How to write a problem statement slide for PowerPoint

Access step-by-step guidance and ready-to-use templates, helping you create an impactful problem statement PowerPoint template.

By 

Bharti Jain

Building presentations

man thinking on how to write a problem statement slide for PowerPoint ppt

A well-crafted problem statement slide serves as the foundation of a compelling PowerPoint presentation. It sets the stage for your narrative, guiding your audience through a coherent story. This slide captures the essence of your presentation by highlighting the problem, its impact, and potential solutions. In this short article, we'll look into crafting an impactful problem statement slide, complete with example templates, to ensure your next presentation resonates effectively.

What is a problem statement?

A problem statement slide is a concise and precise way to outline the key challenge or issue your presentation seeks to address. It's the backbone of your presentation, guiding the narrative and giving the audience a clear understanding of the problem at hand. This slide plays a critical role in establishing a common ground with your audience, helping them recognize the existence and significance of the problem. Furthermore, it garners support from decision-makers, team members, or funding bodies by presenting a compelling case for why the problem needs attention and resources.

A good problem statement slide should:

  1. Provide a clear explanation: Offer a concise and unambiguous description of the specific issue at hand.
  2. Explain the significance: Highlight why the problem is critical and demands immediate attention.
  3. Bridge the gap: Illustrate the discrepancy between the current state and the desired state, underscoring the need for resolution.

Importance of a problem statement slide

An effective problem statement slide plays a critical role in guiding the narrative of your presentation, acting as an anchor that establishes clarity and direction. By clearly defining the issue at hand, it enables the audience to follow along seamlessly, laying the groundwork for meaningful discussion and solutions. Here's how a problem statement slide contributes to the overall success of a presentation:

  • Clarity: It establishes the context, helping the audience understand the problem's relevance and ensuring they stay engaged. This clarity also reduces ambiguity, making the presentation's narrative more effective.
  • Focus: It sets the stage, guiding the presentation's flow and preventing it from deviating from its intended path. This focus ensures that the discussion moves logically towards addressing the issue.
  • Impact: A well-crafted problem statement creates a lasting impression, making the presentation more memorable. It also garners support from decision-makers, team members, or funding bodies by presenting a compelling case for why the problem needs attention and resources.

Problem statement elements

Identifying the problem statement

Provide a concise overview of the problem. Clearly define the problem statement, what the issue is, who it affects, and why it matters. For example:

  • Issue: Outline the primary challenge or deficiency.
  • Who it affects: Identify the target audience or group impacted.
  • Importance: Explain why addressing this problem is crucial.

Supporting data

Use data points and statistics to support your problem statement. For example:

  • Statistics: Cite relevant statistics that highlight the severity or prevalence of the problem.
  • Case studies: Share specific examples or case studies that illustrate the problem in real-world contexts.

Impact

Explain the broader impact of the problem:

  • Consequences: Detail the potential negative outcomes if the problem is not addressed.
  • Opportunities: Highlight opportunities for improvement or innovation that can arise from solving the issue.

Solution pathway

Briefly introduce the potential solutions or approaches to tackling the problem:

  • Strategies: Outline the key strategies or methods that will be explored later in the presentation.
  • Goals: Define the main goals to achieve by addressing the problem

How to present a problem statement and solution? Step-by-step guide

Research

Stages in this process starts by thoroughly investigating the problem. Gather relevant data, case studies, and expert insights to understand the issue comprehensively. This research helps in identifying the problem's root causes, its significance, and the potential impact it has on different stakeholders. By building a solid foundation of information, you can create a problem statement that is accurate and compelling, laying the groundwork for meaningful solutions.

Draft the statement

Using the information gathered, write a concise problem statement. Ensure it covers all the key components, including a clear description, supporting data, impact, and solution pathway.

Design the slide

With the problem statement drafted, focus on designing a visually appealing and informative slide:

  • Visual appeal: Choose a clear, easy-to-read font and layout, ensuring the slide is engaging without being overly complex.
  • Data visualization: Represent supporting data visually, using charts, graphs, or infographics to enhance understanding.
  • Consistency: Maintain consistency in design, font, and color scheme with the rest of the presentation to ensure a cohesive look and feel.

Rehearse and refine

Review the slide multiple times, making necessary adjustments:

  • Clarity: Ensure the statement is clear, concise, and free from jargon or unnecessary complexity. This clarity helps the audience grasp the problem quickly.
  • Flow: Check that the slide flows smoothly into subsequent slides, maintaining coherence throughout the presentation.
  • Audience feedback: Seek feedback from peers or mentors to refine the slide further, ensuring it resonates effectively with the intended audience.

