Presentation Fails and How to Fix Them #7: Structure

Hello. Have a look at this video, also about presentation structure!

One aspect of bad communication that frustrates me SO MUCH is a confused audience. For me, talking ‘blind’ with no context or structure lacks common sense, empathy and respect, which I believe are pretty important if you’re going to give an effective presentation. You need some top notch material of course, but without a decent structure it’s going to fall apart. I suggest that you:

1. Start off by letting them know what’s going to happen (10 seconds max, though).
2. Let them know where they are a couple of times as you progress.
3. ‘Signpost’ the end.

A good story (see ‘Presentation Fails #6’) and objective (‘Presentation Fails #4’) do most of this work for you; here’s a structure you can use:

1. Initial situation
2. Disaster
3. Bold, new action
4. Solution

That may not seem to apply to your material. If you’re really stuck, you could use something as simple as this:

1. Where we were
2. What we did
3. Where we are now

Or this:

1. Here’s an amazing thing we should do
2. Here’s how we’ll do it
3. Call-to-action re: what you need to do now to achieve the amazing thing

Or even:

1. Superb idea
2. Why it’s superb
3. Summing up of points 1 and 2

You can see how those combine e.g. Where we were/Initial situation, or How/Why, or Solution/Call-to-action.

Satisfying Conclusion

Good communication lets the audience know where they are at any given time and concludes in a satisfying way.

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Presentation Fails and How to Fix Them #4: Objective

Presentation Fails and How to Fix Them #6: Stories

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