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Author: Jason Kelly

Effective Presentations – The Basics of Telling Your Story

Regardless of the delivery tool, you utilize to engage and share information within your meeting/workshop there are some basic components required for a good slide deck.

Some of the information below may seem obvious; it has been observed over time that we are skipping the obvious.

What is Presentation?

A presentation is defined as the process of presenting a topic/subject/activity to a preselected audience. Within a business context, you are typically demonstrating, introducing, sharing or discussing a project activity. Each presentation will contain its purpose and objective, and this will be reflected within the main body of the presentation content. One thing that can be consistent is the framework structure to your presentation slide deck.

What Should Be Included in All Presentations:

  • Title Page Slide – Reference the project/program this presentation is part of, plus the topic of today’s presentation. Presenters names and date of presentation are important for the title page. The title page is especially important if you consider this presentation might get physically or electronically shared throughout the company.
  • Objectives / Purpose Slide – The objective can also be identified as the meeting goal. Why is everyone getting together? The purpose is more granular and focuses on the elements that will support your objective. Just a couple of bullet points are fine for this slide. 
  • Agenda / Contents Slide – Breakdown of the key topics and presenters (if different) in the sequence of presentation delivery. 
  • Contents – main content of the presentation. This is dynamic based on the objective of the presentation.
  • Agenda Progress Slide(s) – If the presentation goes on for longer than 20 mins it is a good idea to re-insert the agenda slide with an indication of progress as the presentation moves through different topics or speakers. This allows the audience to understand what is coming next and how much the presentation has progressed.
  • Wrap up Slide – When the presentation is close to conclusion, you need to recap on the key topics discussed and review any action items generated during the presentation.
  • Contact Details Slide – Provide a slide with your name and contact details. Again someone in the future might want to reach out to you to discuss the presentation.
  • Where to find the file Slide – If you are sharing information within the project team, make a reference slide who show the file share repository location for the file. That will allow attendees to share the file quickly amongst their team.

Editor’s Note:

We have all been in the room with an endless boring series of slides being flashed in our eyes. I have enjoyed a good many naps that way. The section below further illustrates and elaborates on the writer’s article above. If you want to see presentations done right, check out TEDTalks. The best presentation I attended was on the topic of paper towels. Check out Joe Smith’s TEDTalk on “How to Use a Paper Towel.” You will never dry your hands the same way again.