Before you get to designing your PowerPoint slides, start by clearly structuring the content. Only if you have carefully thought through the sequence and content of the presentation in advance, you can really convince with your slides.
In this blog article I would like to show you how important it is to have a structured course of action in mind from the very beginning. I give you six questions you can use to review your presentation structure – no matter what kind of presentation you give .
At the beginning there is a clear presentation structure
Before writers and authors begin a novel or screenplay, they establish a “plot.” This refers to the content structure of a text. Also, to begin a presentation, you should create a detailed flowchart, or presentation structure, to determine what information you will present and when. The random stringing together of PowerPoint slides unfortunately brings only insufficient results.
If you have already seen one or two good presentations, you have probably noticed that the presenter always follows a logical course of action. The lecture always begins with an introduction, then moves on to the individual topics, which are usually divided into chapters, and ends with a concluding section. Since our brain is always looking for structures in the information we receive in order to process it better, we should structure our content as well as possible. However, a clear and concrete presentation structure is also an important tool for you to see in the planning phase of the presentation whether all important information has been considered and placed in the right order.
Presentation structure – step by step to successful presentation
Start with an introduction. How do you want to lead viewers to the subject? One way would be to give a brief overview of what your audience can expect during your presentation (topic, content, time frame). Some speakers, when creating their presentation structure for the beginning of the talk, specify that they will show an object or a picture with the indication that they will explain what the object has to do with the previous day’s topic during the talk (you will have to prove it, of course). Others tell a story related to or leading to the theme. No matter how the introduction is designed, its purpose is to lead the audience towards the content of the presentation and make them curious.
We had just mentioned storytelling as a stylistic device. The technical term for this is “storytelling” and is a valuable technique for generating understanding, emotion and attention among the audience. We all love good stories and can better retain information interwoven in them.
The middle part
After the introduction, the contents are presented one by one. Pay attention to the logical structure here as well. A simple structure would be a question or thesis statement, followed by the enumeration of all important facts, and finally the conclusion.
Just as you use the introduction to prepare the audience for the presentation, you should use the closing remarks to influence the audience in your favor. For example, summarize the most important statements again, explain what your remarks mean, and communicate a concrete call to action to your listeners (“please continue to support me …”, “let us now together …”).
Six questions for a successful presentation structure
Most likely, you will want to give your slide presentation for a specific reason. Accordingly, they pursue a clear goal. Only with clear structuring can you control the achievement of objectives in a meaningful way.
You should ask yourself the following questions after creating your presentation structure:
- Are the arguments all comprehensible?
- Is there an arc of tension?
- Is a continuous story being told (keyword: storytelling)?
- Can different stories perhaps be used for individual topics?
- Which media such as images, graphics, animations, etc. should be used at which point to make content more vivid?
- Are elements such as entertainment included in addition to pure information?
In any case, you should not start designing the slides until you are really satisfied with the presentation structure. Then you will know how many slides you probably need and what information needs to be placed on each slide. You can then calmly gather the necessary material and create the presentation step by step. This way you avoid duplicate work.