Presentation Fundamentals
Illustration by Neil Webb

Organize your content


From:

Presentation Fundamentals

with Tatiana Kolovou
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This course qualifies for 1.50 PDUs towards maintaining PMI® certification. Learn More

Video: Organize your content

Woman:The analogy I like to make to a well organized presentation is that of of a neatly wrapped present. Think about it. You look at the bow and the wrapping and you immediately want to open it up and see what's inside. If you think of your presentation as a present, you will pay close attention to the following elements that make it memorable for your audience. As I walk through these elements, make notes for your upcoming presentation and organize it in the same way. Open with a bang! The first few words need to hook the audience's attention and give them a reason to listen.

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Watch the Online Video Course Presentation Fundamentals
1h 31m Appropriate for all May 12, 2014

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What makes a compelling presentation? A presentation that is built on strong research, tailored to your audience's interests, and designed to anticipate and answer questions about your message. In this course, author and Kelley Business School professor Tatiana Kolovou teaches you how to prepare strong business presentations. Learn how to find your story, appeal to logic and emotion, gain credibility, build a deck, and deliver a compelling presentation. Along the way, follow Katie, a young professional, as she prepares to give a presentation to the executives at her organization.

This course qualifies for 1.5 Category A professional development units (PDUs) through lynda.com, PMI Registered Education Provider #4101.

Topics include:
  • Analyzing your audience
  • Strategizing for possible audience reaction
  • Building credibility with your audience
  • Collecting information
  • Organizing content
  • Designing slides
  • Practicing your presentation
  • Holding a Q&A session

  • The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
Subject:
Business
Author:
Tatiana Kolovou

Organize your content

Woman:The analogy I like to make to a well organized presentation is that of of a neatly wrapped present. Think about it. You look at the bow and the wrapping and you immediately want to open it up and see what's inside. If you think of your presentation as a present, you will pay close attention to the following elements that make it memorable for your audience. As I walk through these elements, make notes for your upcoming presentation and organize it in the same way. Open with a bang! The first few words need to hook the audience's attention and give them a reason to listen.

If you think back to the needs of your audience we mentioned earlier, you will find a relevant statistic, a story, a set of data, or even a real world example that quickly connects the topic to your audience. Your energy and your speaking conviction here are crucial. As Aristotle preached, ethical appeal is a large component of how the audience perceives you. The introduction for your speech is where you want to sound comfortable and have practiced several times while still sounding relational and extemporaneous.

Reveal the main theme and what's to come. To keep the audience's attention, you quickly want to share your main theme and preview the upcoming pieces. For this to work well, the design of your presentation needs to line up all the pieces in a logical sequence. You may want to follow a chronological sequence, or you prioritize your points based on what the audience needs to know first, second, third, or even build points into a scenario of lessons learned.

Whichever way decide to organize your main points, be sure that they're easy for the audience to follow. Give yourself credit. Apart from your physical and vocal credibility, don't be afraid to brag a little bit about the work that you've done to design this presentation. Of course you want this to be subtle, but if you have talked to experts, if you've read reports, sifted through articles and studies, mention that. If you have previous experience that makes you a perfect fit for this topic, mention that.

If you have a charge from a highly regarded member of the audience, definitely mention that. Connect the dots. Depending on the length of your presentation, you should have somewhere between 2 and 4 main points. As you share them with the audience in the sequence you chose earlier, be sure to make the transitions between them seemless. For example, as you finish talking about Point A, wrap it up with a line that condenses the essence of Point A and logically connects to the next point, B.

Give the audience a little taste of what Point B is about, and then dive into the content. As you proceed to Point C, briefly review the first 2 points, A and B, and then connect them to the third point, C, and dive into relating to that. Wrap with confidence. The close of a compelling presentation is a as important as the opener. This is the best place for sharing next steps for the audience as you continue to tie to the so what for them.

Keep your energy up. Remind the audience of your main points, and always bring the close back to the hook that you opened with for a seamless flow. This may also be a good time to transition to the Q&A discussion of your presentation. You are giving your audience a present. Get their attention from the get-go, and slowly unwrap your organized content to help them take the next step. Your next step is to sketch out your own organizational flow.

The worksheet in your exercise files will confirm that you're on mark with your logical appeal. Have fun.

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