How To Pick A Great Presentation Topic

If you are in a Forum of 6-10 people, and at each monthly meeting your group does one presentation, that means each member will most likely only get to present one or two times per year. That’s it! So, you better make it count and pick a great topic to present on. The typical, and not ideal, process that someone goes through to pick a presentation topic is to look for the current fires happening around them.

  • I procrastinated on all my goals this week.
  • I’m fighting with my spouse.
  • I can’t pay payroll this month.
  • I had to fire three people for stealing.
  • I defaulted on a loan.
  • My child failed her test.

While each of these are important topics and worthy of a presentation, if all we do is chase the fires each month, we’ll never get ahead. Don’t be a fire chaser!

Newer Forums often spend the first year putting out fires. Mature Forums are all about being proactive to live the life we want to live, not reactive to what happens.

Being proactive is where the Forum Parking Lot becomes extremely helpful and why it’s important that it’s kept up-to-date each month.

As I mentioned in a prior post (, the Forum Parking Lot has three columns that a possible presentation topic is scored against.

  • Importance: How important is this topic to you in your life right now?
  • Urgency: How quickly would you like to present on this topic to your Forum?
  • # of Months: How many times has this topic been mentioned by the person?

The total score calculation of these three columns allows us to figure out what topics are important to us, but not necessarily urgent (aka fires in the kitchen).

Here is the process to find a great presentation topic, while also cleaning up your section of the Parking Lot. This process should be run through each time it’s your turn to present:

  1. Open the Parking Lot Doc and sort the list by “Who” and “Extended Weight.”
  2. Scan through your Parking Lot items and move any old or outdated items to the “Old Parking Lot” tab. This will keep your section of the Parking Lot clean and updated.
  3. Look at the remaining topics and narrow in on the topics with the highest “Extended Weight” score.
  4. Pick one of these topics because they are the topics that are important to you, though they might not be the most urgent.

By following this process, you’ll be picking topics from Steven Covey’s famous Quadrant 2. These are the topics that aren’t fires themselves, but if tackled, will eliminate many future fires from happening.