Mistakes to be avoided while writing a problem statement pitch deck

1. Being vague or too broad in defining the problem

A vague or broad problem statement can undermine the success of your presentation. A vague statement lacks clear insights, leaving the audience unsure of the issue's significance, while a broad problem statement dilutes the effectiveness of the proposed solution by attempting to tackle multiple issues at once.

To ensure your problem statement is clear and impactful, focus on quantifiable data and narrow the scope to a single, well-defined issue. This approach helps in crafting solutions that can be effectively measured and evaluated.

Example:

Vague problem statement: The company's marketing strategies need to be more effective. We should increase customer engagement, boost sales, and improve brand recognition.

Improved problem statement: The company's online engagement rate has dropped by 25% in the past year, leading to a decrease in sales by 15%. We need to implement a targeted digital marketing campaign to increase engagement by 10% and sales by 8% over the next quarter.

By concentrating on a single, specific issue with measurable goals, your problem statement provides clarity and direction, ensuring the solutions presented are both actionable and impactful.

2. Overlooking root cause

To effectively resolve a problem, it's crucial to start by thoroughly analyzing its foundational elements. This approach provides a comprehensive understanding of the issue and its underlying causes, enabling the development of meaningful solutions. Failure to identify the root cause can lead to a superficial or ineffective problem statement, resulting in solutions that miss the mark and don't address the core issue.

Here's a fictitious template for clarity

In our fictional problem statement, several factors contribute to the escalating healthcare expenses of a hypothetical organization such as;

  1. The national healthcare cost inflation.
  2. The impact of COVID-19.
  3. The health status of the employees
  4. The absence of fitness programs for employees.

While the initial causes may be external and outside of the organization's direct control, the remaining factors can be tackled internally. By focusing on these internal issues, the organization can work to mitigate its corporate healthcare costs effectively.

3. Addressing symptoms vs. root causes

Imagine breaking your arm and relying solely on painkillers to cope with the discomfort. While this might provide immediate relief, it doesn’t address the root cause – the broken bone. For true healing, you need to visit a doctor and get a cast, allowing the bone to mend properly.

In a corporate setting, failing to tackle the underlying problem can lead to recurring challenges and inefficient resource allocation.

In our example, XYZ healthcare might opt for a new insurance partner offering better rates, temporarily reducing healthcare costs. However, a more comprehensive and sustainable solution involves implementing wellness programs and prioritizing employee health, addressing the root cause and reducing healthcare expenses in the long term.

4. Using biased or subjective language

Using biased or subjective language can distort the reality of a problem, leading to a skewed and inaccurate representation. This underlines the importance of maintaining objectivity in a problem statement, ensuring that it accurately reflects the facts and reality of the issue at hand.

Examples of problem and solution templates

Problem-solving template 1: The simple structure

  1. Title: State the problem clearly.
  2. Description: Provide a brief overview of the problem, including who it affects and its significance.
  3. Data: Include a relevant statistic or case study.
  4. Impact: Explain the consequences and opportunities.
  5. Solution pathway: Introduce potential strategies.

Example of a simple structure PPT + Google slides

  1. Title: High Employee Turnover
  2. Description: Employee turnover at our company has increased by 20% in the last year, affecting our team's stability and overall productivity. This impacts the organization's ability to meet targets, retain institutional knowledge, and sustain consistent growth.
  3. Data: According to HR records, turnover rates in key departments such as Sales and Marketing have risen significantly, with the Sales department experiencing a 25% turnover increase and Marketing seeing a 30% increase over the past 12 months.
  4. Impact: The high turnover has led to delayed project timelines, increased recruitment and training costs, and decreased morale among remaining employees. It also limits the company's ability to deliver consistent results to clients, affecting client satisfaction and long-term profitability.
  5. Solution pathway: To address this, we propose implementing retention strategies such as enhanced employee benefits, professional development programs, and regular feedback mechanisms. These measures aim to reduce turnover rates, improve team stability, and increase overall productivity.

Problem statement template 2: The data-driven approach

  1. Title: Introduce the problem.
  2. Data visualization: Include a chart or graph to represent key statistics.
  3. Description: Provide additional context and analysis of the data.
  4. Impact: Discuss the broader implications.
  5. Solution pathway: Briefly outline solutions.

