Say you’re all set for your project kickoff meeting. You’ve prepared an agenda, set out a meeting invite, prepped your team with an internal kickoff, and met with the client in advance.
Now you’re standing in front of the project sponsor and your project team, ready to present, but without any visuals for the client to follow along with. Creating a slick, highly polished project kickoff presentation will help you avoid this scenario.
What To Include In Your Project Kickoff Meeting Presentation
First and foremost, make sure your project kickoff meeting PowerPoint presentation (or Google Slides) aligns with your agenda. You don’t want to confuse attendees during the kickoff meeting with slides that don’t correlate with the agenda items.
Here’s a sample outline that your project kickoff meeting presentation can follow, which aligns with our agenda. Make sure your slides contain bullet point versions of what you’ll be talking about. No one wants to read full paragraphs that match exactly what’s being spoken out loud.
This goes beyond just introducing your team’s names and roles. Don’t forget:
- Happy, smiley faces, and an org chart
- A bit about your agency: what you do, and how you do it (make sure it’s all highly relevant; no one wants an agency history lesson)
You definitely want the client’s input on this section. Remember to ask the client for their content so you can add it into your presentation deck prior to the meeting. Trying to switch between presentations or laptops during the meeting eats up time and impacts the flow of the meeting.
Again, you’ll want the client’s input here. Once the client has covered this section in detail, add any other notes or information you found during the new project discovery process that will be relevant to your project team members and key stakeholders. Make sure the following is covered:
- Purpose of the project
- Understanding of the project
- Project goals
- The business problem the project is intended to solve
- Project scope
Ideally, you would have briefly discussed this with the client in the pre-kickoff meeting, so you have an initial shared understanding of what a successful project looks like. Include those notes here in the presentation.
If not, you can include some KPIs, success measurements, or other indicators of project success that you tend to use for that specific project type or industry. Leave this open for discussion with the client, so that their input is valued as well.
Here, cover the standard project management items mentioned in the agenda:
- Project plan
- Project timelines and milestones (Gantt charts are great visuals here!)
- Specific tasks and deliverables (a quick overview of your RACI chart is usually a good idea)
- Risks and dependencies
- Communication plan, communication channels, and teamwork plan
- Change management plan
- Project status reports and tracking project progress
Feel free to use a new slide for each topic, and keep the slides short and sweet.
Any Other Business
This part is a little more open-ended—let the client dictate what else needs to be covered. You can also open it up to your project team if time permits (although it might be worth screening their questions prior to the meeting!)
Cover what needs to be done next on the project team’s end and the client’s end. Clearly list action items, timelines, and when you as the project manager will follow-up. Being clear about tasks and firm on timelines will help you get buy-in from the project team and the client.
Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda Template
Download our project kickoff meeting agenda template and get a head start on your next project kickoff. We've also included a sample so you can see exactly how to fill it out. This is super useful for both creating your own agenda and your own project kickoff meeting presentation.
This template is available through DPM membership, along with a variety of other project kickoff templates.
You’re ready to conduct your project kickoff meeting! Remember, this is a key part of the project initiation process—the kickoff's purpose is to make sure you and your team are crystal clear on what the client wants and to set expectations with the client.
It’s also a good idea to have a final, 10 minute check-in with the project team just before the client kickoff meeting (separate from your internal project kickoff), to make sure everyone is on the same page.
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