The Best Way to Outline Your Presentation

September 9, 2013

outlineAn impressive number of people can recite the presentation advice: “Tell them what you are going to say. Say it. Tell them what you just said.”

You know it. I know it.  Yet, few people actually embrace this presentation technique.

Why? Is it too predictable? Too boring? Personally, I think that this beloved approach to presentation organization is like a valuable diamond – that needs to be polished.

Ensure that the central message of your presentation content sparkles by following this 5-step process:

1. Tease

The Climate: State or tease at the current market/cultural situation.

The Problem: Briefly describe the problem for your business, your competitors and your customers.

The Solution: Tantalize your audience by hinting at your answer to the problem.

2. Unveil the Mystery

The Reason: In 10 seconds or less, state why everyone has gathered to listen to you speak.

The Preview: What are your three main points or “golden nuggets”?

3. Inform & Ignite

The Good Stuff: Relish in the pleasure of watching your audience frantically scribble notes as you dive into the three main points of your presentation.  These three main points are the heart and soul of your presentation. Each main point should be followed with at least three supporting claims.

4. Lock Down

The Review: For the audience members who could not take notes fast enough, and for the other people who simply cannot get enough of your genius insights, review your three main points.

5. Launch

The Call to Action: Now that your audience is hooked on your message, do not leave them hanging.  Give a clear and easy-to-follow call to action.

It is common knowledge that as a presenter you should “Tell them what you are going to say. Say it. Tell them what you just said.” I am guessing that you are not average though, so elevate your message beyond the cliché.

Read More: "Want to be Memorable? It Starts With Your Content"

Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki.