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How to Structure a PowerPoint Presentation
Think of a movie that has breathtaking special effects but no storyline. Does it have any chances of becoming a blockbuster? Of course not. The same is true with a PowerPoint presentation. No matter how beautiful the visuals of your slide deck are, it will never be a success if it doesn’t follow a logically sound structure.
In this post, we’ll cover the standard structure of a PowerPoint presentation – what sections it should include – and provide some practical tips on how to arrange the slides and implement these ideas technically. Use these practical guidelines to organize your slides in a clear and simple way and save time on their development. But first, let’s see why your PPT deck needs to be guided by a structure.
Why Is Structuring a Presentation Important?
A sound deck structure is crucial for audience understanding. When the information is presented logically, it’s much easier for a viewer to get the message. The research supports this idea – it shows that people are 40% more likely to retain structured information than unstructured information.
If you’re going to accompany your slideshow with an oral presentation, a good structure is also important for you as a speaker. It will help you feel confident, stay on topic, and avoid any awkward silences, so you’re more likely to win your audience over.
What Is the Typical Presentation Structure?
A good presentation always has a story to tell and, like any narration, it consists of three basic parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Let’s look at each part in greater detail with some examples.
The introduction sets the tone for the entire presentation and explains what the audience will come away with after viewing it. Here are the slides you may need to add in the intro:
This is the main part of your presentation, which should keep the promises you made in the introduction. This is where you explain your topic and present all your information.
Depending on the nature of your presentation, divide it into segments/points. Arrange your points in a logical order and then provide information to support each of them. There are many different ways to organize your key points, for example:
- Number your points according to their priority (1, 2, 3, …)
- Place the points in a time frame (past, present, future)
- Use narration (tell a story from beginning to end)
- Present the points with a problem-solution dynamic (state a problem, describe its impact, offer ways to solve the issue)
A good conclusion summarizes the key points you made or highlights what the audience should have learned. It clarifies the general purpose of your presentation and reinforces the reason for viewing it. Here are the slides you may want to include:
- Summary. List what goals your audience have achieved, what knowledge they got, and how this information can help them in the future.
- Conclusion. Here you can thank your audience for viewing the presentation.
Tips for Structuring a Presentation in PPT
Now that you know which parts a typical presentation should consist of, let’s see how to structure it in PowerPoint.
Watch this video tutorial or continue reading the article.
1. Combine slides into sections
When working with a large PowerPoint presentation (PPT), you can create sections that can be collapsed and expanded. This will help you keep slides organized and facilitate navigation in editing mode. To do that, follow these steps:
- To shift a section, right-click on its name and use the Move Section Up and Move Section Down options.
- To collapse or expand a certain section, click on the collapse icon to the left of the section name. You can also minimize and maximize all sections at once by right-clicking on the section name and choosing Collapse All or Expand All .
As well, you can access these settings by choosing Slide Sorter under the VIEW tab.
This kind of segmentation is a great way to overview the logical flow of your slides all at once and see if there are any changes required. For example, you may decide to break one slide into two or three, or the other way around.
2. Use the Outline View
One other way to structure a PowerPoint presentation in the editing mode is to use Outline View . You can choose it from the VIEW tab.
This view doesn’t display sections, but it shows the title and main text of each slide, which can give you a quick overview of the presentation contents. Here you can go through the entire text and edit it instantly. You can also work with text (on the left) and slides (on the right) simultaneously, as the latter is shown on the right side of your screen.
Note that, to be displayed in an outline, text needs to be typed in a text placeholder, not a text box . A text placeholder is a box with the words “Click to add text” or “Click to add title”, and it appears when you choose a standard layout.
You can also use Outline View to promote bullet text to titles and the other way around. To do that, right-click on a relevant title or text and select the Promote or Demote options.
Be attentive about demoting a title, as this will delete the original slide and move its title and text to the adjacent slide.
PowerPoint only allows users to promote and demote text, not entire slides. Therefore, there’s no possibility to change the hierarchical order of slides.
3. Create a table of contents
All the aforementioned tips help you organize a presentation when formatting it. However, it’s crucial that your viewers can easily navigate through the presentation too. One sure way to provide them with this opportunity is to create an interactive and structured table of contents.
Though there’s no native automatic outline in PowerPoint, it can be created manually:
- Press Ctrl+A to select all the names, and Ctrl+C to copy them.
- Then Press Ctrl+V to paste the copied titles on the desired slide. In case there are too many titles and they don’t fit onto a single page, you can divide the table of contents into two columns or place it on two slides.
You’ll need to repeat this procedure to link all the chapters to corresponding slides. For more information, read this step-by-step guide on how to add a hyperlink in PowerPoint .
Now all the chapters can be accessed from a single table of contents, which is very convenient. However, you will also need to link them back to that unifying page. You can do this by inserting an Action Button on every slide of your presentation in Slide Master mode:
Now there is a single page from which all the other pages can be easily accessed. As well, it’s possible to go back to the table of contents at any time with the intuitive Home button.
Depending on the size of your presentation, the time it takes to create an interactive outline may vary, as you will need to add hyperlinks to every chapter manually. Be aware that if you rename a slide or simply delete it, these changes will not be automatically registered in the table of contents. For example, if you delete a slide, its title will still be displayed in the table of contents, but clicking on it won’t lead the viewer to another point in the presentation.
This is what our sample presentation looks like:
A Better Way to Structure a Presentation
Creating a table of contents manually might be fine for a small presentation, but if you have 122 slides, it would require too much time and energy to do so. That’s why, instead of manually creating a table of contents, we took advantage of iSpring Suite and simply enabled the automatic outline.
Fully-stocked eLearning authoring toolkit for PowerPoint. No training required to start!
Note: iSpring Suite turns slides into HTML5 format, so your audience can view them online, right in their browsers.
As you can see, the new presentation has a pop-up outline and a navigation panel, which make it possible to move to any slide at any time without leaving the slide show mode.
How to set up navigation
To create navigation in your presentation, follow these simple steps:
- Get a free trial of iSpring Suite.
- When you’ve configured the Slide Properties settings, click on Save & Close in the upper-left corner.
How to configure an outline
Whereas PowerPoint requires the outline to be designed manually, iSpring Suite has already prepared it for you. At the same time, you don’t have to stick with the standard outline template, as you can easily customize the player’s final look and feel:
We recommend leaving Enable Search marked, as this will allow viewers to search for any content at any time, including the texts on the slides. This is especially useful for large presentations with a lot of text.
If you have previously arranged slides into multiple levels in the Slide Properties, then leave Multilevel outline marked. That way, the outline will display the nesting structure of the presentation, facilitating navigation. You can learn more about the other outline options here .
- When you have finished configuring the player, click on Apply & Close in the upper-left corner.
- Now you can publish your enhanced presentation either to HTML5, to make it easily accessible via browser on any device, or MP4 video format. If you’re going to upload your presentation to an LMS, you can publish it to any eLearning format: SCORM, AICC, Tin Can, or cmi5.
While a standard PowerPoint slideshow is straightforward and limited, iSpring Suite saves viewers from having to follow a strict slide order. An interactive and searchable outline allows non-linear navigation, where any information can be accessed at any time at a glance.
Also read : → How to Convert PowerPoint to MP4 Video
Also read : → How To Record Presentations With Audio
iSpring Suite comes with Content Library , which provides a great collection of presentation templates and allows you to create professional-looking presentations in a matter of minutes. Each template includes basic course elements: a title slide, a table of contents, chapters, a timeline, and info slides. Organize them in the order you prefer, populate them with your texts and images, and your presentation is ready to go.
We hope this article will help you develop an ideal structure for your PowerPoint presentation and do this quickly and easily.
Do you have any other insights on how to simplify PowerPoint slide design? Please share them in the comment section. We’d like to hear from you.
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The Presenter's Guide to Nailing Your Next PowerPoint
Updated: July 27, 2022
Published: February 11, 2021
Have a presentation coming up that involves PowerPoint slides? Creating the content and design for a new presentation can be a daunting task.
Between outlining, deciding on a design, filling it out, and finalizing the details, it's not uncommon for a few questions to pop up.
Where's the best place to start? Are some steps better to take before others? How can you make sure you aren't missing anything? And how on earth do you master those essential -- yet slightly technical -- design tricks that can take a presentation from good to great?
We're here to make the process a little easier for you. We've talked to some of the best presenters at HubSpot and have included their tips throughout this blog.
With the following tips in your arsenal, you'll be able to navigate PowerPoint much more fluidly and give a standout presentation that'll leave your audience wanting more.
How to Structure a Powerpoint Presentation
1. decide on a working title and the main takeaways..
Beyond picking a topic, your first step should be coming up with a working title for your presentation. A working title is more specific than a topic: Think "How the Right Nutrition Can Strengthen Your Kids' Bones" instead of "Raising Healthy Kids." Keep in mind that a compelling presentation title is much like a compelling blog post title : short, accurate, and valuable.
Once you've got your working title, make a list of the main takeaways of your presentation to begin to give it some structure. This'll help you stay focused when writing your outline and elaborating on those sections.
Aja Frost, the Head of English SEO at HubSpot, says, "I try to structure my presentations around a story. Not only does this make the presentation more memorable and engaging, it's also easier to figure out which information is relevant."
To do this, Frost says to pick a protagonist. She adds, "It might be your team, your audience, your customer.... Then, identify the rising action, problem, climax, and falling action. It's just like grade school. This structure works whether you're talking about an accomplishment, a challenge, a big question—anything, really."
2. Create a short text outline with your audience in mind.
Once you have your main takeaways and your story in mind, it's time to begin outlining the content of your presentation in more detail, while keeping your specific audience in mind. A presentation on any topic should sound different if you're speaking to an audience of college students versus an audience of investors, for example. The tone, words, design, and delivery of your presentation should all cater to your specific audience for maximum impact.
Ask yourself: What do your audience members already know? What new information can you teach them? What are they expecting from your presentation? What's going to be interesting to them? What will keep them focused and engaged? Then, make choices during every stage of the presentation process accordingly.
Justin Champion, a content professor at HubSpot, says, "Before diving into a presentation, I create an outline of how it'll flow. I do this by creating an intro (what they're going to learn), the body (what they're learning), and finish with a conclusion (recap what they just learned) I use bullet point slide a lot for talking points I can expand on. Pro tip: use animations to guide the story. For example, instead of showing all the bullets at once, click through to each via animation."
