How to structure your presentation

How to structure your presentation

As a good presenter you might think you don’t need to spend time on your structure because you can deliver “off the cuff” presentations easily. But consider this…

By preparing the structure of your business presentations you can:

  • Help the audience to know where you and they are going so can just relax and listen
  • Feel real confidence when speaking knowing you’ve covered everything
  • Easily make any small changes during preparation and even last minute ones
  • Know how much time you’ll take and not feel rushed

So let’s take a look at some presentations tips for structuring your business presentations:

  1. Be creative before getting onto the laptop why not use a good old fashioned pen and paper to mind map out your key structure and points. Even with mind mapping software on the computer it can often be better to find another room and just use pen and paper to create the overall outline and think of new ideas.
  2. Spend time on the overall structure your talk. When you are clear of the structure and story, and know where you are going. Then you can take your time and allow yourself, and the audience to enjoy the journey.
  3. On our presentation skills training courses we always share the 4MAT approach (which can even show you How To Do Presentations Well – Even at short notice. It works very well with any type of communication not just business presentations. If you do only have 5 minutes to prepare – this is the essential step.

Once learnt this approach can be used for EVERYTHING you ever do again. (It is also detailed in the book “Taming Your Public Speaking Monkeys”, get your free chapter here).

Essentially it consists of;

  • A short introduction followed by 3 reasons why the audience will want to engage fully and listen to your talk. (Hint: if you can’t think of any, then why do a presentation?)
  • The content covering the facts and information
  • Relevance to the audience in the here and now. This could be exercises, case studies and next steps
  • Question time which is then followed by a brief conclusion.

4.) Ask if there are any questions after the “Relevance” section, but before your motivating couple of sentences at the end. This way you get to close the presentation on your topic and in a motivational manner – not on a random topic that might be brought about by an audience member’s question.

One of our clients Helen Hicks – Head of Customer Service & Marketing said “…. I have used the 4MAT approach several times and I recently had to prepare PowerPoint presentations (3 versions) in collaboration with the sales team and the process was easy, quick and painless. It helped that we were all on the same wavelength.”

If you liked these few tips you might find our other blogs interesting too:

  • Preparing For Business Presentations: Preparation Tips
  • Preparing For Business Presentations – Why Preparation Can Save You
  • How To Do Presentations Well – Even at short notice

If you would like to learn how to master these and other business presentation skills then take a look at our presentation CPD accredited coursetraining courses or contact us today to talk through any questions you may have.

We work with companies (and individuals) that want to see fast results and a step-change in their teams’ presentation skills.

We help marketing, sales and executive teams with our award-winning approach so that they can communicate more effectively.

Posted by Dee Clayton on 22 Mar 2013

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