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Presentation Skills: Organizing Your Presentation

Posted by on October 31, 2011

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Last week, we talked about how to plan your presentation. Now you need to organize your material to add clarity to your presentation. It’s important to create a structure that helps your audience understand your message. If your presentation isn’t organized, your listeners will have to search for that message. But that’s hard work, and most audiences won’t do it. If you force them to search, you will lose your audience’s attention. But organizing your presentation will keep them right there with you.

There are two ways in which you can organize your key points:

  • most to least important
  • natural progression

Most to Least Important

Look through your key points. Think in terms of what is of most interest to your audience: What is their primary concern? This is your most important point and should be the one you present first. Organize the remaining points in terms of what is most important in conveying your message, which points help people take the action you want them to take. When you are finished with this process, your key points will end up in a most to least important order.

Your most important points should be stated first because people are most attentive at the beginning of a presentation. Also, if there is a time limit, you don’t want to be cut off without having made your most important points. What a tragedy that would be!

Natural Progression

If there is a natural progression to your topic, present the material in its natural order. Natural progression include chronological order (past, present, future), time sequences (an unfolding schedule), cause and effect, advantages and disadvantages, etc.

Well-organized material helps your audience get the message!

Presentation Skills

Please tune in next time to learn about Your Presentation Introduction.

Karen Holmes is a CGWA Senior Consultant and Trainer, based in the U.S. and delivering programs such as Coaching, Positive Power and Influence, Presentation Skills, and many more.