3. Formulate your content as a narrative, if possible.
This may not apply for more formal presentation that have rigid structures (like performance reports), but for presentations that have more flexibility, presenting your content as a narrative can be much more compelling.
Stories appeal to people's emotional side in ways that information, facts, and figures can't. They help you relate to your audience -- and in turn, they'll make you and your message far more interesting to your audience. They also help make complicated concepts more easily understandable to your audience, who may not share the same experience level or work in the same industry.
Kyle Jepson, a senior professor at HubSpot, says, "Since I’m an educator, I always structure my presentations around the learning outcomes I want to achieve. If there are three things I want my listeners to understand at the end of the presentation, I’ll have three sections. Whenever possible, I put some sort of interactive element at the end of each section to assess their understanding. In a virtual event, this might be a poll or a question for people to respond to in the chat. In an in-person setting, workshop activities or small-group discussions work well."
4. Collect data and examples.
While sweeping statements can help you set the stage, supporting those statements with evidence will make your argument more interesting and credible. Data and examples give your argument content, and people will understand what you're saying much better.
But don't just slap random stats on your slides and expect to "wow" your audience. Be sure your data comes from a reputable source and that you're presenting it in a way that's easy to understand, like through accurate charts and graphs.
Finally, don't overwhelm your audience with too much data. According to psychologist George Miller , we can only remember approximately five to nine bits of information in our short-term memory at any given time. Keep that in mind as you collect your evidence.
5. Engage with your audience.
During a presentation, it's important to connect with your audience. But how can you do that when you're just talking at them?
Anni Kim, an INBOUND professor at HubSpot, says, "Staying engaged during a virtual presentation is tough, so provide plenty of opportunities for participation. You should add a slide at the beginning that points out how people can take advantage of the chat and ask questions throughout the presentation."
Once you've set the expectations, keep up on the chat and answer questions as they arise.
Now that you have a structure in mind, you'll start to write the content. Below, we'll give tips for how to start and end your presentation.
How to Start a Powerpoint Presentation
1. start with a story..
Not to be repetitive, but storytelling is one of the best ways to capture your audience's attention in general. Presentations are no different. Starting with a hook is a great way to get your audience invested in your content.
Champion says, "The best way to start a presentation is with an interesting story that connects to the content. A great way to keep you audience engaged is to make the content interesting."
2. Be yourself.
On the other hand, while you want to tell a story, you also want your audience to connect with you as the presenter.
Jepson says, "During the introduction, I think one of the most important things to do is to set expectations for your style as a presenter. You don't always need to start with a joke or a story. Start out by being you, and then keep being you for as long as you’re on stage."
3. Include surprising or unusual information at the beginning.
While you'll most likely use a standard approach with session title, presenter's bio, and an agenda, you don't want your audience to get bored.
Jepson adds "I think the standard approach (session title, presenter’s bio, agenda) is pretty effective except that it’s usually super boring. I try to include the standard information but sprinkle in things that are surprising or unusual."
Some examples include:
- Adding a photo of your family on the About Me slide. "A lot of presenters put a picture of themselves on their About Me slide. But I think that’s silly because I’m standing right there," Jepson says. "If people don’t know what I look like, they will by the end of the presentation! So I’ve started putting a picture of my wife and kids on that slide and saying something sweet or silly about that."
- Asking people to use their phones. "A lot of in-person presentations start with a request to silence cell phones," Jepson comments. "Sometimes I’ll do the opposite and say something like, 'Before we get started, I want you all to pull out your phones. You probably think I’m going to ask you to silence them. But I’m not. I’m here from HubSpot, and I’m here to help you however I can. So if there’s anyone from your team who might have questions or need help from a HubSpotter, I want you to send them a message and tell them to send their questions to you before we get to the Q&A section of presentation. To give you time to do this, I’m going to send a text to my wife to let her know I made it here safely.' And then I’ll literally pull out my phone and send a text message on stage."
Now that you've structured your post and have ironed out the details of your introduction, it's time to work on the end of the presentation.
How to End a Powerpoint Presentation
1. recap what the audience has learned..
First and foremost, the end of your presentation should tie everything together.
Champion adds, "Recap what they just learned, explain next steps based on learnings, and offer any associated resources to continue learning."
This will help people remember the content and give them resources to learn more or reach out if they have questions.
Another great way to end a presentation is with a Q&A.
Jepson remarks, "I always end with Q&A. The only tricky thing about that is knowing how to cut it off if you’re getting more questions than you have time to answer or if you aren’t getting any questions at all. In both of those situations, I do essentially the same: I cut it off and tell people to come talk to me individually."
For in-person meetings, Jepson will tell the audience to come find him after the presentation to ask more questions. However, for virtual meetings, he'll let people know how to reach him, whether that's via LinkedIn or email.
3. Call to action.
Calls to action are an important component of any piece of content and presentations are no different. What do you want your audience to do with this information?
In your recap, include actionable ways for your audience to incorporate your information into their day-to-day (if applicable). You can also let people know to reach out to you with questions so they know the next steps in case they want to discuss the presentation further.
Now that you have an idea of what you're going to be talking about and how you'll be laying it out, it's time to open up a new PowerPoint presentation and apply those basic design elements.
Outlining Your PowerPoint Design
1. pick a color scheme..
Before you begin translating your text outline into PowerPoint, you'll want to start by adding some very basic design elements to your PowerPoint slides. First, choose a color scheme -- one that has enough contrast between colors to make colors stand out. Whether you decide to use two, three, or four different colors in your presentation is up to you, but certain color combinations go together better than others. Read the sections on creating color schemes in this blog post to figure out a good color combination.
To browse these templates on a PC: Click on the slide or slides you want to add the background to. Then, click the "Design" tab at the top of the screen. In the "Background" group, click the arrow next to "Background Styles" to open up the theme gallery.
Pro Tip: You can also apply any PowerPoint template you already have as a theme, even if it doesn't show up in the theme gallery. To do that, click the "Browse Themes" option you'll find at the bottom of the dropdown themes gallery, and navigate to wherever the given presentation, template, or theme is located on your computer. Then, click "Apply."
How to Create a Custom Background Using a Solid Color
Want your slide background to be a simple, solid color? The steps to do this are almost identical on a Mac and a PC.
Simply right-click the slide(s) you want to add a background color to, then click "Format Background." In the window that appears, click "Fill" and then "Solid." Notice you can also adjust the gradient or make the background a pattern. Click "Apply" at the bottom to apply the changes.
To create a custom background using an image on a PC: Click the slide that you want to add a background picture to. To select multiple slides, click a slide and then press and hold CTRL while you click the other slides.
Next, click the "Design" tab at the top of your screen. In the "Background" group, click "Background Styles," then "Format Background."
In the window that appears, click "Fill," then "Picture or texture fill." To insert a picture from a file, click "File" and then locate and double-click the picture you want to insert. If you want to use this picture as a background for just the slides you selected, click "Close." If you want to use the picture as a background for all the slides in your presentation, click "Apply to All."
Filling In the Content
1. fill in the text on your slides using concise language..
Your slides are there to support your speech, not replace it. If your slides contain too much information -- like full sentences or (gasp) paragraphs -- then your audience members won't be able to help but read the slides instead of listening to you. Plus ... that's boring. Instead, use slides to enhance keywords and show visuals while you stand up there and do the real work: telling a story and describing your data.
When it comes to your slide text, focus on the main phrases of a bullet point, and cover details verbally. We recommend using up to three bullet points per slide and making any text as simple and concise as possible. A good rule of thumb is this: If you're using more than two lines per slide or per idea, then you've used too much text. Depending on the type of presentation, two lines might even be a little text-heavy.
Are you planning on sending your slides to your audience afterward? If you're concerned about putting enough information on the slides for people to understand your presentation when they go back to it later, you can always add little details into the slide notes in PowerPoint. You can find the Notes pane at the bottom of your PowerPoint screen, right below your slides. Click and drag the edge of the pane to make it larger or smaller.
On a Mac: In PowerPoint for Mac, there's no option to embed fonts within the presentation. So unless you use ubiquitous typefaces like Arial or Tahoma, your PowerPoint is likely going to encounter font changes on different computers. The best way to avoid this is to save the final version of your presentation slides as JPEGs, and then insert those JPEGs onto your PowerPoint slides. In other words, make each slide a JPEG picture of your slide. (Note that the file size of your PowerPoint will increase if your presentation includes a lot of JPEGs.)
Mac users can easily drag and drop the JPEGs into PowerPoint. If you don't use actions in your presentation, then this option works especially well.
If you want your presentation to appear "animated," then you'll need to do a little tinkering. All you need to do is save JPEGs of each "frame" of the animation. Then, in your final presentation, you'll just display those JPEGs in the order you'd like the animation to appear. While you'll technically have several new slides in place of one original one, your audience won't know the difference.
If you're a Mac user and want to use this option, then be sure to add this to your checklist as the final step.
3. Adjust the font sizes.
Once you've chosen your font, you can start playing around with font size. Carefully choose the font sizes for headers and text, and consistently use the same font face and sizes on all your slides to keep things clean and legible. Be sure your font is big enough so even the audience members in the way back of the room can read them.
4. Adjust line and character spacing.
The biggest PowerPoint no-no is using too much text on a slide. The most effective slides use text sparingly and present it in a way that's easy to read. One trick to make text more legible without changing the font size or layout is to increase or decrease the space between each line and each letter.
To adjust line spacing:
Select the text you'd like to adjust. On the "Home" tab, in the "Paragraph" group, click "Line Spacing" and choose "Line Spacing Options." In the Paragraph dialog box's "Spacing" section, click the "Line Spacing" dropdown list and choose "Exactly." In the "At" text box, adjust the value accordingly. Click "OK" to save your changes.
Depending on the venue, you might have a presenter's screen available to you in addition to the main projected display that your audience can see. PowerPoint has a great tool called "Presenter View," which includes an area for notes, a timer/clock, a presentation display, and a preview of the next slide.
Make sure "Presenter View" is turned on by selecting it in the "Slide Show" tab of your PowerPoint.
To practice using "Presenter View," open the "Slide Show" tab within PowerPoint. In the "Presenter Tools" box, click "Presenter View."
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Blog > How to structure a good PowerPoint Presentation
How to structure a good PowerPoint Presentation
08.09.21 • #powerpoint #tips.
