thought leadership slides

I had spoken with my friend Scott Wright around thought leadership.

Scott shared a awesome concept that I wanted to share with you here.

In Scott’s words:

“having a process diagram helps … put a couple of circles or a triangle that gives people a visual concept of what you’re trying to discuss with … a few words to illustrate.”

Scott goes on to share that this has two benefits.

If you forget part of your presentation it doesn’t highlight the fact you skipped it.

It also gives you flexibility to insert stories without making it look like you’re way off script.

Put it a different way. Use the prompt to remind you of the talk, but don’t “give away” the talk on the slides.

Thought Leadership take aways

Thought leadership is a powerful strategy. Any time you can trigger multiple elements of influence in marketing, you’re winning the game.

Get organized before a presentation. Practice it a couple of times to ensure it flows well.

A well done presentation builds authority with the audience.

Authority opens doors of opportunity. Serving those opportunities well creates social proof.

Social proof opens more doors. The cycle repeats.

If you’re thinking this strategy makes sense, lets have a conversation.

If you’re interested in our thought leadership – our newsletter is the place for you.

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