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7 Things You Need to do Before a Presentation

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A presentation is more than just an opportunity to explain a position or idea; it’s a means to demonstrate the hard work and research you’ve invested into it. And when it comes to preparing for a presentation—any presentation—you need to remember that the way you deliver your presentation is just as important (perhaps even more so) than the actual content.

Yes, that’s right. What you say isn’t necessarily as important as how you say it .

Think back to the last really good presentation you heard. I mean, the one that had you thinking about it for days afterwards. What made it so compelling? Why did it motivate or inspire you?

I’ll tell you why: Because the speaker engaged you .  That was no accident! He or she didn’t walk up to the podium and wing it.

How to Prepare for a Presentation?

There’s a ton of preparation that goes on behind the scenes of an amazing presentation. We know because it’s our business to teach you the fundamentals of public speaking. What you may not realize is the preparation stage goes further than just jotting down some notes and practising in front of a mirror. A stellar presentation takes a lot of time, a lot of energy, and… oh yes… a lot of practice. Here are seven key things you need to do before any presentation:

  • Do Your Research —Regardless of whether or not you are an expert in your field, there is always something new to learn. Do a thorough investigation before plotting your presentation to see if there are any new developments that could be relevant to your subject or to your audience. And make sure you really know your material. It will eliminate the dreaded “umms” and “uhs” that we’ve all come to hate. It’s a sure sign you’re not as knowledgeable or prepared as you should be.
  • Know Your Audience —No two presentations should ever be the same. I don’t care if it’s the 12th time this month that you’ve talked about the same subject. You may not have to start from scratch every time, but at least put the effort into finding out who’s going to be in your audience and tailor your presentation in a way that will appeal to them. The same jokes you told a business crowd at a breakfast meeting are probably going to fall flat with your daughter and her fellow third-graders on Career Day.
  • Craft Your Notes —Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you can’t do your presentation without it being written down, you probably can’t do it at all. Don’t write a speech. Ever. Instead, craft notes to jog your memory on your speaking points. Glance at them periodically to keep you on track. Take those notes and practice with them every day until you don’t need them anymore. (But take them with you anyway… people tend to get forgetful in front of a crowd.)
  • Practice Your Delivery —Your notes will help you prepare what you are going to say, but I’ve already told you what you say doesn’t keep a crowd engaged. So grab a video camera, your cell phone… anything with a video recording option and get in front of it. Record yourself delivering your presentation and give yourself an honest critique: Do you use effective body language? Do you walk around and interact with the crowd? How is your posture? If you can’t give yourself an honest critique, enlist a friend or family member to take a look and point out areas for improvement. Then practice, practice, practice.
  • Dress For Success —As I mentioned before, every bit of a great presentation is intentional, including the speaker’s choice of clothing. Take special attention the next time you see someone speaking (usually a politician) who’s trying to appeal to blue-collar workers. Do you know what they’ll be wearing? A blue-collared shirt with their sleeves rolled up. Your attire should match the audience. Wearing a tuxedo to deliver a speech at a ground-breaking ceremony for a new chemical plant just doesn’t make sense.
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep —Make sure you look alert and refreshed by getting plenty of rest the night before a presentation. A drowsy mind is a forgetful mind. And the bags under your eyes won’t do you any good, either.
  • Prepare Your Space —Arrive with enough time ahead of your presentation to properly prepare the space you’ll be using. Make sure your slides are in order and that any equipment you’ll be using is functioning properly to avoid embarrassing hiccups and delays during your presentation. Place your speaking notes in a logical spot and get yourself a glass of water. Spend a few quiet minutes mentally preparing.

Be the speaker that has inspired you. Think back to the speeches you’ve heard or the people who’ve appealed to you and strive to make that same connection with your audience. Preparation is key. There’s no such thing as an off-the-cuff winning presentation, so invest some time into yourself and your audience. And of course, we’re always here to help when you need to spend a little extra time brushing up on your skills.

Have you ever had a presentation or speech that you were completely unprepared for? Let us know in the comment section below, and if this topic has helped you, share it on social media to help those in your circles as well!

10 Comments

I need to spend more time preparing for presentations than I do.  I used to prepare more but i think I;m getting lazy the older I get.

I love how you touched on knowing your audience. A lot of people tend to forget this and in turn, end up being forgettable. You want to really connect with who you are speaking to in order to be remembered and thought about after the presentation is over. I have talked to many people who will touch on all the point mentioned but tuning yourself to your audience. 

I agree with John. I have gotten a little lazy and probably a lot boring because I’ve done my presentation so many times. I need to revisit what prep looks like. Thanks

I’ve tried ‘winging it’ only to discover I looked pretty foolish. Preparation is the key.

Off-the-cuff is definitely not good. I think we’ve all tried that strategy (and failed).

