Building a Solid Foundation

To build a good house you need a solid foundation.

The foundation of the great presentation is easy to remember and based on just three simple rules:

  1. Begin and end your talk with NO GRAPHS on the wall or screen and no open presentation books on the table.
  2. Get rid of ALL word slides (BUT KEEP THEM IN THE PHYSICAL DOCUMENT). Use only graphics, schematics, photos, etc. on the wall, screen, or presentation book.
  3. Introduce the NEXT slide while the CURRENT slide is still up.

So let’s say you find yourself on a stage in front of an audience. With no distractions behind you, you have the floor. You are free to begin strongly and command the room with the stage to yourself. After your strong start (remember the P in Power from article 2), you will say something like “…as you can see here,” or “take a look at this….” Then you click to your first graphic slide or turn to your first graphic page (if you happen to be sitting in a conference or meeting room).


Prove Your Case With Your Visual Presentation

Your graphics should support your theme and make a convincing case with your audience.

Example: (Sales slide is still on the screen) “…So while sales are up, market share is down.” That’s your intro. CLICK. NEXT SLIDE. (Marketing slide goes up).

Ideally, you start and finish with just a logo or blank slide and all graphics go in the middle, like an Oreo cookie. But feel free to be creative in the top and bottom.

Want to use a video? Great.

Music and voice over? Be my guest.

Photo images? Excellent.

Now you know how to master presentation structure. You are 75 percent of the way to your goal. The rest is execution.

NEXT: Let’s look at how to apply some of these ideas in everyday business practice with the persuasive presentation.