Topic of the Month:Structuring a Successful Presentation
Structuring an effective presentation takes time and energy. You can’t escape that fact. But the good news is that a structural template that gives you a step-by-step action plan allows you to develop a winning presentation faster, easier and with less anxiety and frustration.
While there are many ways to craft a presentation, the process I outline here will be successful for almost every type of presentation you’ll want to give.
6 Steps To Structure Your Presentation
1. Define your point of view on the subject. This serves as a starting point but does not define your content.
2. Define the audience’s point of view on the subject. They most likely think about the subject differently than you do. Understanding their point of view is crucial to structuring your content.
3. Clarify the goals of your presentation:
What is the situation now?
What are the consequences of that situation?
What is the solution needed to change the situation?
4. Write down the action steps you need the audience to take to change the situation. Understanding your goals and the action steps needed to fulfill those goals gives you the framework you need to explain to your audience how to get from where they are to where you want them to be.
5. Clarify: the current state from the audience’s point of view; why that needs to change; and what your solution is.
6. Create the body of the content:
The Opening: Assemble a short summary of the current state, why that needs to change, and what your solution is.
The Body: Develop the body of the presentation in three sections:
(1) the current state
(2) the consequences of the current state
(3) your solution to move your audience from one place to another
The Closing: Your call to action
The process above is an easy way to create the presentation structure you need to move your audience to action. But, your content also has to be interesting!
In every section you need to have stories, examples, visuals, or exercises to reinforce the points you are making. People learn from examples and stories. The more your examples, stories, exercises, or visuals relate to your topic, the more reinforcement the audience gets.
Your success depends on your audience successfully completing your call to action. How you make them think and feel as you make your presentation – going step by step through your structure – is critical to your success.
Ovson’s course “Building Content, Gaining Commitment” takes you through the content selection and structure process in detail, letting you practice and test the process for your next presentation. Make sure your presentation’s structure addresses the needs of your audience so they want to take action and do business with you!