When creating presentations, it is particularly important that they are well organized and have a consistent structure.
A logical structure helps the audience to follow you and to remember the core information as best as possible. It is also important for the presenter, as a good presentation structure helps to keep calm, to stay on the topic and to avoid awkward pauses.
But what does such a structure actually look like? Here we show you how to best organize your presentation and what a good structure looks like.
Plan your presentation
Before you start creating your presentation, you should always brainstorm. Think about the topic and write all your ideas down. Then think about the message you want to communicate, what your goal is and what you want your audience to remember at the end.
Think about who your audience is so that you can address them in the best possible way. One possibility is to start your presentation with a few polls to get to know your audience better. Based on the results, you can then adapt your presentation a little. Use the poll function of SlideLizard and have all the answers at a glance. SlideLizard makes it possible to integrate the polls directly into your PowerPoint presentation which helps you to avoid annoying switching between presentation and interaction tool. You can keep an eye on the results while the votes come in and then decide whether you want to share them or not.
- an informative
- an entertaining
- an inspiring
- or a persuasive presentation?
Typical Presentation Structure
The basic structure of a presentation is actually always the same and should consist of:
Make sure that the structure of your presentation is not too complicated. The simpler it is, the better the audience can follow.
It is best to start your presentation by briefly introducing yourself which helps to build a connection with your audience right away.
Introduce the topic
Then introduce the topic, state the purpose of the presentation and provide a brief outline of the main points you will be addressing.
Mention the length
In the introduction, mention the approximate length of the talk and then also make sure you stick to it.
The introduction should be no longer than two slides and provide a good overview of the topic.
According to studies, people in the audience only have an average attention span of 10 minutes, which is why it is important to increase their attention right at the beginning and to arouse the audience's interest. You could make a good start with a few icebreaker polls for example. They lighten the mood right at the beginning and you can secure your audience's attention from the start.
For example, you could use SlideLizard to have all the answers at a glance and share them with your audience. In addition, the audience can try out how the polls work and already know how it works if you include more polls in the main part.
Get to know your audience
As mentioned earlier, it is always useful to think about who your audience actually is. Ask them questions at the beginning about how well they already know the topic of your presentation. Use SlideLizard for this so that you have a clear overview about the answers. You can use both single- and multiple-choice questions or also open questions and display their results as a WordCloud in your presentation, for example.
Include a quote
To make the beginning (or the end) of your presentation more exciting, it is always a good idea to include a quote. We have selected some powerful quotes for PowerPoint presentations for you.
Present your topic
The main part of a presentation should explain the topic well, state facts, justify them and give examples. Keep all the promises you made earlier in the introduction.
Length and Structure
The main part should make up about 70% of the presentation and also include a clear structure. Explain your ideas in detail and build them up logically. It should be organized chronologically, by priority or by topic. There should be a smooth transition between the individual issues. However, it is also important to use phrases that make it clear that a new topic is starting. We have listed some useful phrases for presentations here.
Visualize data and statistics and show pictures to underline facts. If you are still looking for good images, we have selected 5 sources of free images for you here.
Focus on the essentials
Focus on what is most important and summarize a bit. You don't have to say everything about a topic because your audience won’t remember everything either. Avoid complicated sentence structure, because if the audience does not understand something, they will not be able to read it again.
Make your presentation interactive
Make your presentation interactive to keep the attention of your audience. Use SlideLizard to include polls in your presentation, where your audience can vote directly from their smartphone and discuss the answers as soon as you received all votes. Here you can also find more tips for increasing audience engagement.
Repeat the main points
The conclusion should contain a summary of the most important key points. Repeat the main points you have made, summarize what the audience should have learned and explain how the new information can help in the future.
Include a Q&A part
Include a Q&A part at the end to make sure you don't leave any questions open. It's a good idea to use tools like SlideLizard for it. Your audience can ask anonymous questions and if there is not enough time, you can give them the answers afterwards. You can read more about the right way to do a question slide in PowerPoint here.
It is also important to get feedback on your presentation at the end to keep improving. With SlideLizard you can ask your audience for anonymous feedback through star ratings, number ratings or open texts directly after your presentation. You can then export the responses and analyse them later in Excel.
Depending on the type of presentation you give, the structure will always be slightly different. We have selected a few different presentation styles and their structure for you.
If you are one of many presenters on the day, you will only have a very limited time to present your idea and to convince your audience. It is very important to stand out with your presentation.
So you need to summarize your ideas as briefly as possible and probably should not need more than 3-5 slides.
Problem Solving Presentation
Start your presentation by explaining a problem and giving a short overview of it.
Then go into the problem a little more, providing both intellectual and emotional arguments for the seriousness of the problem. You should spend about the first 25% of your presentation on the problem.
After that, you should spend about 50% of your presentation proposing a solution and explaining it in detail.
In the last 25%, describe what benefits this solution will bring to your audience and ask them to take a simple but relevant action that relates to the problem being discussed.
Tell a Story
A great way to build an emotional connection with the audience is to structure a presentation like a story.
In the introduction, introduce a character who has to deal with a conflict. In the main part, tell how he tries to solve his problem but fails again and again. In the end, he manages to find a solution and wins.
Stories have the power to win customers, align colleagues and motivate employees. They’re the most compelling platform we have for managing imaginations. - Nancy Duarte / HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations
Make a demonstration
Use the demonstration structure to show how a product works. First talk about a need or a problem that has to be solved.
Then explain how the product will help solve the problem and try to convince your audience of the need for your product.
Spend the end clarifying where and when the product can be purchased.
When you have something historical to tell, it is always good to use a chronological structure. You always have to ask yourself what happens next.
To make it more interesting and exciting, it is a good idea to start by telling the end of something and after that you explain how you got there. This way you make the audience curious and you can gain their attention faster.
Nancy Duarte TED Talk
Nancy Duarte is a speaker and presentation design expert. She gives speeches all over the world, trying to improve the power of public presentations.
In her famous TED Talk "The Secret Structure of Great Talks" she dissects famous speeches such as Steve Jobs' iPhone launch speech and Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. In doing so, she found out that each presentation is made up of 4 parts:
- What could be
- A moment to remember
- Promise of “New Bliss”
About the author.
Helena supports the SlideLizard team in marketing and design. She loves to express her creativity in texts and graphics.
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The big SlideLizard presentation glossary
Pop-up events only last for a short period of time, such as only for one night or one month. An example: Another location of a shop is opened for only one month to extend the reach.
Student Response System (SRS)
With Student Response Systems (SRS) it is possible to get live student feedback in the classroom. Questions and answers can usually be asked and given anonymously, which increases participation and engagement. An SRS may be used for any grade, including university.
.odp file extension
.odp files are similar to .ppt files. It's a presentation which was created with Impress and contains slides with images, texts, effects and media.
Audience Demographics are the characteristics of listeners like age, gender, cultural backgrounds, group affiliations and educational level. The speaker has to consider all these characteristics when adapting to an audience.
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How to Structure a PowerPoint Presentation
No matter how sleek or beautiful your slide decks appear, your presentation won’t be a success if it fails to adhere to a sound and proper structure, throughout. This is why it’s worth taking some time to learn how most effective presentations are structured.
And what could be a better way to understand the right way to design your presentations than learn it from a presentation company ? In this article, we share the standard structure of an effective PowerPoint presentation, in addition to some practical tips on how to implement this structure technically, using PowerPoint.
What Is the Standard Presentation Structure?
A decent presentation always has an important story to tell and, just like any other narration, it primarily consists of three basic sections: introduction, main body, and conclusion.
The first section in your presentation should be an introduction. It should set the tone for your entire presentation and explain to the audience what they can expect from your presentation. Here are some of the slides you may want to add in the introduction section:
- The title of the presentation
- The objective(s) of the presentation
- A table of contents
As you can guess, this will be the main section of your presentation, where you explain your topic of concern. Break down your content into bite-sized points, arrange them in a logical order, and then present all the information you would like to share with your audience, in order to support each of your points.
This section is to summarise all the key points or highlights from your presentation. Share with your audience how this information will help them in the future. Finally, thank the audience for viewing your presentation.
Tips for Structuring a PowerPoint Presentation
Now that you know what sections a typical presentation consists of, let’s take a look at how to structure it effectively in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Create slides and edit them in Outline View
It’s always a good idea to structure a PowerPoint presentation while in the editing mode. To do this efficiently, go to the ‘View’ tab and select ‘Outline View’. It will show you the title and main text section for each slide, and let you edit the text, while also providing an overview of the presentation’s content.
TIP: You can also use the Outline View to select a section of bullet text and promote it to slide titles, and vice versa. To do this, right-click on a relevant piece of text or title and select ‘Promote’ or ‘Demote’.
Arrange slides into sections
If you are developing a large PowerPoint presentation, it’s best to organise it by clubbing multiple slides together into sections that can be easily collapsed and expanded, whenever required.
- To create a new section, go to the list of slides, and right-click on the slide from where you want a new section to begin.
From the drop-down menu, select ‘Add Section’ and assign a name to the section.
- To re-order the sections, right-click on the section name and click ‘Move Section Up’ or ‘Move Section Down’.
- To expand or collapse a section, click on the icons for the same on the left of the section name.
TIP: You can also access these settings by going to the under the ‘View’ tab and choosing Slide Sorter.
Create a well-organised table of contents
The aforementioned tips will help you organise a presentation’s content. However, it’s also crucial that your audience can navigate through your presentation with ease. This is why it’s always a good idea to create a structured and interactive table of contents, and place it near the beginning of the presentation.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to the title slide or a blank slide and insert the table of contents.
- Switch to ‘Outline View’, right-click on the outline pane, and click ‘Collapse’. Then, click ‘Collapse All’ to display only the titles.
- Select all the slide titles, copy them, and paste them on the desired slide.
- Select the title of the first slide and right-click on it. Then, click on ‘Link’.
- In the window that opens next, select ‘Place in This Document’ (from the left-hand menu), select the corresponding slide for the selected title, and click OK.
Repeat this procedure for the remaining titles and link them to the corresponding slides.
There you have it! There are many more tips to come, so, if you are interested to learn more about presentation design, don’t forget to check out our future blog posts.
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How to Give a Killer Presentation
- Chris Anderson
For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED’s curator, shares five keys to great presentations:
- Frame your story (figure out where to start and where to end).
- Plan your delivery (decide whether to memorize your speech word for word or develop bullet points and then rehearse it—over and over).
