A 6 step formal speaking structure for your presentation delivery

 In Message creation, Quick Start

Best Practice on Dark Digital Background.‘Four minutes into the presentation I was thinking, Where’s he going with this?, and What’s the key message?’.

Let me explain what I’m talking about.

Some months ago I was seated in a large audience listening to a CIO delivering a presentation.

The CIO started the presentation in an unstructured manner (in effect, he was rambling) and didn’t have a clear idea of his key message. After four minutes I was tempted to check emails on my phone.

When’s the last time you delivered a large group presentation? Compared to other types of presentations, meetings and interactions you’ll have, large group presentations will occur less frequently. Due to this lack of frequency, your performance can become rusty.

Here’s a proven structure to use to plan and deliver memorable large group, presentations.

Preparation: Know the audience and then form your key message/call to action.

  1. Know the audience: Know how the audience thinks and feels about your topic, and what they would want to hear; Identify whose opinion the audience respects and use that information, if appropriate; Think about how you could make the presentation positively memorable; Think about what shouldn’t be said.
  2. Construct a simple key message/call to action: Make the message no more than two to three sentences, or two to four bullet points.

6 step formal speaking structure

  1. Hook the audience to listen. Have a hook that ties into your key message/call to action. A useful, easily applied opening hook is, ‘Consider this, what if . . . ‘;
  2. Deliver and ‘sign post’ your key message/call to action. For example, you could say: “Here’s the key messages to take-away from this presentation.
  3. Housekeeping. State how long you’ll speak for and when and how you’ll handle questions.
  4. Principles that support your key message. Deliver principles, case histories, simple graphs, ideas, anecdotes etc. that support your key message/call to action.
  5. Q&A. To kick off Q&A, state a common question related to your topic and then answer it. For example you could say, “Now it’s time for a ten minute, Q&A session – one question I’m often asked is . . .”.
  6. Re-state your key message/call to action.

Your CALL to action/HOW to apply for this post: In the next seven day block out 18 minutes. Use the above Preparation and 6 step speaking structure and plug in content, information that you regularly speak about. Save that presentation template for future reference.


Check out this prior post on Michelle Obama’s speaking

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