1. Say What You’re Going to Say
There are many ways to structure a presentation, a very popular method is the one summed up by Dale Carnegie as:
- say what you’re going to say,
- say it,
- say what you said
The beginning lets the audience know what to expect and the conclusion repeats and reinforces the main information which will help the audience remember the important points.
This can be improved by not only saying what you’re going to say, also explain why it is important for your audience. This gives them a reason to listen, to want to know more.
Another effective way of structuring a presentation is the problem-solution method.
Begin with a problem that the audience has, for instance, the prospective client having 6 computer systems that don’t talk to each other. By starting in this way you make your presentation immediately relevant to your audience, they will want to listen to find out how you can solve their problem.
Then give the solution, highlighting the benefits that your solution will give to them.
This type of structure is very powerful when you want to give your vision for the future. You briefly give a history of what happened then describe the current situation, now everyone has a common understanding of the situation, explain to them your or your company’s plans for the future and how it will affect them.