I disagree, some people need a script just to take a dump. That’s not me. I don’t work well with scripts, they’re too confining, and my best presentations have been off the top of my head. I am an improver and always will be.

I liked the point about dressing for success. People put so much thought into what they’re going to say. They don’t think about what their outfit says.

People don’t realize just how much of a benefit a good night’s sleep can be. It’s not something you’d expect to help your public speaking, but it makes a lot of sense.

Really happy to read this blog. its valuable information for me ,thank you

Wonderful article! We are linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

prepare for presentation meaning

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

prepare for presentation meaning

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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Blog Beginner Guides

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

By Krystle Wong , Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

prepare for presentation meaning

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

prepare for presentation meaning

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

prepare for presentation meaning

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

prepare for presentation meaning

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

prepare for presentation meaning

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

prepare for presentation meaning

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

prepare for presentation meaning

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

prepare for presentation meaning

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

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How to prepare for a presentation step by step

Get your team on prezi – watch this on demand video.

Avatar photo

Michael Lee September 22, 2020

It doesn’t matter if you’re presenting on stage, in a meeting room, or online. You need to properly prepare for a presentation to deliver your message effectively. You need to plan out your talking points, prepare visual aids, practice your speech, and more. Ultimately, the more you prepare ahead of time, the more polished and professional your presentation will be.

If you want to find out how to prepare for a presentation step by step, read on to discover four simple tips to help you make your future presentations successful. 

1. Create a mind map

This is perhaps the most important step and should happen long before the day of your presentation. Creating a mind map will help you organize your thoughts and structure them in a way that makes sense for both you and your audience. It’ll also keep you centered on your main idea, so you never lose sight of the primary purpose of your presentation. The process of creating a mind map will also help you with remembering the content of your presentation.

To create a mind map, you can either use a pen and paper or you can also use Prezi Present . There are different types of templates that you can choose from in Prezi’s library, or you can also start creating from scratch.

Learn how to get started with mind mapping in this video: 

2. Set up your space

If you’re presenting online, you’ll want to set up your filming space for success. How you appear on camera depends on many factors that you should consider before presenting. Start with positioning yourself in the camera frame so you’re in good light. It’s always better to face the light instead of having your window or another light source behind you. Also, adjust your camera so it’s not cutting off the top of your head or it’s not too far away. Make sure your audience can actually hear what you’re saying by testing out your mic first. And, remove any distracting or overly busy backgrounds to keep viewers focused on you and your content.  If you’re presenting offline, setting up your space is equally as important. Take 5 minutes before your presentation to work out the technicalities. For example, if you need to connect your USB or laptop to a device in the meeting room, make sure to do that before it’s your time to start your presentation. Also, make sure you have a glass of water nearby if your presentation is rather long to keep you hydrated. Most importantly, familiarize yourself with the space where you’re going to present to feel more comfortable presenting there.

If you want more tips on presenting in the virtual space from public speaking masters, watch this video: 

3. For online presentations, use presenter notes

No matter how much you practice, it’s still helpful to have some notes (or even your script) next to you for reference. They will keep you on track with your main talking points and ensure that you deliver your message in an organized manner. While sticky notes around your computer are a serviceable solution, it often results in you trying to keep track of which piece of paper you’re supposed to be looking at. You don’t need to worry about a messy space around your laptop. Instead, use presenter notes directly in Prezi Video, making your life easier as you present or record. 

prepare for presentation meaning

You can add notes as you create your content. This way you can keep track of everything that’s going on in the meeting and take notes at the same time. If you already have an existing Prezi or PowerPoint presentation with notes, you can import those into Prezi Video as well. You’ll also get a preview of the next frame, so you will never be lost as you present. Learn more about using presenter notes in Prezi Video . 

4. Practice your presentation

Imagine: You have started your presentation but suddenly realize that one of the slides contains incorrect information, or there’s a technical glitch as you try to zoom in on another slide. Sounds like a stressful situation. With practice and preparation, you can easily avoid or minimize the stress in a situation like this.

One of the best ways how to prepare for a presentation is by simply practicing your speech ahead of time. Create an online meeting with yourself, start sharing your Prezi Video slides, and talk through the presentation as you would in the call. Or ask your friends or family to give you feedback as you talk through the talking points in front of them. You can even play out a scenario where you encounter a technical glitch and plan out what you’ll do. By going over your presentation a couple of times, you’ll feel more prepared. The more prepared you’ll feel, the more relaxed and confident you’ll appear when presenting in front of your audience.

