Organize Your Presentation

Presentations must have some type of order so the presenter has an order in which to speak and the audience has an order to follow. There are many types of order, while I worked at the zoo doing animal presentations a common order was from head to tail, I would commonly use what I refer to as a circular order from head to back to tail to feet and belly and back to head. My volunteers who were oftentimes new to presenting at all would skip the step of organizing the information and they would oftentimes get stumped and not know what to say next. Being stumped leaves large awkward holes in the presentation.

There are many different ways to organize your presentations depending on what you will be talking about. There is chronological order in which you discuss events from the past to the current and then future. Spacial order is a type of organization arranges the relationships in regards to the physical position. When speaking about a house perhaps you could discuss the living room first, then discuss the dining room, after discuss the bedrooms. Climatic order is helpful when discussing things in the order of importance, but can be used in many ways including general to specific order, specific to general order, order of frequency, and order of familiarity. If discussing events in President Lincoln’s life, events could be arranged from least tragic to most tragic. Process order is not a commonly known organization method but allows the steps of a process to be identified in the order in which they have to occur.

There is no wrong way to organize your future presentations so long as they have some type of organization. If your topic does not have any organization at all and jumps around it is difficult for the audience to follow along and more importantly it is difficult for the presenter to give a good presentation if he/she has to constantly search for information filed away in the brain. Identify your topic and think which order would suit your topic the best and make sure to stick with a single method of organization. Good Luck!

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