- Work on stage presence (but remember that your story matters more than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous).
- Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides).
- Put it together (play to your strengths and be authentic).
According to Anderson, presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance—not style. In fact, it’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. So if your thinking is not there yet, he advises, decline that invitation to speak. Instead, keep working until you have an idea that’s worth sharing.
Lessons from TED
A little more than a year ago, on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, some colleagues and I met a 12-year-old Masai boy named Richard Turere, who told us a fascinating story. His family raises livestock on the edge of a vast national park, and one of the biggest challenges is protecting the animals from lions—especially at night. Richard had noticed that placing lamps in a field didn’t deter lion attacks, but when he walked the field with a torch, the lions stayed away. From a young age, he’d been interested in electronics, teaching himself by, for example, taking apart his parents’ radio. He used that experience to devise a system of lights that would turn on and off in sequence—using solar panels, a car battery, and a motorcycle indicator box—and thereby create a sense of movement that he hoped would scare off the lions. He installed the lights, and the lions stopped attacking. Soon villages elsewhere in Kenya began installing Richard’s “lion lights.”
The story was inspiring and worthy of the broader audience that our TED conference could offer, but on the surface, Richard seemed an unlikely candidate to give a TED Talk. He was painfully shy. His English was halting. When he tried to describe his invention, the sentences tumbled out incoherently. And frankly, it was hard to imagine a preteenager standing on a stage in front of 1,400 people accustomed to hearing from polished speakers such as Bill Gates, Sir Ken Robinson, and Jill Bolte Taylor.
But Richard’s story was so compelling that we invited him to speak. In the months before the 2013 conference, we worked with him to frame his story—to find the right place to begin and to develop a succinct and logical arc of events. On the back of his invention Richard had won a scholarship to one of Kenya’s best schools, and there he had the chance to practice the talk several times in front of a live audience. It was critical that he build his confidence to the point where his personality could shine through. When he finally gave his talk at TED , in Long Beach, you could tell he was nervous, but that only made him more engaging— people were hanging on his every word . The confidence was there, and every time Richard smiled, the audience melted. When he finished, the response was instantaneous: a sustained standing ovation.
Since the first TED conference, 30 years ago, speakers have run the gamut from political figures, musicians, and TV personalities who are completely at ease before a crowd to lesser-known academics, scientists, and writers—some of whom feel deeply uncomfortable giving presentations. Over the years, we’ve sought to develop a process for helping inexperienced presenters to frame, practice, and deliver talks that people enjoy watching. It typically begins six to nine months before the event, and involves cycles of devising (and revising) a script, repeated rehearsals, and plenty of fine-tuning. We’re continually tweaking our approach—because the art of public speaking is evolving in real time—but judging by public response, our basic regimen works well: Since we began putting TED Talks online, in 2006, they’ve been viewed more than one billion times.
On the basis of this experience, I’m convinced that giving a good talk is highly coachable. In a matter of hours, a speaker’s content and delivery can be transformed from muddled to mesmerizing. And while my team’s experience has focused on TED’s 18-minutes-or-shorter format, the lessons we’ve learned are surely useful to other presenters—whether it’s a CEO doing an IPO road show, a brand manager unveiling a new product, or a start-up pitching to VCs.
Frame Your Story
There’s no way you can give a good talk unless you have something worth talking about . Conceptualizing and framing what you want to say is the most vital part of preparation.
Find the Perfect Mix of Data and Narrative
by Nancy Duarte
Most presentations lie somewhere on the continuum between a report and a story. A report is data-rich, exhaustive, and informative—but not very engaging. Stories help a speaker connect with an audience, but listeners often want facts and information, too. Great presenters layer story and information like a cake and understand that different types of talks require differing ingredients.
From Report . . .
(literal, informational, factual, exhaustive).
Research findings. If your goal is to communicate information from a written report, send the full document to the audience in advance, and limit the presentation to key takeaways. Don’t do a long slide show that repeats all your findings. Anyone who’s really interested can read the report; everyone else will appreciate brevity.
Financial presentation. Financial audiences love data, and they’ll want the details. Satisfy their analytical appetite with facts, but add a thread of narrative to appeal to their emotional side. Then present the key takeaways visually, to help them find meaning in the numbers.
Product launch. Instead of covering only specs and features, focus on the value your product brings to the world. Tell stories that show how real people will use it and why it will change their lives.
VC pitch. For 30 minutes with a VC, prepare a crisp, well-structured story arc that conveys your idea compellingly in 10 minutes or less; then let Q&A drive the rest of the meeting. Anticipate questions and rehearse clear and concise answers.
Keynote address. Formal talks at big events are high-stakes, high-impact opportunities to take your listeners on a transformative journey. Use a clear story framework and aim to engage them emotionally.
. . . to Story
(dramatic, experiential, evocative, persuasive).
Nancy Duarte is the author of HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations , Slide:ology , and Resonate . She is the CEO of Duarte, Inc., which designs presentations and teaches presentation development.
We all know that humans are wired to listen to stories, and metaphors abound for the narrative structures that work best to engage people. When I think about compelling presentations, I think about taking an audience on a journey. A successful talk is a little miracle—people see the world differently afterward.
If you frame the talk as a journey, the biggest decisions are figuring out where to start and where to end. To find the right place to start, consider what people in the audience already know about your subject—and how much they care about it. If you assume they have more knowledge or interest than they do, or if you start using jargon or get too technical, you’ll lose them. The most engaging speakers do a superb job of very quickly introducing the topic, explaining why they care so deeply about it, and convincing the audience members that they should, too.
The biggest problem I see in first drafts of presentations is that they try to cover too much ground. You can’t summarize an entire career in a single talk. If you try to cram in everything you know, you won’t have time to include key details, and your talk will disappear into abstract language that may make sense if your listeners are familiar with the subject matter but will be completely opaque if they’re new to it. You need specific examples to flesh out your ideas. So limit the scope of your talk to that which can be explained, and brought to life with examples, in the available time. Much of the early feedback we give aims to correct the impulse to sweep too broadly. Instead, go deeper. Give more detail. Don’t tell us about your entire field of study—tell us about your unique contribution.
A successful talk is a little miracle—people see the world differently afterward.
Of course, it can be just as damaging to overexplain or painstakingly draw out the implications of a talk. And there the remedy is different: Remember that the people in the audience are intelligent. Let them figure some things out for themselves. Let them draw their own conclusions.
Many of the best talks have a narrative structure that loosely follows a detective story. The speaker starts out by presenting a problem and then describes the search for a solution. There’s an “aha” moment, and the audience’s perspective shifts in a meaningful way.
If a talk fails, it’s almost always because the speaker didn’t frame it correctly, misjudged the audience’s level of interest, or neglected to tell a story. Even if the topic is important, random pontification without narrative is always deeply unsatisfying. There’s no progression, and you don’t feel that you’re learning.
I was at an energy conference recently where two people—a city mayor and a former governor—gave back-to-back talks. The mayor’s talk was essentially a list of impressive projects his city had undertaken. It came off as boasting, like a report card or an advertisement for his reelection. It quickly got boring. When the governor spoke, she didn’t list achievements; instead, she shared an idea. Yes, she recounted anecdotes from her time in office, but the idea was central—and the stories explanatory or illustrative (and also funny). It was so much more interesting. The mayor’s underlying point seemed to be how great he was, while the governor’s message was “Here’s a compelling idea that would benefit us all.”
Storytelling That Moves People
As a general rule, people are not very interested in talks about organizations or institutions (unless they’re members of them). Ideas and stories fascinate us; organizations bore us—they’re much harder to relate to. (Businesspeople especially take note: Don’t boast about your company; rather, tell us about the problem you’re solving.)
Plan Your Delivery
Once you’ve got the framing down, it’s time to focus on your delivery . There are three main ways to deliver a talk. You can read it directly off a script or a teleprompter. You can develop a set of bullet points that map out what you’re going to say in each section rather than scripting the whole thing word for word. Or you can memorize your talk, which entails rehearsing it to the point where you internalize every word—verbatim.
My advice: Don’t read it, and don’t use a teleprompter. It’s usually just too distancing—people will know you’re reading. And as soon as they sense it, the way they receive your talk will shift. Suddenly your intimate connection evaporates, and everything feels a lot more formal. We generally outlaw reading approaches of any kind at TED, though we made an exception a few years ago for a man who insisted on using a monitor. We set up a screen at the back of the auditorium, in the hope that the audience wouldn’t notice it. At first he spoke naturally. But soon he stiffened up, and you could see this horrible sinking feeling pass through the audience as people realized, “Oh, no, he’s reading to us!” The words were great, but the talk got poor ratings.
Many of our best and most popular TED Talks have been memorized word for word. If you’re giving an important talk and you have the time to do this, it’s the best way to go. But don’t underestimate the work involved. One of our most memorable speakers was Jill Bolte Taylor , a brain researcher who had suffered a stroke. She talked about what she learned during the eight years it took her to recover. After crafting her story and undertaking many hours of solo practice, she rehearsed her talk dozens of times in front of an audience to be sure she had it down.
Obviously, not every presentation is worth that kind of investment of time. But if you do decide to memorize your talk, be aware that there’s a predictable arc to the learning curve. Most people go through what I call the “valley of awkwardness,” where they haven’t quite memorized the talk. If they give the talk while stuck in that valley, the audience will sense it. Their words will sound recited, or there will be painful moments where they stare into the middle distance, or cast their eyes upward, as they struggle to remember their lines. This creates distance between the speaker and the audience .
Getting past this point is simple, fortunately. It’s just a matter of rehearsing enough times that the flow of words becomes second nature. Then you can focus on delivering the talk with meaning and authenticity. Don’t worry—you’ll get there.
But if you don’t have time to learn a speech thoroughly and get past that awkward valley, don’t try. Go with bullet points on note cards. As long as you know what you want to say for each one, you’ll be fine. Focus on remembering the transitions from one bullet point to the next.
Also pay attention to your tone. Some speakers may want to come across as authoritative or wise or powerful or passionate, but it’s usually much better to just sound conversational. Don’t force it. Don’t orate. Just be you.
If a successful talk is a journey, make sure you don’t start to annoy your travel companions along the way. Some speakers project too much ego. They sound condescending or full of themselves, and the audience shuts down. Don’t let that happen.
