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How to Give A Successful Product Roadmap Presentation

September 22, 2015

5 minute read

UPDATE: Grab this product roadmap presentation template to help you prepare for your next meeting!

Giving a product presentation to your team and key stakeholders isn’t easy. As the product manager, you have to diplomatically convince an entire room of probably very opinionated people that they should listen to you.
That’s why it’s important for you to be able to give a persuasive product presentation, in which you both show your understanding of the problems that need to be solved while still upholding the product vision.
Scared yet?
While I can’t magically take away your nerves with a few tips (believe me, I wish it were that easy!) I can give you some pointers on how to give a solid product roadmap presentation.

Set expectations ahead of your meeting

A lot has been said about how to hold a productive meeting, but the folks at 37Signals have boiled it down to what matters:

  • Keep it short. No, shorter than that. And use a timer to enforce the time limit.
  • Have an agenda.
  • Invite as few people as possible.

To keep this meeting short and to the point, state the focus and desired outcomes of your meeting before you have it. You might want to send out a quick email ahead of the meeting with these details or just write it down as part of your calendar invite.

If you’re open to collecting suggestions from attendees for the meeting, then set a deadline for that. Otherwise, keep this meeting about the product roadmap presentation, not about the issues other people are having.

Make it clear what you will be presenting, what is expected of them and what they can expect from you. This way, you control your meeting from the start. It also shields you from the #1 meeting killer: tangents.

Be confident, don’t apologize for what you don’t know

“This is my meeting. This is my product.”
Hey, guess what? If you’re doubting yourself, no one needs to know. Keep eye contact, speak calmly and pause between sentences for a little dramatic effect. You don’t need to rush this.

Remember that you are in control!

More importantly, don’t apologize for what you don’t know or for holes in your understanding of your product. Your role as a product manager doesn’t require you to know everything. It’s as much your job to absorb new ideas as it is to provide answers, so consider this an advantage rather than a weakness.

So if you learn something new, take it for what it is: useful feedback.

Focus on problems, not features

During a product roadmap presentation, you are there to give the product vision, direction, and most importantly, to talk about solving problems.

Related: The Only Product Vision Template You’ll Ever Need

Consider starting your meeting off with a quick run-through of your product canvas, so you can remind your audience of those key details.

Then switch over to your product roadmap more detailed look at your product strategy.

A product roadmap makes it easy to communicate your high-level priorities without losing your audience. Here’s what you can convey using color-coded cards and tags, which helps your colleagues follow along with the product strategy you’re presenting:

A lean, theme-based roadmap example and product roadmap presentation

Related: How To Build A Product Roadmap Everyone Understands

A product roadmap presentation also helps you communicate business goals and high-level objectives. Use it as your opportunity to establish user problems and the bigger picture before jumping into a discussion around features:

  • Why have we prioritized certain areas over others?
  • Which objectives do we expect these initiatives help us meet?
  • What problems need to be urgently solved?

As you drill down further into the details of each card, you can move into discussing specific features. Features should come last in your product presentation because everyone has an opinion on what features should be built and what they should look like.

But since you’ve framed your presentation around a set of problems to be solved, you can really narrow down the conversation around features to a manageable scope.

Designate a channel for continuing to the discussion

Just because you give a product roadmap presentation doesn’t mean it’s all set in stone. Let your team, clients, and stakeholders to give feedback and suggest improvements they want to see. Again, you’re not an expert.

The most effective product teams keep the conversation open to everyone at the company. You can encourage this kind of culture by designating a single channel for continuing the discussion. This is all valuable stuff – your colleagues have valuable insights that you will want to review and respond to and file away.

If your product presentation is more of a proposal, then give your colleagues a chance to vote and add comments to the ideas you would like to move forward with. If you’re a ProdPad user, you can even collect votes via emoji.

Designate a channel for continuing the discussion on product roadmap presentation

End with a ‘Thank you’

Thank everyone for attending, but be sure to not rush people out the door. Take the time to answer questions, and make yourself available to your team members who still have questions or feedback they want to discuss with you.

After all, being responsive to your team is all part of being a good product manager.

Want more? Grab this product roadmap presentation template

Build your presentation-ready product roadmap in just minutes. Try ProdPad free.

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