How to put a presentation together

Four tips on how to put a presentation together

Boat in sunset - How to put a presentation togetherIn the previous blog post on successful presentations we looked at the benefits of giving presentations, the barriers to doing it, and started to look at preparation. This post looks at how to put a presentation together so that your preparation prepares you for success.

Remember the six P’s?

Proper Preparation Prevents Pretty Poor Performance.

I think the original saying was a bit more colourful than this!

There are four main factors to consider when thinking about how to put a presentation together. Environment, Audience, Objective and Structure.

1. Environment

When preparing for your presentation, think first about the environment. Ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1.  Where are you doing the presentation?
  2.  Does the room layout suit your style of delivery. Is it formal or informal?
  3.  Will you have the right facilities?
  4.  How much time have you got? 30 minutes sounds a long time but it can go very quickly, especially if people are asking questions.
  5.  What kind of aids do you need? Would some form of prop be useful?

If using technology, always have a back-up plan as failure of technology can be your undoing. Once a colleague of mine “lost” the PowerPoint presentation I had emailed to him for the event we were running. Fortunately PowerPoint was only a guide so I was able to deliver the presentation without it.

PowerPoint is not the presentation – it is you that is important!

2. Audience.

The next step is to consider who you are delivering too.

  1. Church seats for presentationWho are the audience?
  2. How many will there be and what do they already know?
  3. What do you need to convey to them?
  4. What kind of questions are they likely to ask?
  5. Consider that your audience might be asking themselves “So what and who cares?”

3. Objective.

Having worked out the environment and sussed out your audience, think about your objective for the session. A SMART objective will make the presentation easier for you to prepare, structure and deliver. In other words, the objective should be:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Achievable.
  • Realistic and Relevant.
  • Timebound.

4. Structure.

Now it’s time to prepare the structure so that people will follow and remember what you are saying. There are many options for structuring a presentation but my favourite is a five part structure.

  1. Attention grabber.
  2. Introduction.
  3. Main body.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Link back to attention grabber.

An easy way of structuring the main body of the presentation is to break it down into 3 sections or headings. Then put each vital piece of information under each section or heading.

Keep it short and simple. People can only take in so much at a presentation.

Remember that action cures fear and the more you do presentations, the easier they become

So in looking at how to put on presentation together we’ve covered preparing for a presentation, taking into account the environment, your audience, your objective and the structure.

Wishing you success with your next presentation.

Next time we will have a bit of fun looking at personal styles. Prepare to meet the Hand Washer, the Reluctant Nudist and other interesting characters!

5 Comments on "How to put a presentation together"

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  1. I think the environment is only the way to give the best presentation. Most of the time our presentation depends on our environment. If our surrounded environment to support us, we can show a better presentation.

    • Andy Britnell says:

      Hi Kate

      Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated. You make a good point about the environment. It can make or break a presentation. I’ve been caught out by not enough natural light, small cramped rooms, poor seating, too hot because the air-con is broken or too cold because it is working too well, external noise from builders, you name it. I am now very specific about what the environment needs to be for both the delegates and me to be effective.

      Best wishes


  2. Hey, these tips will prove very beneficial for the beginners.

    Much appreciated.

    I must say one thing.
    Hosts should keep their presentation simple by learning to “speak to express instead of speaking to impress.”

    Keep sharing.

    • Andy Britnell says:

      Thanks Alphonse – I really like your quote.

      There’s a big difference between providing a stimulating learning experience and what I call ‘entertrainment’!

      There’s a few who think that putting on a show and getting good marks on their feedback is the purpose of their presentation.

      Being authentic is always my aim.

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