BONUS — Swiss knife for presenters

Being a successful presenter is all about connecting to the audience, keeping them interested, and getting our point across. But, how can this be done? Is there a way to establish a connection to our listeners right from the beginning and gain their undivided attention? The answer is: Yes, this all can be done within the first minutes of our presentation. We suggest BONUS, a very powerful and versatile tool that makes the presenter look well organized, credible and in control. BONUS stands for: Benefit — Overview — Navigation — Underpinning — Summary.


Most people will become interested in a topic when they see how it may benefit them. That’s why we should tell them the advantages straight away. Too many presenters go into their topic without ever really knowing whether their audience sees any value in their presentation. The best way to show value is to connect our topic to the listeners by telling them how it may affect them, their team, their organization, etc.


What is the purpose of our presentation? The listeners want the big picture. It is a lot easier for them to connect when they have an idea where we want to take them and what our key points are. This can be stated in one or two sentences: Why are we here, what is our starting point, and where do we want to go?


After providing benefit and overview we give more information on how we intend to proceed. What is our approach and method? Will we use real-live examples, will we show a video, will we involve the audience, what are we going to do?


Credibility is one of the most important assets of a presenter — apart from passion and knowledge. To establish credibility we have to underpin our information with a solid foundation. Where does our information come from? What is the source? Why did we choose that source? The source can be a paper, a case-study, or any kind of real-life experience. If we talk about a method, a utility, anything that has a use, we should give some proof of ability. Providing this information up front helps heading off any potential conflicts that could arise later on. The idea here is to apply one last push to fire up our listeners and raise their expectations.


It might seem superfluous to summarize or review at this stage. Yet, it is useful to touch on the major points once again. We just gently remind the listeners of the “need to knows” — overview, objective, and proof of usability — and we are home free.

Paule Wendelberger