Structuring Your Presentation For Success

Earlier on our blog we featured the four keys to a great presentation. These  four elements are Content, Design, Structure and Delivery. Today we’re going to highlight the important aspects of structure.

We have been building and delivering presentations at CustomShow for over a decade and at Sales Graphics for 40 years before that, so we’ve seen our share of presentations. Over the years it’s become clear what works – and what doesn’t. So here are several keys of structure that we have observed over the years.

The Right Structure: Everything In Its Place, Both In The Presentation And Out.

  • Presentations are stories that are told in time. Thus they need to have a beginning, middle and end. Just the fact that you start your presentation, talk for awhile and then finish doesn’t count as structure. The work of curating and supporting your content and design elements will give you a  clearer idea of how best to structure your story. Luckily, a presentation isn’t a post-modern novel, so complex narrative structures aren’t necessary. But it is crucial to clearly introduce the premise, promise or problem that is the core of your message and then to describe and supporting your solution is critical to your delivery.
  • Presentation structure, unlike other documents or interactions, also need to be structured with the audience in mind. A great presentation is targeted to its audience,  both in terms of message and content. Does the narrative speak to the experience of this audience? Is the call-to-action targeted to this particular audience’s needs right now? Are the demos, products, competitive sets, data or case studies targeted for the objectives of today’s meeting instead of yesterday’s or tomorrow’s?
  • Structure can also apply to your entire library of presentation materials. If you have been giving presentations for a while, or your company has a shared drive full of presentations, there’s a lot of available content for you to work with. The question is whether you can find valuable and appropriate content for the presentation you’re working on. Applying the idea of structure and organization to not just your presentation but to your library of previous presentations and presentation materials can be just as important as structuring your information within your presentation. Being able to efficiently find what you need and know that it’s accurate and up-to-date will make you a more effective presenter.

Check out all four keys here and if you’re interested in learning more about CustomShow schedule a free demo today.  If you’re looking for more design tips and tricks check out our partner SalesGraphics.

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