Structuring your presentations

When you listen to the news they use a standard formula.Photo fish hook

Start: Headlines that capture your interest

Middle: Meat on the bones of the headlines

End: Recapping the main points again

When you are structuring a presentation you can apply a similar formula.


Grab your audience at the start by letting them know what’s in it for them. Remember it’s not about you, it’s all about them. You have to know your audience to be successful as a presenter. Let them know who you are and find a way of building rapport with them. People tend to be more easily influenced by people who are like them. Build common ground. Reduce difference. Get them enthusiastic about what you will be covering.


Let them know how long you will be presenting for and what you will be covering. You might suggest they hold their questions until the end as well. Suggest people turn off their phones. Let them know you will email through a copy of your slides to anyone who may want them.

Then tell them a great story that is relevant and linked to your content.

Present your content in the best order for your audience. 3 key messages is normally enough. Go with your best piece of content first. You decide the best way to structure your messages. Use examples, quotes, simple graphs, great images. Tell real stories.

Summarise and draw it all together. Handle the questions beautifully.

Finally recommend the next steps. When, how, who. Show of hands? Who’s in? Who needs a bit more time?

Thank them for their time and their feedback.

So let’s just recap the main points again.

When you present, have a strong beginning that engages your audience, a clear middle that outlines your points and arguments and a great ending leading to actions.

Posted in Presenting; Tagged Presenting; Posted by Steve Herzberg

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