Develop Stage Presence
For inexperienced speakers, the physical act of being onstage can be the most difficult part of giving a presentation—but people tend to overestimate its importance. Getting the words, story, and substance right is a much bigger determinant of success or failure than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous. And when it comes to stage presence, a little coaching can go a long way.
The biggest mistake we see in early rehearsals is that people move their bodies too much. They sway from side to side, or shift their weight from one leg to the other. People do this naturally when they’re nervous, but it’s distracting and makes the speaker seem weak. Simply getting a person to keep his or her lower body motionless can dramatically improve stage presence. There are some people who are able to walk around a stage during a presentation, and that’s fine if it comes naturally. But the vast majority are better off standing still and relying on hand gestures for emphasis.
How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea
Perhaps the most important physical act onstage is making eye contact. Find five or six friendly-looking people in different parts of the audience and look them in the eye as you speak. Think of them as friends you haven’t seen in a year, whom you’re bringing up to date on your work. That eye contact is incredibly powerful, and it will do more than anything else to help your talk land. Even if you don’t have time to prepare fully and have to read from a script, looking up and making eye contact will make a huge difference.
Another big hurdle for inexperienced speakers is nervousness—both in advance of the talk and while they’re onstage. People deal with this in different ways. Many speakers stay out in the audience until the moment they go on; this can work well, because keeping your mind engaged in the earlier speakers can distract you and limit nervousness. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor who studies how certain body poses can affect power, utilized one of the more unusual preparation techniques I’ve seen. She recommends that people spend time before a talk striding around, standing tall, and extending their bodies; these poses make you feel more powerful. It’s what she did before going onstage, and she delivered a phenomenal talk. But I think the single best advice is simply to breathe deeply before you go onstage. It works.
Nerves are not a disaster. The audience expects you to be nervous.
In general, people worry too much about nervousness. Nerves are not a disaster. The audience expects you to be nervous. It’s a natural body response that can actually improve your performance: It gives you energy to perform and keeps your mind sharp. Just keep breathing, and you’ll be fine.
Acknowledging nervousness can also create engagement. Showing your vulnerability, whether through nerves or tone of voice, is one of the most powerful ways to win over an audience, provided it is authentic. Susan Cain , who wrote a book about introverts and spoke at our 2012 conference, was terrified about giving her talk. You could feel her fragility onstage, and it created this dynamic where the audience was rooting for her—everybody wanted to hug her afterward. The fact that we knew she was fighting to keep herself up there made it beautiful, and it was the most popular talk that year.
Plan the Multimedia
With so much technology at our disposal, it may feel almost mandatory to use, at a minimum, presentation slides. By now most people have heard the advice about PowerPoint: Keep it simple; don’t use a slide deck as a substitute for notes (by, say, listing the bullet points you’ll discuss—those are best put on note cards); and don’t repeat out loud words that are on the slide. Not only is reciting slides a variation of the teleprompter problem—“Oh, no, she’s reading to us, too!”—but information is interesting only once, and hearing and seeing the same words feels repetitive. That advice may seem universal by now, but go into any company and you’ll see presenters violating it every day.
Many of the best TED speakers don’t use slides at all, and many talks don’t require them. If you have photographs or illustrations that make the topic come alive, then yes, show them. If not, consider doing without, at least for some parts of the presentation. And if you’re going to use slides, it’s worth exploring alternatives to PowerPoint. For instance, TED has invested in the company Prezi, which makes presentation software that offers a camera’s-eye view of a two-dimensional landscape. Instead of a flat sequence of images, you can move around the landscape and zoom in to it if need be. Used properly, such techniques can dramatically boost the visual punch of a talk and enhance its meaning.
Artists, architects, photographers, and designers have the best opportunity to use visuals. Slides can help frame and pace a talk and help speakers avoid getting lost in jargon or overly intellectual language. (Art can be hard to talk about—better to experience it visually.) I’ve seen great presentations in which the artist or designer put slides on an automatic timer so that the image changed every 15 seconds. I’ve also seen presenters give a talk accompanied by video, speaking along to it. That can help sustain momentum. The industrial designer Ross Lovegrove’s highly visual TED Talk , for instance, used this technique to bring the audience along on a remarkable creative journey .
Another approach creative types might consider is to build silence into their talks, and just let the work speak for itself. The kinetic sculptor Reuben Margolin used that approach to powerful effect. The idea is not to think “I’m giving a talk.” Instead, think “I want to give this audience a powerful experience of my work.” The single worst thing artists and architects can do is to retreat into abstract or conceptual language.
Video has obvious uses for many speakers. In a TED Talk about the intelligence of crows, for instance, the scientist showed a clip of a crow bending a hook to fish a piece of food out of a tube—essentially creating a tool. It illustrated his point far better than anything he could have said.
Used well, video can be very effective, but there are common mistakes that should be avoided. A clip needs to be short—if it’s more than 60 seconds, you risk losing people. Don’t use videos—particularly corporate ones—that sound self-promotional or like infomercials; people are conditioned to tune those out. Anything with a soundtrack can be dangerously off-putting. And whatever you do, don’t show a clip of yourself being interviewed on, say, CNN. I’ve seen speakers do this, and it’s a really bad idea—no one wants to go along with you on your ego trip. The people in your audience are already listening to you live; why would they want to simultaneously watch your talking-head clip on a screen?
Putting It Together
We start helping speakers prepare their talks six months (or more) in advance so that they’ll have plenty of time to practice. We want people’s talks to be in final form at least a month before the event. The more practice they can do in the final weeks, the better off they’ll be. Ideally, they’ll practice the talk on their own and in front of an audience.
The tricky part about rehearsing a presentation in front of other people is that they will feel obligated to offer feedback and constructive criticism. Often the feedback from different people will vary or directly conflict. This can be confusing or even paralyzing, which is why it’s important to be choosy about the people you use as a test audience, and whom you invite to offer feedback. In general, the more experience a person has as a presenter, the better the criticism he or she can offer.
I learned many of these lessons myself in 2011. My colleague Bruno Giussani, who curates our TEDGlobal event, pointed out that although I’d worked at TED for nine years, served as the emcee at our conferences, and introduced many of the speakers, I’d never actually given a TED Talk myself. So he invited me to give one, and I accepted.
It was more stressful than I’d expected. Even though I spend time helping others frame their stories, framing my own in a way that felt compelling was difficult. I decided to memorize my presentation, which was about how web video powers global innovation, and that was really hard: Even though I was putting in a lot of hours, and getting sound advice from my colleagues, I definitely hit a point where I didn’t quite have it down and began to doubt I ever would. I really thought I might bomb. I was nervous right up until the moment I took the stage. But it ended up going fine. It’s definitely not one of the all-time great TED Talks, but it got a positive reaction—and I survived the stress of going through it.
10 Ways to Ruin a Presentation
As hard as it may be to give a great talk, it’s really easy to blow it. Here are some common mistakes that TED advises its speakers to avoid.
- Take a really long time to explain what your talk is about.
- Speak slowly and dramatically. Why talk when you can orate?
- Make sure you subtly let everyone know how important you are.
- Refer to your book repeatedly. Even better, quote yourself from it.
- Cram your slides with numerous text bullet points and multiple fonts.
- Use lots of unexplained technical jargon to make yourself sound smart.
- Speak at great length about the history of your organization and its glorious achievements.
- Don’t bother rehearsing to check how long your talk is running.
- Sound as if you’re reciting your talk from memory.
- Never, ever make eye contact with anyone in the audience.
Ultimately I learned firsthand what our speakers have been discovering for three decades: Presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance, not speaking style or multimedia pyrotechnics. It’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. If you have something to say, you can build a great talk. But if the central theme isn’t there, you’re better off not speaking. Decline the invitation. Go back to work, and wait until you have a compelling idea that’s really worth sharing.
The single most important thing to remember is that there is no one good way to do a talk . The most memorable talks offer something fresh, something no one has seen before. The worst ones are those that feel formulaic. So do not on any account try to emulate every piece of advice I’ve offered here. Take the bulk of it on board, sure. But make the talk your own. You know what’s distinctive about you and your idea. Play to your strengths and give a talk that is truly authentic to you.
- CA Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.
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How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples
Updated august 03, 2018 - dom barnard.
For many people the thought of delivering a presentation is a daunting task and brings about a great deal of nerves . However, if you take some time to understand how effective presentations are structured and then apply this structure to your own presentation, you’ll appear much more confident and relaxed.
Here is our complete guide for structuring your presentation, with examples at the end of the article to demonstrate these points.
Why is structuring a presentation so important?
If you’ve ever sat through a great presentation, you'll have left feeling either inspired or informed on a given topic. This isn’t because the speaker was the most knowledgeable or motivating person in the world. Instead, it’s because they know how to structure presentations - they have crafted their message in a logical and simple way that has allowed the audience can keep up with them and take away key messages.
Research has supported this, with studies showing that audiences retain structured information 40% more accurately than unstructured information.
In fact, not only is structuring a presentation important for the benefit of the audience’s understanding, it’s also important for you as the speaker. A good structure helps you remain calm, stay on topic, and avoid any awkward silences.
What will affect your presentation structure?
Generally speaking, there is a natural flow that any decent presentation will follow which we will go into shortly. However, you should be aware that all presentation structures will be different in their own unique way and this will be due to a number of factors, including:
- Whether you need to deliver any demonstrations
- How knowledgeable the audience already is on the given subject
- How much interaction you want from the audience
- Any time constraints there are for your talk
- What setting you are in
- Your ability to use any kinds of visual assistance
Before choosing the presentation's structure answer these questions first:
- What is your presentation's aim?
- Who are the audience?
- What are the main points your audience should remember afterwards?
When reading the points below, think critically about what things may cause your presentation structure to be slightly different. You can add in certain elements and add more focus to certain moments if that works better for your speech.
What is the typical presentation structure?
This is the usual flow of a presentation, which covers all the vital sections and is a good starting point for yours. It allows your audience to easily follow along and sets out a solid structure you can add your content to.
1. Greet the audience and introduce yourself
Before you start delivering your talk, introduce yourself to the audience and clarify who you are and your relevant expertise. This does not need to be long or incredibly detailed, but will help build an immediate relationship between you and the audience. It gives you the chance to briefly clarify your expertise and why you are worth listening to. This will help establish your ethos so the audience will trust you more and think you're credible.
