Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Presentation Tip: Create An Outline

From Wilder’s Presentations at:

The first step in developing a presentation is to create a Presentation Overview that includes your objective and key messages. The second step, before creating your slides, is to take the information from your Presentation Overview and make a one-slide summary/outline.

You can present it at the beginning of your talk or at the end, depending on your audience’s attention span and ability to wait until the end of the presentation to have it all summarized.

“No, no”, you say, “I do the executive summary after I make my slides. Why is doing it first important?”

Summary/outlines are not just for old maid grammarians. They are a useful way to organize your thinking. If you do your summary/outline first, you can check it against your Presentation Overview. If the information is not relevant to the Overview, then you should probably leave it out.

You will save yourself time and sound more organized, and therefore knowledgeable, in front of your audience. Here are three executive summaries formats to get you started. Don’t use long sentences—simply convey the essence of your message.

Strategy Recommendation Executive Summary
  • Present Situation
  • Desired Outcome
  • Strategy to Reach the Outcome
  • Key Reasons for this Strategy
  • Next Steps

Change Proposal Executive Summary
  • What’s Not Working Now
  • Recommended Change
  • Benefits of Change
  • Next Steps to Implementation

Selling Executive Summary
  • Market Situation
  • Our Response
  1. Design Feature
  2. Design Feature
  3. Design Feature
  • Our Product
  • Benefits for You
  1. Benefit
  2. Benefit
  3. Benefit

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