How to Apply the “Lean Startup” to Your Presentations: Part II


In my last article, I described how to apply The Lean Startup’s Build-Measure-Learn Feedback loop to your presentations. In this article, I’ll explain what you should send through that loop: your minimum viable product (MVP).

What is an MVP?

Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, defines an MVP as “that version of the product that enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Learn loop with a minimum amount of effort and the least amount of development time.”

This in no way means being sloppy or lazy when crafting your presentation. Instead, building an MVP means building a product that sticks to testing your value and growth hypotheses while eliminating fluff that can’t be measured when your presentation reaches your audience. The goal here is to get your product built and in your customers hands (or in our case, minds) so that you can get feedback and iterate, making sure that you are delivering what your customers want and not just what you think they want.

Crafting Your MVP

It’s often tempting to throw in as much content as possible into our presentations, thinking that the more content we pack in, the more valuable our presentations are. This is what Ries would call a “vanity metric.”

To really make a measurable impact, select a few key points or topics and provide your audience with a deeper understanding of them. This will be your MVP that you can quickly get into your feedback loop. By going through the loop, you will learn what content needs to be added (or removed), making your presentation stronger each time you do it, all the while keeping it efficient and audience focused.

Bringing It All Together

Applying The Lean Startup to your presentations is mutually beneficial for you and your audience. Your audience ends up with the best possible version of the presentation they truly want, and you get to deliver it to them with clear insight and minimal wasted effort.

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