Example of data-driven approach PPT + Google slides

  1. Title: Rising Healthcare Costs in Our Organization
  2. Data visualization: A bar chart showing the average healthcare costs per employee over the past three years, demonstrating a steady increase from $3,000 in 2021 to $4,500 in 2023.
  3. Description: The chart illustrates a 50% increase in healthcare costs per employee over a three-year period. This rising trend poses a significant challenge to the organization's financial stability and impacts overall profitability.
  4. Impact: The increase in healthcare costs not only reduces profitability but also affects employee morale, as resources are diverted away from other initiatives, such as wellness programs or salary raises. This trend could lead to decreased employee satisfaction and retention over time.
  5. Solution pathway: To address this issue, we propose implementing a comprehensive wellness program aimed at improving employee health and reducing healthcare claims. Additionally, negotiating with insurance providers for better rates and reviewing internal processes to cut administrative costs can help control overall healthcare expenses.

Problem statement template 3: The narrative style

  1. Title: Pose the problem as a question.
  2. Story: Tell a brief narrative that illustrates the problem in a real-world context.
  3. Data: Support the story with statistics or case studies.
  4. Impact: Explore the potential consequences.
  5. Solution pathway: Suggest initial solutions.

Example of narrative style PPT + Google slides

  • Title: Why are Healthcare Costs Rising for our Organization
  • Story: Over the past year, our organization's healthcare expenses have seen a significant increase. Jane, a 45-year-old employee with our company for over a decade, recently experienced a serious health issue requiring extensive treatment. This treatment, coupled with ongoing medical costs for other employees, has driven up our overall healthcare expenses. Rising healthcare costs have not only impacted Jane and her colleagues but also strained the company's financial resources.
  • Data:
    • Our organization's average healthcare claim cost per employee has increased by 50%, from $3,136.20 in 2021 to $4,704.30 in 2022.
    • Employee absenteeism due to health-related issues has risen by 20% over the past year, leading to a noticeable decrease in productivity.
  • Impact: These rising costs are affecting both our employees and our organization:
    • Employees: Increased healthcare costs place a financial burden on our workforce, reducing their disposable income and impacting morale.
    • Organization: Higher healthcare costs strain the company's budget, limiting funds available for other initiatives, and decreased productivity further hampers growth.
  • Solution pathway: To address this issue, we propose
    • Wellness program: Introducing a comprehensive wellness program to encourage healthy lifestyles, reducing the risk of health-related issues and claims.
    • Insurance negotiations: Negotiating with our insurance provider to secure more favorable rates and reduce overall costs.
    • Productivity initiatives: Implementing programs to support employees in managing health-related absenteeism, boosting productivity and morale.

Create the best problem statement PPT with Prezent

When crafting a compelling problem statement presentation slide, utilizing the right tools can make all the difference. Prezent offers a comprehensive solution, streamlining the process of creating impactful PowerPoint presentations. Here’s how Prezent can help you design the best problem statement slide:

Slide library: Access 35K+ slides in your company's brand-approved designs

Prezent’s Slide Library offers a diverse collection of slide templates, allowing you to choose designs that match your presentation's style. From clean, professional layouts to more detailed, data-driven designs, the Slide Library provides ample options including multiple problem statements. These powerpoint templates ensure your problem statement slide is visually appealing, consistent, and integrates seamlessly with the rest of the presentation.

Get editable problem solving ppt template

Best practice library: Access 10K+ curated problem-solving slides from across the globe

The Best Practice Library offers broad access to high-quality presentation materials curated by experts, leveling the playing field for all users, including those outside the realm of management consultants. These resources cover a diverse range of roles and functions, offering an invaluable head start for your projects. Whether you're addressing a complex business problem or seeking to streamline a strategy presentation, these ready-to-use slides save time and money, ensuring your presentations are professional and effective.

Overnight presentation service: Receive designer-quality PowerPoint presentations

For time-sensitive presentations, Prezent offers the Overnight Presentations feature, allowing you to generate high-quality slides quickly. This service ensures that even under tight deadlines, you can produce impactful problem statement slides that maintain clarity, consistency, and visual appeal. Submit your request by 5:30PM (PST), include any draft files or instructions you may have and receive a highly professional pitch deck by the next business day (9:30AM PST)

In conclusion, Prezent offers a comprehensive suite of tools that streamline the process of creating problem statement slides. From automation and narrative structuring to templates and examples, Prezent provides everything needed to design a successful and impactful presentation. Checkout all the above features and more with a 14-day free trial. Schedule a demo, and speak to us to reserve 7 days extra free trial.

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