SWOT Analysis is a great way to make well researched and thought out decisions, but putting them across in the right way matters a lot as well.
Presenting your SWOT Analysis the right way, that is, making sure that your points are concise and your presentation appealing to the eye and easily understood at a glance, will affect the response you will get.
What is SWOT Analysis?
SWOT – Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats, this analysis helps you organise your thoughts and available resources in an order that makes it easier to analyse your possible avenues.
We focus on our internal positives and negatives by filling out our Strengths and Weaknesses.
Opportunities and Threats are what the outside world and society bring to us.
For example, my strength is content writing, my weakness is that I don’t have enough knowledge about what “sells”
My Opportunity would be the various courses offered out there to teach me exactly that, and a possible threat would be that there is far too much competition and qualified candidates out there.
Through this, I know I need to up my game to be in the game! Probably take up a course, get an internship, work on my skills consistently, or so many other things!
Who uses a SWOT Analysis?
The answer is: Everyone.
Anyone who needs to come about a decision or simply get a clear idea of the problem can use SWOT, regardless of if you are doing this for a professional topic (start-up planning) or a personal one (choosing your next course online)
One amazing thing about SWOT, in my opinion, is that it is very versatile. We can work on it alone and in groups.
Doing a SWOT analysis alone is an extremely self – introspective task. It gives you an insight into what you are thinking and what you see for yourself.
This can often be limiting if you are looking to working on a proposal of a company, it may be your vision, but another pair of eyes and minds never hurt! Working on SWOT analysis in groups helps us gain a new perspective, maybe something you see as a weakness, someone else thinks as a strength and might even persuade you enough to look into that untapped potential!
How to build it the right way:
The only right way is your way.
It may sound unhelpful right now, but you’ll understand, keep reading!
You are creating this analysis for your company or any other personal objectives. You need a clear idea of the things that were and the things that can be, and the only constant between what was, what is and what can / will be is you!
There isn’t a single cookie cutter approach when it comes to SWOT.
Even though you dictate what goes where and if something even goes there, it is quite difficult to know where to start. Here is a way you can:
1. Bring in the constants
This is for when you would like to work in a group. Find the people who care about the project as much as you. Remember if you are the boss to avoid getting people who brownnose you. The whole point is to get a new perspective.
It is important to have representation, so when you do select the people to brainstorm this SWOT analysis with you, make sure you’ve covered every department / background, and once everyone is there and has met, make it a point to ask them if they feel any side is not represented.
As I will preach again, another pair of eyes, is always helpful!
2. Put it all out there
The next step would be to not worry about what goes where and what we can do with the information. Ignore your impulse to clean up the data and just dump it all out there.
Even if things repeat, just create a massive dump of ideas and opinions.
Make sure that each person in the group is not seeing or discussing their ideas with the others yet, all that will do is change a perspective, and make you loose a potentially strong point which that person thought was not worth mentioning because of another perspective.
You have the dump and since there hasn’t been much discussions yet, people are still not very hyper about their ideas and their brain hasn’t gone into overdrive with all the “Oh and this, and oh we could that and that and that!”
Start sorting through, categorising, dividing all those points into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
As you go through them, start making things a priority, for example, a competitor is growing rapidly and has real potential in stealing your customers, that is not something you overlook, keep that as a threat on priority, that means that it is one of the first threats you will look into and find ways to overcome.
Questions you can ask during your SWOT Analysis:
Often it becomes hard to define what goes where because with so many perspectives, it could fit in any one of the four categories.
This confusion is usually with Strengths and Opportunities and Weaknesses and Threats, an easy way to differentiate between them is: Strengths and Weaknesses are internal and Opportunities and Threats are external.
Here are a few other questions you can ask to get a fair idea and be sure that you are putting that point in the right category:
Remember that sometimes these questions may lead to the same answer, and that is okay. These questions don’t cover everything and are just to help you get going. Here is where fresh perspectives help!
- What is your strongest asset?
- What gives you a competitive edge?
- What are you best at in the industry?
- What is your most unique trait?
- Is experience on your side?
- Will your employees come here?
- What makes your product / asset work?
- What are you bad at, but want to be good at? Honestly.
- What do you want to learn?
- Which aspect of your asset do you not know yet?
- Will your employees come here?
- What is the one thing you always get bested at?
- What latest trend will help you?
