Have a clear message or focus
- Who is your audience? Jot down a few key details about them, like what they might already know about your topic and any context or jargon they need explained.
- What is the main message you want the audience to walk away with? Try and do this in one sentence. This will help you keep your content on track as you put together your presentation: people will only be able to remember a fraction of what you say, so you want your message to be clear and focused.
- Develop your topic in a clear and organized way. With the purpose and message in mind, create a structure or roadmap. Not all presentations need to be told chronologically. Other structures include: set-up, conflict, resolution; ideal, reality, problem, and solution; or character, struggle, goal.
Introduce the topic and give an overview or agenda
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them. They will understand and enjoy the presentation more when they know what is to come. A rambling speech with no clear organization puts your audience to sleep.
Develop your points with examples
- By giving real examples, your content will be easier for your audience to understand.
Do your research and cite your sources. If you share facts or details, ensure that your sources are accurate. Nothing weakens your credibility more than misstating information for your audience.
Close the loop
- Much like a written paper, your conclusion should connect back to your introduction
- Highlight your key points and consider your message or ‘take away’ that you want your audience to leave with
- If your presentation has moved slowly, condense but don't eliminate the conclusion. Your presentation may appear to lack direction if you don't offer closure for your audience.
- Be prepared for questions. A friend or colleague may help you anticipate these when you practice.