Read our tips on How to Start a Presentation Effectively
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In the introduction you need to explain the subject and purpose of your presentation whilst gaining the audience's interest and confidence. It's sometimes helpful to think of your introduction as funnel-shaped to help filter down your topic:
- Introduce your general topic
- Explain your topic area
- State the issues/challenges in this area you will be exploring
- State your presentation's purpose - this is the basis of your presentation so ensure that you provide a statement explaining how the topic will be treated, for example, "I will argue that…" or maybe you will "compare", "analyse", "evaluate", "describe" etc.
- Provide a statement of what you're hoping the outcome of the presentation will be, for example, "I'm hoping this will be provide you with..."
- Show a preview of the organisation of your presentation
In this section also explain:
- The length of the talk.
- Signal whether you want audience interaction - some presenters prefer the audience to ask questions throughout whereas others allocate a specific section for this.
- If it applies, inform the audience whether to take notes or whether you will be providing handouts.
The way you structure your introduction can depend on the amount of time you have been given to present: a sales pitch may consist of a quick presentation so you may begin with your conclusion and then provide the evidence. Conversely, a speaker presenting their idea for change in the world would be better suited to start with the evidence and then conclude what this means for the audience.
Keep in mind that the main aim of the introduction is to grab the audience's attention and connect with them.
3. The main body of your talk
The main body of your talk needs to meet the promises you made in the introduction. Depending on the nature of your presentation, clearly segment the different topics you will be discussing, and then work your way through them one at a time - it's important for everything to be organised logically for the audience to fully understand. There are many different ways to organise your main points, such as, by priority, theme, chronologically etc.
- Main points should be addressed one by one with supporting evidence and examples.
- Before moving on to the next point you should provide a mini-summary.
- Links should be clearly stated between ideas and you must make it clear when you're moving onto the next point.
- Allow time for people to take relevant notes and stick to the topics you have prepared beforehand rather than straying too far off topic.
When planning your presentation write a list of main points you want to make and ask yourself "What I am telling the audience? What should they understand from this?" refining your answers this way will help you produce clear messages.
In presentations the conclusion is frequently underdeveloped and lacks purpose which is a shame as it's the best place to reinforce your messages. Typically, your presentation has a specific goal - that could be to convert a number of the audience members into customers, lead to a certain number of enquiries to make people knowledgeable on specific key points, or to motivate them towards a shared goal.
Regardless of what that goal is, be sure to summarise your main points and their implications. This clarifies the overall purpose of your talk and reinforces your reason for being there.
Follow these steps:
- Signal that it's nearly the end of your presentation, for example, "As we wrap up/as we wind down the talk…"
- Restate the topic and purpose of your presentation - "In this speech I wanted to compare…"
- Summarise the main points, including their implications and conclusions
- Indicate what is next/a call to action/a thought-provoking takeaway
- Move on to the last section
5. Thank the audience and invite questions
Conclude your talk by thanking the audience for their time and invite them to ask any questions they may have. As mentioned earlier, personal circumstances will affect the structure of your presentation.
Many presenters prefer to make the Q&A session the key part of their talk and try to speed through the main body of the presentation. This is totally fine, but it is still best to focus on delivering some sort of initial presentation to set the tone and topics for discussion in the Q&A.
Other common presentation structures
The above was a description of a basic presentation, here are some more specific presentation layouts:
Use the demonstration structure when you have something useful to show. This is usually used when you want to show how a product works. Steve Jobs frequently used this technique in his presentations.
- Explain why the product is valuable.
- Describe why the product is necessary.
- Explain what problems it can solve for the audience.
- Demonstrate the product to support what you've been saying.
- Make suggestions of other things it can do to make the audience curious.
This structure is particularly useful in persuading the audience.
- Briefly frame the issue.
- Go into the issue in detail showing why it 's such a problem. Use logos and pathos for this - the logical and emotional appeals.
- Provide the solution and explain why this would also help the audience.
- Call to action - something you want the audience to do which is straightforward and pertinent to the solution.
As well as incorporating stories in your presentation , you can organise your whole presentation as a story. There are lots of different type of story structures you can use - a popular choice is the monomyth - the hero's journey. In a monomyth, a hero goes on a difficult journey or takes on a challenge - they move from the familiar into the unknown. After facing obstacles and ultimately succeeding the hero returns home, transformed and with newfound wisdom.
Another popular choice for using a story to structure your presentation is in media ras (in the middle of thing). In this type of story you launch right into the action by providing a snippet/teaser of what's happening and then you start explaining the events that led to that event. This is engaging because you're starting your story at the most exciting part which will make the audience curious - they'll want to know how you got there.
- Great storytelling: Examples from Alibaba Founder, Jack Ma
The remaining method structure is good for situations where you're presenting your perspective on a controversial topic which has split people's opinions.
- Go into the issue in detail showing why it's such a problem - use logos and pathos.
- Rebut your opponents' solutions - explain why their solutions could be useful because the audience will see this as fair and will therefore think you're trustworthy, and then explain why you think these solutions are not valid.
- After you've presented all the alternatives provide your solution, the remaining solution. This is very persuasive because it looks like the winning idea, especially with the audience believing that you're fair and trustworthy.
When delivering presentations it's important for your words and ideas to flow so your audience can understand how everything links together and why it's all relevant. This can be done using speech transitions which are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified.
Transitions can be one word, a phrase or a full sentence - there are many different forms, here are some examples:
Moving from the introduction to the first point
Signify to the audience that you will now begin discussing the first main point:
- Now that you're aware of the overview, let's begin with...
- First, let's begin with...
- I will first cover...
- My first point covers...
- To get started, let's look at...
Shifting between similar points
Move from one point to a similar one:
- In the same way...
- This is similar to...
Internal summarising consists of summarising before moving on to the next point. You must inform the audience:
- What part of the presentation you covered - "In the first part of this speech we've covered..."
- What the key points were - "Precisely how..."
- How this links in with the overall presentation - "So that's the context..."
- What you're moving on to - "Now I'd like to move on to the second part of presentation which looks at..."
You can move your body and your standing location when you transition to another point. The audience find it easier to follow your presentation and movement will increase their interest.
A common technique for incorporating movement into your presentation is to:
- Start your introduction by standing in the centre of the stage.
- For your first point you stand on the left side of the stage.
- You discuss your second point from the centre again.
- You stand on the right side of the stage for your third point.
- The conclusion occurs in the centre.
Key slides for your presentation
Slides are a useful tool for most presentations: they can greatly assist in the delivery of your message and help the audience follow along with what you are saying. Key slides include:
- An intro slide outlining your ideas
- A summary slide with core points to remember
- High quality image slides to supplement what you are saying
There are some presenters who choose not to use slides at all, though this is more of a rarity. Slides can be a powerful tool if used properly, but the problem is that many fail to do just that. Here are some golden rules to follow when using slides in a presentation:
- Don't over fill them - your slides are there to assist your speech, rather than be the focal point. They should have as little information as possible, to avoid distracting people from your talk.
- A picture says a thousand words - instead of filling a slide with text, instead, focus on one or two images or diagrams to help support and explain the point you are discussing at that time.
- Make them readable - depending on the size of your audience, some may not be able to see small text or images, so make everything large enough to fill the space.
- Don't rush through slides - give the audience enough time to digest each slide.
Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and author, suggests that slideshows should follow a 10-20-30 rule :
- There should be a maximum of 10 slides - people rarely remember more than one concept afterwards so there's no point overwhelming them with unnecessary information.
- The presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes as this will leave time for questions and discussion.
- The font size should be a minimum of 30pt because the audience reads faster than you talk so less information on the slides means that there is less chance of the audience being distracted.
Here are some additional resources for slide design:
- 7 design tips for effective, beautiful PowerPoint presentations
- 11 design tips for beautiful presentations
- 10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea
Group presentations are structured in the same way as presentations with one speaker but usually require more rehearsal and practices. Clean transitioning between speakers is very important in producing a presentation that flows well. One way of doing this consists of:
- Briefly recap on what you covered in your section: "So that was a brief introduction on what health anxiety is and how it can affect somebody"
- Introduce the next speaker in the team and explain what they will discuss: "Now Elnaz will talk about the prevalence of health anxiety."
- Then end by looking at the next speaker, gesturing towards them and saying their name: "Elnaz".
- The next speaker should acknowledge this with a quick: "Thank you Joe."
From this example you can see how the different sections of the presentations link which makes it easier for the audience to follow and remain engaged.
Example of great presentation structure and delivery
Having examples of great presentations will help inspire your own structures, here are a few such examples, each unique and inspiring in their own way.
How Google Works - by Eric Schmidt
This presentation by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt demonstrates some of the most important lessons he and his team have learnt with regards to working with some of the most talented individuals they hired. The simplistic yet cohesive style of all of the slides is something to be appreciated. They are relatively straightforward, yet add power and clarity to the narrative of the presentation.
Start with why - by Simon Sinek
Since being released in 2009, this presentation has been viewed almost four million times all around the world. The message itself is very powerful, however, it’s not an idea that hasn't been heard before. What makes this presentation so powerful is the simple message he is getting across, and the straightforward and understandable manner in which he delivers it. Also note that he doesn't use any slides, just a whiteboard where he creates a simple diagram of his opinion.
The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout - by Rick Rigsby
Here’s an example of a presentation given by a relatively unknown individual looking to inspire the next generation of graduates. Rick’s presentation is unique in many ways compared to the two above. Notably, he uses no visual prompts and includes a great deal of humour.
However, what is similar is the structure he uses. He first introduces his message that the wisest man he knew was a third-grade dropout. He then proceeds to deliver his main body of argument, and in the end, concludes with his message. This powerful speech keeps the viewer engaged throughout, through a mixture of heart-warming sentiment, powerful life advice and engaging humour.
As you can see from the examples above, and as it has been expressed throughout, a great presentation structure means analysing the core message of your presentation. Decide on a key message you want to impart the audience with, and then craft an engaging way of delivering it.
By preparing a solid structure, and practising your talk beforehand, you can walk into the presentation with confidence and deliver a meaningful message to an interested audience.
It's important for a presentation to be well-structured so it can have the most impact on your audience. An unstructured presentation can be difficult to follow and even frustrating to listen to. The heart of your speech are your main points supported by evidence and your transitions should assist the movement between points and clarify how everything is linked.
Research suggests that the audience remember the first and last things you say so your introduction and conclusion are vital for reinforcing your points. Essentially, ensure you spend the time structuring your presentation and addressing all of the sections.
