Friday, March 23, 2007

Reminder of the importance of presentation structure

During a workshop I was giving yesterday, we had the teams spend some time applying the ideas that were taught to their own slides. Each team had a laptop and got to work immediately. Except for one team in the back corner. When I checked on them part way through the time, they hadn't even opened PowerPoint yet. Here's what happened. They were working on a presentation for next week and figured that they'd just jump right in and get going. But almost as soon as they started their discussions, it became apparent that they needed to take a step back to consider what the goal of the presentation really was and what points they needed to make. At the end of the hour, they had not designed a single slide, but were so pleased anyways. Why? Because they had agreed on the structure of their presentation and were now so confident of exactly what each slide needed to say. Creating the slides would be easy now. It reminds all of us of a key lesson. Always start with the structure of your presentation - goal, audience analysis, etc. With a good structure, the slides basically create themselves. Think of this team the next time you sit down to create a presentation. Most of the hard work goes on before you ever fire up PowerPoint. And that work on the structure makes the work in PowerPoint so much easier. To find out more about my customized workshops, visit .


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