The presentation structure accompanies us almost our entire lives. Already in elementary school it starts with small posters about animals, plants or our favorite hobby. In secondary school, the presentation structure became more and more extensive and specific and did not let us go even in university. For many, it is even an integral part of the job. So it's definitely worthwhile to keep expanding your own knowledge about it and regularly bring yourself up to date.
But let's start with the basics first. What does the ideal presentation structure look like and what are the most important points you should pay attention to? We'll take a look at that together now.
Roughly speaking, each presentation structure consists of three parts:
Sounds simple - and basically it is. But be sure to pay attention to the proportions. Your audience is eager to hear what important points you are going to introduce to them. So don't dwell too long on the introduction. Otherwise, you will lose their attention and it will be difficult for you to get it back in the eagerly awaited main part.
The same goes for the conclusion. Your listeners know it's the beginning of the end and their attention span is slowly decreasing. So don't drag out the conclusion unnecessarily.
Ideally, the introduction and conclusion should each account for about 15 % of your presentation. This leaves 70 % for the main part.
Let's start in the classic way with the introduction. Here, the aim is to arouse your audience's curiosity and interest in the topic you are going to discuss. At best, you will also succeed in drawing sympathy to your side, because likeable people are much more likely to listen, aren't they? All this makes the introduction almost the most important part of your presentation, because this is where you pick up the audience. If you succeed, it will be much easier for you to keep their attention throughout the main part.
There are several ways you can use your Presentation can start. For example, start with a wow moment and launch with a surprising or perhaps shocking fact. Amazing numbers from statistics, unusual experiments on the topic or controversial quotes attract attention, to name just a few examples.
Of course, it's important that they actually correspond to the truth. Don't make up wow facts just to surprise people. Sooner or later it will turn out that they were not true and that will make you look unprofessional. The Trust of your listeners you have lost.
Do you think it's a bit too much to rush right in with a big surprise? Then a soft start is probably more for you. You don't start with new facts, but with familiar ones that your audience already knows.
You should first be able to agree on all points. In this way, you create a common basis on which you can build in the following. You start with the known actual situation and then point out the problem you want to discuss.
In the main part, you fully embellish your presentation topic. With a share of about 70 % of the entire presentation, you have plenty of scope for this. But what's the best way to start?
What you need is a clear structure and you create this by first asking yourself what you expect from your presentation. It should be clear to your audience what you want to convey to them. How annoying would it be if you put in an incredible amount of work and in the end no one understands what your core message is?
You can design your main body either like a pyramid or like a funnel. In each case, the top represents your core message. The only difference is whether you put it right at the beginning - that would be the pyramid - or at the end like a funnel.
Let's look at the pyramid first. If you address the key message early on, your audience is sure to wonder how you got there. So they'll listen intently to find out just that. This gives you a great opportunity to start an open conversation and to share your Listener active to include. If you decide to use the funnel and put the key message at the end, it's not quite so easy, because the audience doesn't yet know exactly in which direction your presentation will move.
So it's quite possible that there will be some questions to clarify at the end. In this case, you should once again bring your most important arguments to the point in order to emphasize your core statement. Even though the funnel form is more demanding, it is much more suitable for some topics than the pyramid form. This form of presentation is especially useful for very controversial topics that have been discussed countless times or for particularly emotional topics.
If you add fuel to the fire in such matters right at the beginning of your presentation, it can lead directly to heated discussions and it may then be difficult for you to maintain or regain control. In this case, it is clearly better to approach the topic slowly and save the key message for the end of your presentation. If discussions arise at the end, at least they won't endanger your presentation. Then you can show yourself as a level-headed leader of the discussion who keeps a cool head.
Now you're almost there! You've mastered the main part with flying colors and thus put the most important part behind you. But that doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels. The final part is about giving your presentation a fitting end and giving your audience the most important points to take away with them. The last part starts with a summary of your key points.
A conclusion on your part is also still required. What exactly can the audience take away from your presentation and why was it worth their while to pay attention to you? Don't forget to give them the opportunity, Ask questions. Do not have Fear Answer them to the best of your knowledge and belief - after all, you've prepared intensively and that's exactly what you can show now. If you still can't answer a question, that's no problem at all - after all, no one is omniscient.
Say openly and honestYou don't have an answer ready in this case, and don't make something up! If you have the opportunity to do more research and provide the answer, take it. A great way to end is with an open discussion. If you decide to do this, it's best to announce it at the beginning of your presentation. Then your audience can take notes during the main part so that a lively exchange can take place later.
In the following, we would like to give you four tips on how to create the perfect presentation structure and how to give a captivating presentation.
A complete presentation setup is not done overnight. If you are one of those people who like to get everything done at the last minute and are a master of the discipline of Procrastination then this can cost you success here. Anyone who gives a presentation is, at best, an expert in his field and also has background knowledge that does not appear in it and can therefore shine in the event of possible queries. And you won't become this expert overnight.
So take enough time to do extensive research and read deeply into the subject. Keep in mind that certain sources may not be immediately accessible to you. You may have to request access to online documents first or wait until you can borrow a good old book from the library.
Ideally, after you've completed your presentation setup and all the content, you'll have plenty of time to practice. The better you have internalized them, the less you need to look at your notes later. At best, you don't need them at all and speak completely freely. In this way, you prove that you have dealt intensively with your topic and will now be able to present it with confidence.
I'm sure you've been there, too: You sit down to work on a project and the flow of ideas just stops. Whenever creativity should be just bubbling out of you, the exact opposite happens. The best ideas always come to you when you're not expecting them at all.
If you're one of those people who never leave home without their smartphone, that's no problem at all, because you can use it to jot down your ideas at any time. It's just important that you follow up on them before you forget everything. Let your ideas guide you and your rough outline will almost come up by itself.
Do you remember school or university days when a teacher started a presentation, your first glance was at the immense number of slides, and your mood went straight off the rails? Don't make the same mistake! A good presentation is not characterized by quantity, but by quality.
Not every word you say belongs on the slides, but only the most important points. After all, you want your audience to have a reason to listen to you. Your visual presentation is a summary of your oral presentation.
Do not overcrowd the slides, but keep the content simple and clear. This will make it easier for your audience to follow you. If someone misses a piece of information that you did not include on your slides, give him or her the opportunity to ask again.
The classic presentation used to be the same: One person stood in front and spoke and the audience listened intently - or not. Frontal presentations have long been outdated, and for good reason. Who likes to remember the boring presentations in which only one person spoke and the audience was not involved at all? I don't think that's true for anyone.
So engage with your audience and let them be part of your presentation. They might make great contributions and maybe even bring in completely new perspectives. This gives you the opportunity to illuminate the topic from many different directions. Your presentation will immediately become much more lively and authentic. Of course, it's also easier to keep the attention on your side if the audience can actively contribute again and again.
Presentations accompany some of us almost all our lives. It is therefore all the more important to know exactly what is important. You now know all about the theory, but what about the practice?
How do you succeed in captivating the audience? How do you create an expectant silence in which you could even hear a pin drop? Your great moment begins with our Keynote Workbook! It offers you 10 ultimate pro tricks to wow any audience.