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How to Write a Presentation – Drama and Sales

October 16, 2015 - Posted to Education

Content how to write a presentation x essays

How to Write a Presentation – Drama and Sales

People either love to give presentations or they hate to. There is not much in between. But everyone should have the experience of preparing and delivering at least one, if only for the practice. You may never have to make another presentation after you are out of college, or so you think now. But situation do arise, either formal (at work) or informal (Best Man at a wedding), and you should at least understand the steps of the process.

Defining Presentation

 A presentation is any oral delivery of content to a specific audience for a specific purpose. Given this broad definition, teaching a child how to clean his/her room is a presentation. The child is the audience and the purpose is to teach. There are other purposes of course – to motivate, to persuade, to inspire, or to entertain. And when you must prepare a presentation, for whatever purpose, there are some clear steps that will show you how to make a presentation that will be carefully organized and well-received.

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Steps in the Presentation Process

  1. Topic: Unless you are in a speech class with an open choice for topics, presentations usually have a pre-determined topic. If you are asked to speak at a Chamber of Commerce meeting and introduce your business, that will be the topic; if you are a successful entrepreneur, you might be asked to give a presentation on how to become one. If you are an expert in some field, you will be asked to present on that topic.
  2. Purpose/Objective: You have to determine your purpose before you begin to write the presentation. Are you to teach? Motivate? Convince? Inspire? Entertain? Inform?
  3. Identify the Audience: This will determine the language and style you use. A presentation to a group of senior citizens about volunteerism will be very different from the same speech given to a teenage audience
  4. Determine Method: If you are making a financial presentation to a group of bankers, you will be formal; if you are making a presentation to a potential client, you may be less formal; if you are presenting to a high school student assembly, you will be informal of course.
  5. Know the Length: This determines how many points you can make. General rule of thumb: 3 points for 10-15 minutes; 6 points for 30 minutes; 8 points for 45 minutes. Now, this will vary somewhat by topic. If you have 3 really complex points and 45 minutes, you will want to divide those 3 points into 6 smaller ones.
  6. Decide on visuals or other media: Using PPT slides may really enhance and reinforce what you say; sometimes short videos work well.
  7. Writing the Presentation: This process is also comprised of key steps – don’t leave any of them out.
  • Brainstorm all of the ideas possible on your topic
  • Reduce to the main points you will make
  • Decide what types of verbal illustration or examples you will use with each point. (Presentations are really boring without these; plus, examples will help audience understanding).
  • Wait on the Introduction and Conclusion
  • Arrange the points in the order in which you will present them and note what illustrations or examples you will use for each one. At this point, you may be considering a PowerPoint presentation for these examples. Make note of the contents of each slide
  • Write out the entire presentation – yes, write it out for now.
  • Write your introduction – If you don’t “have” them by the second sentence, you won’t ever have them. This is where the drama and the sales come in. Give them some shocking facts; tell a really compelling story, and do it with drama. You are an actor on a stage, essentially, selling yourself and what you have to say.
  • Write your conclusion – tell them what you told them; make a call-to-action if warranted; leave them with a final thought or story
  • Make your PPT slides - You can use PowerPoint or you can use one of many free programs for making presentation visuals – Powtoon, Wondershare, or Google Drive are just three you might want to take a look at. They are easy, allow you to use images, and video, and you can be as creative or a traditional as you wish to be.
  1. Practice: This cannot be overstated. The reason you wrote out the entire presentation earlier is that you are now going to practice it – a lot. It has to be second-nature to you when you present. As you practice, you will be able to whittle the entire presentation down and will end up with just notes, because you know what you are going to say so well. Then, you can work on becoming more natural and adding some of that drama and sales pitch that is so important.

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Do’s, Don’ts, and Mistakes to Avoid

Do's Don'ts
  • Use every step of this process whether your presentation is 15 minutes or an hour
  • Humor that is too sophisticated for your audience or too elementary for them either. Make it suitable
  • Check your vocabulary using a reading level app, like read-able.com
  • Go in thinking you can “shoot from the hip.” You can’t unless you did the presentation several times before
  • Love the fact that this is not an essay and you don’t have to edit or proofread
  • Use the slides to keep you on-track - slides are for audience

Some Final Thoughts

Presentations may make you nervous. It’s normal. But the more experience you have, the less anxious you will be.

Before you begin a presentation, take 12 deep breaths (off stage or before you get to that podium), look out at that scary audience, and see them as heads of cabbage. This will lighten you up – try it!

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