York office:, manchester office:, how to structure your powerpoint presentation.
Every book, film, TV show, and theatre production has a structure, so your PowerPoint presentation should be no different. Before you start, or decide what to wear on the day, you need to build your PowerPoint structure to give your presentation a logical flow.
To do that, you need to start asking yourself some questions:
- Who is my audience?
- What do I want from them?
- What do I want them to take from the presentation?
Knowing your audience as best you can will help you shape the structure and tone of your presentation, increasing its effectiveness. Research is key here, finding out beforehand who it is you will be presenting to and the core values of their organisation.
To the point
Consider then what the whole point of your PowerPoint presentation is: why are you presenting to them and what do you hope to achieve as a result? Is it a sale ? Is it a new client, or a promotion? Realise your main goal and plan the PowerPoint presentation structure to point only to that. Information that deviates from that eventual goal should be booted out at the structuring phase, allowing you to keep your presentation simple and to the point.
Think then about what your audience will be thinking in the aftermath of your presentation. Do you need them to do something? Do you need to change the way they think about something? Consider this when planning the presentation and be sure to include some form of engaging call to action.
The next important points to include in your PowerPoint structure are:
- Being clear about who you are and why you’re here
- Developing a story that sees your audience’s opinion or thoughts transformed
- Highlight the ‘Killer Slide’, or the piece of information that is most important
Smashing the ice
The beginning of your PowerPoint presentation is hugely important. Simply standing up and introducing yourself might seem like the most effective way of starting, but it will hardly grab the audience’s interest.
One famous public speaker who often nailed the start of speeches was Barack Obama . Even in serious surroundings with the eyes of the world’s media on him, Obama would often begin with a joke; one that immediately demanded attention and warmed the audience to him. It was also a great power move, as the president was pointing out that even in a pressured, demanding scenario he was able to be playful and witty.
You might not want to start with a joke, but giving an interesting statement, one designed to produce an emotional reaction in your audience, will work to get the ball rolling.
Obviously, the information you are there to communicate is very important to your PowerPoint presentation, and it’s overall structure, but more important is the way you make your audience feel. Appealing to people’s emotions is the most effective way of capturing their attention during the presentation and building their trust and should definitely be considered when planning your PowerPoint structure.
In structuring your presentation be sure to create a story for them to follow and be invested in; a journey with a beginning, middle and end. Begin by presenting a problem that they can relate to and show them how, with your or your company’s help, they can overcome it. Make them the hero of the tale.
Rule of Three
You want to create a memorable presentation, especially if your audience are sitting through several in one long go. To make your information easier for people to recall later, use the Rule of Three.
Neuroscientists know that humans have difficulty retaining multiple pieces of data in the short-term. Bombard your audience with too much information and their brains will literally shut down. Therefore be sure to structure your PowerPoint presentation into threes where possible.
Steve Jobs used this technique when first introducing the iPhone 2007 . He distilled the phone’s functions into three (iPod, phone, internet device) and then based the whole keynote speech around those topics.
Consider how your presentation can be organised into thirds and how the data you include on your slides can also be arranged that way.
No, not how good your vision has to be to create an awesome presentation, but rather a very important rule to remember and a great one to end this post on. 20/20 means you should:
- Keep your presentation under 20 minutes in length, and…
- Practice it out loud at least 20 times before presenting
Got that? Good. Now go forth and fix your PowerPoint structure. If you need help tying together all your great ideas into a professional and slick slide deck, talk to us .
Here at Future Present we live and breathe PowerPoint and have mastered what it takes to create a powerful and effective presentation. All that experience is at your fingertips.
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The Best Presentation Structure: Tips & Tricks!
The name PowerPoint says it all – a powerful tool for visualizing expressive content. With the right presentation structure, PowerPoint helps add weight to your ideas and statements through visual impact.
Are you looking for the perfect presentation structure that provides lots of opportunities to inspire your audience? Not exactly sure where to start? Keep reading for a detailed guide that will guarantee success.
As a rule, a presentation needs a topic and a specific reason for presenting it.
Here are some examples:
- A sales presentation to a customer to introduce products or services
- Presenting company figures to management
- An onboarding presentation to inform new colleagues about the most important company information
- A presentation for your company’s anniversary
- Presentations for school or university
- A presentation of research results for a science conference
Regardless of the topic or occasion, you need a clear and well-thought-out presentation structure. Without that, your audience will have a tough time following and your presentation will fall short of its goal, like attracting a new customer.
Give yourself enough time
Give yourself enough time to prepare your PowerPoint presentation. As soon as you know when you’re presenting, create a schedule. Spend 30 minutes a day preparing your upcoming presentation. Allow enough time to research the material, too. Use the rule of thirds as a guideline: If you have twelve days until the presentation, devote four days to researching and collecting information.
Take the time to thoroughly research your presentation topic. Take notes, collect ideas and thoughts. Use something you always have with you; a small notebook, a tablet or your smartphone is all you need. Keep your notes short – just enough information to get your creative juices flowing.
Organize your notes
Once you have enough material, it’s time to organize and structure it. Now is the time to form your basic presentation framework. Remember to allot enough time for this (think about the 3/3 rule).
Use your notes to develop your presentation. Ask yourself this: What’s the goal of my presentation? For example, do you want to impress investors with your startup or present an innovative marketing plan for the coming fiscal year? Answering this question will help you develop a core thesis.
Here’s something else to ask yourself: What do you want from your audience? Do you want to prompt an action (e.g., buy a product) or kick-start a discussion?
The go-to PowerPoint structure
Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to think about the right PowerPoint presentation structure . Here’s a general guide:
- Topic component 1
- Topic component 2
- Topic component 3
Remember to balance the various parts of your presentation. As a rule, the introduction shouldn’t be more than two slides. The topic slides form the body and should make up about 70% of your PowerPoint presentation. As simple as this may sound, it can be difficult to know which stylistic devices or elements to use to keep your audience’s attention. What should you focus on in each section of the presentation?
Take a look at this chart outlining a presentation:
So, what does this mean for each part of the presentation structure?
1. The introduction: Pique curiosity
An intro is an important part of any presentation structure. It has to awaken the audience’s interest and ideally, create a rapport. There are several ways to start the presentation.
- The soft intro
With this type of introduction, you meet the audience at their level and gradually get to the core content of your presentation. Your first slides should be simple and not introduce too much new content. The audience should be able to understand and agree with all points until you finally get to the main topic. The first step is to describe the current situation , the second step to describe the challenge and the third step to discuss how to respond to the challenge .
- The “element of surprise” intro
With this introduction, the element of surprise is on your side. Start the presentation with a statement that shocks or surprises your audience. Bold statements or results from studies are excellent ways to do this. With this kind of intro, you also describe the current situation and what has happened or could happen. You outline the potential consequences and ask how it should be handled. Make sure these statements are true and relevant to your audience. If they aren’t, you’ll come off as less credible.
2. The body of the presentation: The heart of the matter
The body should make up about 70% of your presentation structure. This is where you flesh out your presentation topic. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes; how you would like a presenter to address you? Are their arguments valid? This is a great time to actively involve your audience in a question-and-answer scenario. This is called a dialogue-oriented presentation. Involving your audience this way guarantees their full attention.
There are two ways to organize the main part of the presentation:
- As a pyramid
With this structure, the core message is introduced at the beginning of the presentation’s main section. Presenting the core message early will have your audience wanting to hear more. This is exactly the right time to start the question-and-answer scenario to hold their attention and get them involved.
- As a funnel
The funnel introduces the core message towards the end of the presentation . This structure does have a few drawbacks. It doesn’t lend itself well to a dialogue-oriented presentation and by waiting until the end to deliver your core message, your audience may not make the connection with earlier key statements. To avoid this, it always helps to revisit those earlier statements and reinforce the core message.
It’s also a more challenging presentation structure to pull off, especially if you don’t have that much experience with presenting. The funnel can be effective with controversial and/or highly emotional topics. Controversial core messages that are brought up at the very beginning of a presentation can lead to discussions that veer off and are hard to control. In these cases, the funnel structure is the better option.
3. The conclusion: crossing the finish line
The final part of your presentation structure may seem like the easiest. You’ve presented all your content, so the hard part is over, right? Never underestimate the importance of your conclusion . It gives you the perfect opportunity to reiterate your key points. Use it to summarize your insights, draw a conclusion and finally, discuss what needs to be done next.
It’s also a great opportunity to initiate an open discussion. If you want to open the floor to comments and questions at the end, give your audience a heads-up at the beginning of your presentation. That will give them a chance to take notes as you go along. You could also encourage the audience to ask questions during the presentation. Do this only if you know you won’t get thrown off track and you can quickly shift gears while presenting. You can find more helpful tips for a successful end of presentation here.
How to apply these tips now and create a presentation from scratch can be found in this tutorial .
The right presentation structure: It’s not just about content
Don’t forget that content alone is not enough to convince your audience. A well thought-out and rehearsed presentation is also counts as part of a presentation’s structure. The right delivery supports your slides and opens the door to communicating with your audience. You can find many helpful tips on giving a presentation in these articles:
- Why a good presentation intro is so important
- Tips for closing out a presentation
- Using the right body language while presenting
- Public speaking skills
- How to handle mistakes and slip-ups while presenting
- Using humor in presentations
Pro tip: Use notes
Is your presentation ready? Now it is time to prepare for your delivery. A short script may help . Just make sure you provide additional information and don’t simply read the slides aloud.
You can choose any note-taking tool you like. You can either use classic index cards with keywords or the Notes function in PowerPoint. You can read more about this here .
Most importantly, practice your presentation . Speaking freely and confidently is key to your presentation’s success. As great a tool as it is, PowerPoint can’t do it all for you; it can only visually support your key messages. So, take the time to make sure you are as well prepared as possible.
Impress your audience: Deliver a strong presentation with the perfect structure!
PowerPoint gives so many advantages to you and your presentation. PowerPoint is so easy to use, even beginners can master it in just a few simple steps.
Follow our tips on the right presentation structure – you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to create a professional and cohesive PowerPoint presentation!
If you need help developing the right presentation structure or building your presentation, let us put our expertise to work and help you create the perfect presentation. Feel free to contact us here for a no-obligation estimate or email us at: [email protected] .
