6 Steps to Outline Your Next Business Presentation

August 3, 2015

business presentation ethos3 blogThere are many different methods with which a presenter can mold his or her content. In fact, my team and I have several at our disposal that we deploy from project to project. I counted 26 different styles at one point. For example, we have different styles for teaching, selling, and pitching.

But what’s the best approach? The answer is simple. Utilize a storytelling approach. Doing so activates seven parts of the brain as compared to two areas that are activated during data driven presentations.

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That’s much easier said than done so I want to offer up a 6-stage plug in and play storytelling model for you.

Stage 1: Mood

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During this stage you want to establish the right tone and mood for the presentation. Your first few slides should begin to paint the picture of whether this is going to be an informational or inspirational storyline.

Stage 2: Character

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Powerful presentations generally tell stories about prospects or clients. This section is utilized to introduce the hero or heroes of your presentation. This could consist of a company origin story, a person using a product or service, or even a group experience.

Stage 3: Conflict

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This stage is critical since it is where the emotional crux of the presentation is set. As you begin producing your content, ask yourself: What’s preventing the audience or the hero from experiencing a happy ending?

Stage 4: Journey

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Think of your favorite movies and books. A majority of the time is spent in this stage. This is where all of the necessary details are added to enhance the story and carry the hero over obstacles and through the woods.

Stage 5: Cliffhanger

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This stage includes the peak of the story, and can also function as a compelling way to get the audience to become a part of it. It also presents a great time to start building up to your call-to-action.

Stage 6: Resolution

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Everything builds up to this final stage. You need to ask yourself: What would a perfect resolution look like for this message? This conclusion ties it all together.

Now, will this style work for each and every presentation you give moving forward? No. But, it will work for a majority of them. And, when it does work, you’ll see magical results because it will force you utilize your presentation as if it were a story rather than a data dump.

READ MORE: Presenter's Toolbox: Apps and Gear For a Successful Presentation

Author Bio

Scott Schwertly is a 2x Ironman 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. If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.

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