- Is there any opportunity coming your way?
- Is there anything you can provide your industry with and build on that?
- Does your company’s potential come here?
- Does your competitors’ potential come here?
- If the trend shifted would that affect you badly?
- Will any of your actions affect you badly?
- Are you loosing customers to others?
- Is your industry dying out?
Creating SWOT Slides
Now that you know how to get going, you will be presenting this information soon and it is a good thing to have an idea of how to well, “make pretty” as I like to say, your slides.
Lets get cracking!
Presentations are like storytelling, you need to create a story which is smooth and well connected.
Work on your theme, what you want to put out there with your slides. There are a lot of themes you can choose from various websites out there, but for a SWOT Analysis, the best way to work it to your favour would be to make it similar to your company / your personality and the resultant plan of action based on your analysis.
For example: If you plan to build a workplace culture to help your employees grow, make the presentation look simple, colourful and inviting, while if you are looking at tech advancements, look are more futuristic looking templates.
Sites you can visit for nice free templates and ideas:
Colour and Background
This is extremely important when it comes to presentations, choosing the right colours and background helps defines the tone of your presentations. It can not be too flashy, that would take they attention off of your content and neither can it be void of stimulation through colours, unless you are planning for a snooze – fest!
Notice that even though each slide has a whole new layout and content, they still look a part of the same presentation?
The trick is that they are using the same colours and fonts on repeat. Even the elements keep changing and that is a good thing! No two slides are the same.
Notice only the background and the fonts, they are a constant and they are the foundation of the presentation. We are introduced to them on the first page and they don’t change until the last. Same goes for the colours. Take 2-3 colours that complement each other well and use that to build the elements in your presentations.
You don’t have to go all out with your elements, look at the first template, even a single line can fill up odd looking space and add a sort of definition and finishing to your presentation, it could also become a constant and running theme in your slides along with the background, fonts and colours!
With SWOT Analysis you have so many opportunities to build a nice clean layout and in different ways too! Gone are the times when all you could do is write down bullet points.
Here are a few layouts that I could come up with:
This layout is clean and simple, the colours are up to you and so are the icons, it gives a sense of identity to your points and helps make things easier for you: If you are giving a long, detailed presentation, associating each category with an icon helps makes things easy to identify.
I like this layout because it shows SWOT as more of interconnected steps than as separate categories. Go in this order and it becomes really easy to form a story because you have a set flow. Move from Strengths to Weaknesses to Opportunities and then Threats and then your Plan of Action. You can build it as a story, one phase to another
Here is a video that might help you get the hang of storytelling:
If you are looking to add more content on your slides, this is a layout that could give you more space within one slide. Space is often something that we lack during short presentations and that eats into our time and presentation, here is an article that can help you with your 5 minute presentations: Creating & Delivering A 5 Minute Presentation
In detailed presentations you need to add a little more info and while the above ideas can be a good starting point, when we get to it, there is usually so much to talk about each category individually that it seems fit that we have individual slides.
The following layouts are created to give you an idea of how we can connect the main layout to the individual slides:
Here is one example of how you can connect all the slides to the main one. You can use icons instead of the letters as well, colour code each category, make edits in the layout, because, as I mentioned before, SWOT Analysis, may always have four categories but it is never a cookie cutter mould when it comes to analysis or its presentation.
How do animations work in your presentation?
Animations add life to your presentation.
Notice the above presentation, it doesn’t have a lot of animation (which is important, I’ll come to this point next) but it adds a sort of life to the presentation, it shows engagement, because again, movement will be noticed faster and paid attention to longer when compared to words.
Coming to my point about having a lot of animation, it is important that you keep your animation subtle and short, don’t waste your time waiting for the animation to come in or play out. It should be self fulfilling and act as an enhancer instead of the star performer, that is you.
Another trick you can play with animations is use it to highlight points. Make your points, maybe each SWOT category appear as you explain it so it builds a flow and helps the audience understand better.
Here are a few examples of SWOT Analysis of various companies
A SWOT Analysis helps you understand a lot of things about yourself, your company or whatever it is you are using it for, but if not presented neatly or correctly, the whole point of your analysis might be lost.
On that encouraging note (understand sarcasm people) I wish you the best of luck to create your own SWOT analysis slides or presentation and remember to have fun with all the templates, elements, animations, fonts and what not at your disposal! 🙂