Are you looking for professionally designed slide templates for your presentation? Then take a look at our shop . We have templates on a diverse selection of business topics and design themes for you to download. For example, these:
These articles might also interest you:
- Create a PowerPoint presentation
- How to create a PowerPoint table of contents
- Notes in PowerPoint
- A solid presentation conclusion
- Why the start of a presentation is so important
- The right body language while presenting
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Structuring your presentation
- » Structuring your presentation
- » Working with visual aids
- » Delivering the presentation
Having worked out your key message and main points, the next stage is to structure the content of your presentation. Just like other forms of academic writing, a presentation can be divided into three parts: an introduction detailing the purpose and structure of the talk; a body covering the main points; and a conclusion summarising and highlighting the significance of your talk. A template for your talk is given in the Presentations structure document.
You may wish to capture the audience's interest and attention with a story or commentary on a current development that raises an important question / problem / dilemma. Or, you may first wish to frame your talk with brief context / background, and then swiftly transition into a concise explantion of the issue / problem or debate that your key message addresses. In either case, the next step in your introduction is to clearly state the purpose or key message of the talk, for example using the following prompts.
- 'Today I would like to talk about a highly contested issue...'
- 'This question is central to understanding...'
- 'I will make the case that...'
If necessary, limit the scope of the presentation:
- 'Although there are several theories, this talk will only focus on two ...'
- 'focuses only on the private sector as opposed to the public sector ...'
- 'Implementation, rather than policy formation, will be considered ...'
Signpost the structure/approach of the talk:
- 'My case is based on three main points. Firstly...The second point is that...This will then lead me to...Finally...'
This part of the talk provides the support for your main message. You should discuss each of your main points in a clear and logical order. As you do, be sure to explain how these points relate to each other and your key message:
- 'Turning to the next point...'
- 'Another important consideration is that...'
- 'Having examined...I'd now like to talk about...'
All necessary concepts and terms need to be defined and explained before being used. Examples can be used to effectively illustrate your points.
Signpost that you have reached the end of the talk:
- 'In conclusion...'
- 'I'd like to finish by...'
Summarise the key points covered. In the process, remind the audience of the significance of the topic, the aims of your talk and demonstrate how you have met the aims. Thank the audience for their attention and invite them to comment or ask questions.
Acknowledging others ideas
As with all academic work, if you use other people's ideas, images, data etc, then you must appropriately acknowledge it in your presentation. You do this through your spoken words or supply references on your visual aids. In text references can be kept brief to enable the audience to read. You should also include a reference list slide at the end of your presentation. See referencing resources for more information.
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How to Structure a PowerPoint Presentation
Structure Presentation Design
When you have a wealth of ideas in your mind, it can be challenging to put them all together in a coherent way. This is also true for designing a PowerPoint presentation . Many people have great ideas but cannot structure them into a cohesive PowerPoint Presentation. To end this, we’ve put together a few tips on effectively structuring a PowerPoint presentation .
Standard Presentation Structure
Every PowerPoint presentation must have 3 important sections— the introduction, body and conclusion.
The introduction of your presentation is one of the most critical aspects of the entire PowerPoint presentation. An effective introduction will grab the audiences attention and make them want to listen to what you have to say. It should give them an overview of what the presentation will be about and why it is important. A good introduction will set the tone for the rest of the PowerPoint presentation and make it more likely that your audience will pay attention and remember what you have to say.
Your introduction provides your audience with a snapshot of what they can expect from your presentation and sets the tone for the rest of your talk. Include your presentation title and a brief overview of your objective.
The key points of your PowerPoint presentation should be covered in the main body of your talk. This is where you will provide the bulk of your information and explanation. Breaking down your content into smaller, manageable sections will help your audience follow your presentation more easily.
Make sure to cover all the key points you want to get across to your audience and provide plenty of detail and examples to illustrate your points. Remember that your audience will likely have questions, so be prepared to answer them. Finally, conclude your talk by summarizing the main points and reiterating your key message.
When creating a PowerPoint presentation, it is essential to consider what key points you want to cover. These key points should be included in the main body of your talk. This will ensure that your audience understands the most important aspects of your presentation. Additionally, covering key points in your talk’s main body will help keep your presentation focused and on track.
The conclusion is the closing section of your entire presentation that summarizes your main points and the message you want to deliver to your audience. It is vital to end your PowerPoint presentation with a clear, concise conclusion that leaves your audience with a strong impression of your key points. Your conclusion should not introduce new information but rather reiterate the most important aspects of your presentation. By ending your PowerPoint presentation with a strong conclusion, you will leave your audience with a clear understanding of your message.
Your conclusion must sum up your objective and ideas. It is also crucial to include a thank you slide where you thank your audience and share details about how they can contact you. Thanking your audience is a key part of any presentation, and it is especially important when giving a presentation for business purposes. By showing your appreciation, you leave a positive lasting impression that could lead to future opportunities.
Now that you know what will be covered in your presentation, it is time to create it.
Your presentation idea and concept are already in place. Start crafting your presentation content and determining what you wish to convey to your audience. Broadly categorize your information into three sections- introduction, body, and conclusion- while ensuring you cover all arguments you want to deliver.
The content is one of the most critical aspects of an excellent presentation. You need to ensure that your presentation is well-crafted and covers all the points you wish to convey to your audience. Take some time to sit down and plan out your presentation. Write down what you want to say and in what order you want to say it. Once you have your presentation content planned out, you can start working on creating individual slides or other visuals to help get your message across. Keep your audience in mind as you craft your content and determine what will be the most effective way to get your point across. With great content, your PowerPoint presentation is sure to be a success.
The text on your slides should be clear and easy to read. Use a sans serif font (like Arial or Helvetica) for your body text and a serif font (like Times New Roman) for your headers. Make sure your font size is large enough to be legible from a distance. Your text should be concise and to the point. No one wants to read a novel on your slides. Use bullet points to list your main ideas and short, punchy sentences.
Finally, your text should be well-aligned. No one likes a slide that looks like a mess. Use PowerPoint’s alignment tools to ensure your text is flush left, center, or right. White space is an important element in any PowerPoint presentation. By incorporating white space, you can help to focus your audience’s attention on the most important elements of your presentation.
The next step in creating your PowerPoint presentation would be to determine the sequence of your information. Break down your information into subsections and decide which information your audience needs to receive to understand the following information. This helps you determine the flow of your presentation and how you must design your slides.
When creating a PowerPoint presentation, it is essential to have an outline to help ensure that all of the necessary information is included. The outline should consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. An outline for a PowerPoint presentation is a great way to organize your thoughts and ensure your presentation flows smoothly. An outline can help you to structure your presentation so that it is clear and concise and improve the audiences attention span.
You need to have a powerful narrative to deliver an impactful presentation. Just conveying information is not enough – you need to be creative and deliver your message in a way that will stick with your audience. If you want them to remember what you said, your narrative must be memorable and different from anything they’ve heard. With a great story, you can make your PowerPoint presentation unforgettable.
You need to have a powerful narrative to significantly impact your presentation. You need to be able to tell a story that engages your audience and keeps them wanting more. A good narrative will also help you to make complex concepts more relatable and easier to understand. When crafting your narrative, focus on making it clear, concise, and engaging.
Get started with your presentation
It is much easier to structure your presentation now that you have the content, sequence, and narrative. Decide on a suitable layout and get started with your slides. Make sure to follow your planned sequence and maintain continuity through your slides. This will help engage your audience and deliver your message effectively. It is essential to keep a consistent look throughout your presentation while making some individual slides stand out. This can be achieved by ensuring that all slides are well-aligned with your presentation flow.
3 Tips to improve your presentation design
3 tips to improve presentation design
The most important aspect of your presentation is its alignment. Your audience will form their opinion of your presentation based on how well it is aligned. If your text, images, and graphics are not aligned properly, your PowerPoint presentation will look unprofessional.
When a lot of time and effort is put into designing a presentation, but the text isn’t readable? Using trendy fonts because they’re currently popular is the worst approach you can take to design a presentation. Make sure your fonts are legible and large enough for your audience to understand the information on the screen.
The font you choose for your PowerPoint presentation says a lot about you and your company. A good font will convey professionalism and give your audience the impression that you are credible and trustworthy. A lousy font, on the other hand, can make you look unprofessional and even untrustworthy.
So, how do you choose the right font for your PowerPoint presentation? There are a few things to consider:
- Think about what kind of message you want to convey. Are you looking for something formal or informal?
- Consider your audience. What kind of font will they be most comfortable reading?
- Make sure the font you choose is easy to read.
- The last thing you want is your audience to strain their eyes trying to read your slides.
If you keep these things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect font for your PowerPoint presentation. To discover the best fonts you can use in a presentation, check out Compelling Fonts for Impactful Presentations .
Use Images of various shapes
Square and rectangular images are the most boring way to design a presentation. If you want your presentation to be more attractive, use images of various shapes, remove backgrounds, or cut images into desired shapes. Consider getting rid of unnecessary elements to make sure your images are striking.
As someone who designs slides for a living, I often get asked about the best ways to ensure your slides are effective. Here are a few tips:
- First, make sure your text is easily readable. This means using a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica and a dark color for the text on a light background, or vice versa.
- Second, use high-quality images. This means avoiding stock photos and instead using pictures that are relevant to your topic and that are high resolution.
- Third, use minimal text. Too much text on a slide can overwhelm your audience, so focus on using key phrases and bullet points.
- Fourth, use slide transitions sparingly. Stick to basic transitions like fades or wipes, and avoid using too many different types of transitions in a single presentation.
Professional Presentation Design
Knowing how to structure your PowerPoint presentation is a great way to deliver impactful presentations. When you know the flow of your presentation is perfect, you are confident about not messing up. While you may be able to perfectly structure and align your slides, it is not quite easy to master the design aspect of it. Professional presentation designers like Visual Sculptors can introduce creative design elements that enhance your presentation’s look and empower its visual impact.
The ability to structure your presentation impactful is key to delivering successful presentations. A well-organized PowerPoint presentation ensures that you will deliver your content confidently and without making any mistakes. While you may be able to perfectly structure and align your slides, it is not quite easy to master the design aspect of it.
Freelancing platforms like Upwork , Fiverr , and Guru provide the options to explore the best design talents online that best suit your budget delivering top-quality designs.
Professional presentation designers like Visual Sculptors can introduce creative design elements that enhance your presentation’s look and empower its visual impact.
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