"obvious" presentation structure

A recent training on the structure of presentation and storytelling has given me a new perspective on public speaking. It was yet another case of an idea becoming so obvious only after someone has told you about it. Now I will try to give this perspective to you.

First of all you should consider why you are doing this presentation. It might happen that it's not even necessary. In most cases however this consideration will help you realise what is the goal you are trying to achieve with this speech. Goals could be several, usually it's some mix of informing, leading to action and entertaining. Keep these goals in mind while making the presentation.

The next step is to list the key takeaways the listeners should remember from your speech. The shorter the list, the easier it is to remember, only a few will manage to recall more than five items. The important part here is that you start with what people should learn and not with what you have to say.

Keeping these takeaways in mind, write an outline of your presentation as a coherent text. It's better to use short sentences of a few words each, but avoid making them bureaucratic. Each of these sentences will become a title of a slide. You could try following structure for better coherence: "why? what? how". Introduce the problem, propose the solution, summarise implementation details.

In conclusion: the most important people are your listeners. What do they need to know? How much details do they need? How do they perceive the information? Start with answers to these question, like a developer who starts with gathering system requirements (as opposed to what the latest hype tech can offer).

Now this made me thinking about how much it applies to writing texts, i.e. blog posts…

Артемий Трегубенко,
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