When creating a presentation it helps to think of it as having three components: the opening, the body and an ending. Each part of the presentation can be further broken down into various sub-parts. After breaking down the presentation to all it’s components, it’s easy to add your content to the appropriate area. The following information details how a presentation can be broken down into its components.
The Opening includes the following items:
- Topic Statement
- Question Protocol
1) The Hook
The way you begin a presentation sets the tone for the audience. By using a hook, you are able to create interest in the topic and capture the attention of the audience immediately. The hook also gives the audience a chance to warm up to the presenter and the topic.
A good hook should stimulate the imagination and be memorable while remaining relevant to the topic. As a general rule, the hook should not take up more than ten percent of your presentation time. The hook can be used before or after the Agenda.
This video looks at strong starts are how to use them. Various hooking techniques are explained with examples of presenters using them.
There are a variety of techniques you can use to hook your audience: show a short video clip, give a live skit, ask a question, ask for an opinion, ask a rhetorical question, tell a story, share shocking facts, give a quote, use imagery, show a picture, use humour, or relate to a current event or fad.
Here is an example of how to use a question or statement to gets people’s attention and hold onto it.
2) The Agenda
When planning your presentation, remember that the agenda is a snapshot of the flow of your presentation. It becomes a road map of your ‘presentation journey’. The agenda should consist of a list of the headings in your presentation to prepare the audience for what’s to come. The Agenda shows the audience the big picture and reassures them that you have taken the time to organize your information.
See Creative Presentation Agenda Examples: This site reminds us that agendas should not be dull and boring.
3) The Title
A strong title creates interest, anticipation and remains with the audience for a long time. The title should be catchy and stimulate the imagination while reflecting the theme of your presentation. When choosing a title, remember that it should promise benefits; there is something to gain from your presentation. For the presenter, the advantage of a great title is that it shows your mastery of the topic and it helps you to be introduced.
How to write a Presentation Title that gets people flocking to your session: This website provides seven tips to help you create memorable titles.
4) The Topic Statement
The Topic Statement is a sentence, either spoken or included as a slide, that gives the goal of your presentation. The topic statement should be clear, specific and give the focus of the presentation. A topic statement is never a question.
The Topic Statement must encompass all the elements of your presentation, likewise, all the parts of your presentation must be able to support this statement.
5) Question Rule/Protocol
It’s important to take control of when the audience can ask questions. By establishing the rules for questions, you can tell your audience your preference for when they should ask their questions. The Question Rule should be stated during the opening of the presentation.
The presentation body includes the following items:
Strategy Statements present the series of actions needed to achieve the goal in the topic statement. Details of the strategy statements can be found in supporting statements. Each strategy statement has its own set of supporting statements.
The number of strategies will depend on the length and depth of your presentation. The list of strategy statements becomes your agenda. Note that specific details are not required in the strategy statements since these will be outlined in the supporting points of each strategy statement.
Supporting Points – the points which support each strategy statement
Here’s a great resource on presentation planning from the University of Leicester – See the section ‘Choosing Your Supporting Information’
The ending of a presentation should include the following items:
The summary is a reminder of the important points that were covered in your presentation. Don’t introduce anything new in the summary. Don’t use the Agenda as a Summary.
This video explains the logic behind why we should summarize our presentations, shows examples of presentation summaries and provides creative ideas for presentation summaries.
Your Sources – The credibility of your work depends on the sources that you cite. You want to avoid plagiarism at all costs.
Thank your audience to show that you appreciate the time they have given to listen to you presentation. Give your thank-you after the summary and before the question period of the presentation.
This video tells you how to wrap up a presentation politely.
Questions from the Audience
Answering questions at the end of the presentation allows the audience to get any clarification they might need and it gives you the opportunity to reinforce the points you have made. If the audience doesn’t have any questions you can tell them about questions that you frequently get. When answering questions, you might need to repeat the question for the sake of other members of the audience. Remember to keep your answer concise to avoid repeating details that were already covered.
The best way to be ready for questions from the audience is to anticipate any questions they may have and prepare the answers.
Tips about how to take questions during the ending of a presentation.
Three specific tips are provided on how to handle questions from the audience.