Developing a presentation is similar to the basics of a research paper and nothing to fear. Most people believe that the first step to preparing a presentation is to develop the visual aid first. On the contrary, the skeleton of your presentation, aka the outline, is what you need first. Your visual aid is the last item on the to do list.
First things first, choose a topic to begin with and make sure the topic is not too broad. Identify a goal, purpose, message, and lesson you want the audience to take away. Develop your theme by listing three sub-topics, three main points of discussion. These points of discussion should explain or describe your topic. The purpose of keeping to a limited number of main points is so your audience will stay more focused, and have a through understanding.
Develop your main points of discussion by listing out the information, list out everything that could be said about each of your points. Time yourself as you read through your rough script. Does it need to be longer or shorter? People only have a 10-minute attention span so consider where you are going to add spaces for questions and how are you planning to re-engage the audience.
Now that you have founded the backbone of your presentation, it is time to script your presentation. I prefer to stick to the bullet points and formulate the verbal presentation in my head. For some people it’s easier to literally write out every word of their verbal presentation. The trick is to have a bullet point formula at the end so you can easily look briefly at your notes during your presentation if necessary.
Sit and think about your script and your outline, your points, your theme and develop a strategy. How are you going to execute the presentation? How are you going to tie in your spoken words with your visual aid? Now, the last thing is to prepare your visual aid, be diligent and thorough.
Check back with Speak Simple for future blog posts about developing your visual aid (like next week). There is a method to the madness!