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3 Steps for Effectively Structuring your Presentation

Have you ever had to prepare an important presentation, but you were not sure where to start?  Let me help you with that. Below is some helpful guidance on preparing your talk section by section. 

Autor: Mark Heather (MHC Business Language Training)

 

The Opening

How do most presentations begin? „Hello, my name is.., I am …, today I will present.., I will start by..“. Do you notice a pattern? This opening is all about the presenter and nothing about the audience. It is also predictable and formulaic and will struggle to excite anyone, not least the presenter.

Instead, start with a bang to capture your audience’s attention. What opportunity or problem is facing the company? Tell an anecdote or say a famous quote. Spark interest with something original and fresh.

Then focus on the audience. Why is your talk important? How does this benefit them? Now your audience is fully engaged and feels included. It is now time to introduce yourself or your team to establish trust. Finally, set out your agenda and say how long your talk to last.

The Body

After your brilliant opening, you don’t want to lose any of the energy you skillfully built. Announce your key message right away. What is the takeaway? The big idea? Making bold statements early on adds a sense of urgency that propels your talk forward.

You are on a roll, but you must sustain this momentum. How? By ensuring your audience learns and feels something by appealing to both their intellect and emotions. In short, it wins hearts and minds creating tension much like in a memorable movie or novel.

The Conclusion

The first rule about ending your talk is to avoid introducing anything new. Pause, take a breath and give your audience a moment to calmly reflect on what they have learned (and felt). Then, use plain language for summarising the key points you want people to remember.

Now raise the energy again because you want to finish on a high. Become more animated, increase the volume and show your passion. What is your call to action? Tell your audience what they need to do next and leave them with a feeling that reflects the whole presentation.

Following this structure will ensure your talk will live long in the audience’s memory. Isn’t that the goal of every presentation?


Guest-Autor

Mark Heather is owner and CEO at MHC Business Language Training, an institute based in Vienna and Bratislava. He is a communication and presentation skills trainer with an educational background in psychology and management. He gives courses and webinars to companies in Austria, the Diplomatic Academy and has previously lectured at the FH Wien. mark.heather@mhc-training.com I www.mhc-training.com


 

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