"The heart" part of your presentation is the main mechanism that makes your presentation lively and interesting, that helps your attendees to achieve their goals. This is exactly a reason why all your audience has gathered in this hall and now is carefully waiting for you to start.
Last week we've already talked about several good ways to start your presentation, and today's article is a logical continuation of the previous tips. You can read the first part here Best Ways To Start A Presentation
So, you have a great beginning. What next? How to create a brilliant, impressive, informative and – at last – successful heart (body) of your presentation?
Connect the opening and the body
If you separate these two of three main parts of the presentation and make an accent only on your introduction, it will look and sound strange:
"Hello, I'm Mr.Johnson and there are my stories, facts, jokes and my amazing start tips about life on Mars."
"…Hmmm…So, life on Mars. Is there any life on Mars? No one knows…"
What?! – the first people's reaction is predictable. What is he going to speak about? Is he good in his topic? What we are doing here?
To avoid such reactions, plan not only the opening of your presentation, and not only its body and conclusion. Plan also the ways to move from one part to another. The best way to do this is to prepare a list of your thesis. For example, after the beginning you can say: "In this presentation I'm going to prove you that life on Mars really exists. We can't keep this secret any more. And you are going to learn more about it".
Choose the structure
There are several most popular and used structures that are useful and quite simple to use – all those types of structuring a presentation definitely work and help an audience to understand a speaker better. The body is usually the biggest part of your presentation so you'll have place and time to structure it well.
Chronological structure is the way to go from past to future events or important and significant dates. This structure is based on time moments and helps your audience to move in chronological order from past to today or even to future plans and prospective. This type requires very clear and simple visual materials too.
Problematical structure tells the audience about the existing problem – start with its description. You can talk about this problem from different points of view, but in all the cases you must move on to its solution, that's why people are here to listen to you. This may be a topic like "Why should you…"
Logical structure is about topics which have their certain order and do not have a need to be changed. Sometimes it is better to keep the existing structure than to explode your brain seeking for a new one. What kinds of topic have this type of structure? For example, most part of topics like "How to…" – just explain it step by step.
Benefit structure means that your audience will get something much more interesting, valuable and good if they will follow your advices or buy your products. These are their gains and they should know it. So you can use it in the sales presentations about your products, ideas or services. It is better to speak about benefits connected with your products' features – for example, this feature will help you…/give you… and so on.
You can also use two-typed structuring of the body of your presentation. Try different mixes of most and less important parts – you can start from the benefits first and then talk about how to achieve these results, you can start from the results which are really achievable and then to explain how it works. You can begin your presentation from the most general data and go to the more specific information or to make it opposite – start from detailed info and move on to the general idea. Don't be afraid to practice and to try several methods. You'll find the best one.
If your presentation builds on the discussion with your audience, you may change its structure from question to question, from topic to topic. But you should stay a moderator of this discussion so you must have a structure and key points and carefully turn the talk to these planned topics.
Stay tuned – soon we'll talk about the conclusion of your presentation!
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