Organizing content is another vital element of preparing for Big Presentations.
Now it is time to organize content.
As you do, here are three things to keep in mind: goal, time, and structure.
When organizing content, consider the goal.
The goal is to connect the audience with your idea in ways that invite support. While organizing content, each choice should support this goal. And all content should work together in guiding positive attention toward the goal. It should be smooth and connected, not random and disjointed. You are creating a smooth path toward the goal
If the path leads to nowhere, you lose. If it meanders around too long, you lose. If it goes in circles and becomes accidentally redundant, you lose. If there is too much space between the points and your audience cannot make the jump, you lose. As you organize content, remember: your job is to be a reliable guide taking the audience to the goal, one step at a time.
When organizing content, keep time in mind.
How much time is allowed for your presentation? How much time do you have to lead them to the goal? Do not assume that you have “as long as you need” –even if that is what they told you. While organizing content, remember time is a valuable resource. Most meeting participants feel pressure to “move on” to whatever is next.
Most likely, your presentation is only one item on an agenda that contains many things. It is wise to request an ideal time frame. If they refuse to provide one, ask how long the meeting lasts and how many other items are on the agenda. Then use wisdom in setting your time frame. In most situations, it will be from five to fifteen minutes. Whatever your time frame, organize content to finish early. When you consistently respect the time limitations, you become known as a focused and responsible presenter.
When organizing content, pursue the best structure.
With the goal and the time limit in mind, you are ready to structure the content. Where will you place your points so that audience members can easily follow your message? Given what you know about your audience, are you organizing content to be most effective? Perhaps you need to get to the point immediately and then support it with data. Maybe you need to explain the timeline up to the present before making proposals regarding the future. Perhaps you can provide contrasting realities: here is the current situation, and here is what it could be — if we make this change. You have options. Chose wisely!
Organizing content according to goal, time, and structure.
Goal. Time. Structure. We will look at each of these in more detail in future articles.
For now, remember that all content should lead to the goal, you should finish early, and there are options regarding the order of elements. When organizing content, choose the options that best fit the audience and the situation.
Want to know more? Keep reading.
Want to know even more? Order Big Presentations in Small Rooms!
Think about an upcoming presentation. What is your goal? What is your time frame? What structure would be most effective? How could organizing content improve your preparations and set you up for an effective presentation?