Speak & Present Effectively
This chapter teaches you a quick, easy way to create effective presentations. You’ll also learn how to use valid resources and avoid plagiarism.
There are lots of ways to structure a presentation, but we like this one best. It’s clear, simple and fits most presentations.
In this part of your presentation, you’ll capture the audience’s attention, tell them who you are, and give them a preview of your presentation.
- Grabber/hook (Goes before or after the self-introduction) A very brief and interesting statement or question that grabs the audience’s attention. See Grabber Types below for more details.
- Self-introduction (Goes before or after the grabber) Tell the audience your name and . For example: I’m Minh and I’ve been a professional presenter for 10 years.
- Thesis The main point or argument of your presentation. Be brief and precise, not general or vague. For example: I’m going to show you how practicing your presentation 10 times will improve your grade by 20%.
- Overview of main points Briefly outline the main points that you’ll cover in your presentation. To help your audience, do list these in same order that you’ll deliver them later on. For example: First, we’ll talk about what makes presentations great, then I’ll share some data on how practice affects your confidence and performance, and finally we’ll look at how to practice.
In this part of your presentation, you’ll deliver the detailed information of your presentation.
- Key point 1 A major point that supports your thesis and may have supporting sub-points
- Key point 2 Another major point that supports your thesis and may have supporting sub-points
- Key point 3 The final major point that supports your thesis and may have supporting sub-points
In this part you’ll remind the audience of what you told them, and tell them what to do next.
- Summary of main points (Can be merged with your conclusion) Clearly restate your three main points in the same order you delivered them. It’s the same as your overview but in past tense. First, I described what makes presentations great, then I shared data on how practice affects confidence and performance, and finally we looked at how to practice.
- Conclusion Restate your thesis in past tense. For example: I’m showed you that practicing your presentation 10 times will improve your grade by 20%.
- Call to action Give your audience clear, active and compelling direction, based on what you told them. For example: Practice your presentations ten times and start collecting those A-plusses!
Remember that the grabber’s job is grabbing the audience’s attention, so it must be surprising, fascinating or intriguing. It must also be related to your presentation’s topic. Here are some descriptions and examples:
You can also mix and match grabbers. For example, you could show an image and ask the audience to guess what it is.
The length of your grabber is relative to your total presentation time. For a 2-minute presentation, it should be quite brief – maybe one sentence. For a 16-minute team presentation, a 45-60 second grabber would be appropriate.
Outline your presentation
The fastest way to create a successful presentation is to start with an outline.
Use an outline, not a script; this will allow you to be more natural and let you look at the audience or camera. Reading is a guaranteed way to make your presentation boring.
The easiest way to create your outline is to work in this order:
- Determine your thesis and write this as a full sentence
- Determine your 3 Main Points
- Add key supporting points for each of your Main Points
- Complete the other parts – introduction, grabber, call to action, etc.
Working in this order is fast because it’s easier to create the conclusion and grabber when you’ve already decided on the content. Also, after you have the main structure it’s easy to add details, examples and stories that make your presentation interesting and convincing.
Another benefit of outlining is that you can use the outline as your presentation notes.
Test your knowledge
What makes you an authority on the subject – usually education or experience.