Follow these tips on how to prepare for a presentation quickly and effectively. Once you have everything set up, get more tips from Jessica Chen on public speaking tips to build confidence , and then jump right into creating your own Prezi video . 

prepare for presentation meaning

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by Tom Rielly • June 15, 2020

prepare for presentation meaning

Keeping your presentation visuals minimalistic, simple, and clear is just one important step to remember when designing a hit presentation. Leaving nothing to chance, great presenters prove quite methodical as they prepare. Here’s a checklist for everything you need to keep in mind before your next presentation:

1. Choose the right software for your needs

visualpres blogpost 2 softwares

The easiest way to select the right presentation software for you is to simply find the one that is native to your device. For example, if you have a Mac, use Apple Keynote, if you work on Windows, use PowerPoint. Google Slides is recommended if you’re working with someone, as it makes collaboration very easy. Another software option is Prezi: a specialty tool called Prezi that creates a presentation using motion, zoom, and panning across one giant visual space.

2. Organize your files

As you develop your script and visuals, you will need to start assembling all the assets for your slides. Create a unique folder on your computer to hold these items. Keep the folder organized by media type (presentation drafts, photos, videos, scripts) and back them up frequently to the Cloud or external disk. Label each file with a specific descriptive name, e.g. “Susan Johnson singing magpie 2020”, as opposed to “IMG_4043.jpg”, which can make it confusing to find your assets. The more organized you are up front, the easier preparing for your presentation will be.

3. Prepare your presentation materials

Make sure your presentation materials (script, graphics, actual slides) are saved in at least two safe spots (for example, your computer and an external USB drive) and are backed-up frequently. If you are using an online presentation software, such as Google Slides, be sure to also download a copy of your presentation in case the internet connection is unreliable. Having all the individual assets on hand in addition to your presentation slides can be helpful if you experience tech issues before presenting, or if you need to make any last minute changes. Make sure to label your final presentation with the title and your name so it’s easy to find.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Remember, practice makes perfect. People often run out of time making their presentations and have no time to practice. Most TED speakers practice at least ten times. Neuroscientist Jill-Bolte Taylor gave one of the most successful Talks in TED history with nearly 27 million views. How did she do it? She practiced her Talk over 40 times! By rehearsing multiple times you will naturally memorize your Talk, which means you won’t need note cards when you give your final presentation.

5. Do a final test run

Before presenting, make sure the equipment you need is working properly. It’s generally good practice to rehearse standing on the exact stage with the exact lighting using the exact computer that you will be using in your final presentation.

Here’s a quick checklist of what to look for when testing your equipment:

  • If you're not using your own computer, the one provided might be slower and have trouble playing media. If you have videos or other media, make sure they play correctly
  • Test the projector to make sure it’s HD
  • Make sure images are clear
  • Test the sound of any clips you use, as this is what goes wrong most frequently
  • If you’re using a mic, test the volume

Don’t let technical issues or other blunders overshadow your presentation. By following these guidelines, and with a little preparation, you can engineer out the problems BEFORE they happen.

Ready to learn more about how to make your presentation even better? Get TED Masterclass and develop your ideas into TED-style talks

© 2023 TED Conferences, LLC. All rights reserved. Please note that the TED Talks Usage policy does not apply to this content and is not subject to our creative commons license.

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  • A - Z List of Presentation Skills
  • Top Tips for Effective Presentations
  • General Presentation Skills
  • Preparing for a Presentation
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  • Working with Visual Aids
  • Presenting Data
  • Managing the Event
  • Coping with Presentation Nerves
  • Dealing with Questions
  • How to Build Presentations Like a Consultant
  • 7 Qualities of Good Speakers That Can Help You Be More Successful
  • Self-Presentation in Presentations
  • Specific Presentation Events
  • Remote Meetings and Presentations
  • Giving a Speech
  • Presentations in Interviews
  • Presenting to Large Groups and Conferences
  • Giving Lectures and Seminars
  • Managing a Press Conference
  • Attending Public Consultation Meetings
  • Managing a Public Consultation Meeting
  • Crisis Communications
  • Elsewhere on Skills You Need:
  • Communication Skills
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Teams, Groups and Meetings
  • Effective Speaking
  • Question Types

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The formal presentation of information is divided into two broad categories: Presentation Skills and Personal Presentation .

These two aspects are interwoven and can be described as the preparation, presentation and practice of verbal and non-verbal communication. 

This article describes what a presentation is and defines some of the key terms associated with presentation skills.

Many people feel terrified when asked to make their first public talk.  Some of these initial fears can be reduced by good preparation that also lays the groundwork for making an effective presentation.

A Presentation Is...

A presentation is a means of communication that can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team.

A presentation can also be used as a broad term that encompasses other ‘speaking engagements’ such as making a speech at a wedding, or getting a point across in a video conference.

To be effective, step-by-step preparation and the method and means of presenting the information should be carefully considered. 

A presentation requires you to get a message across to the listeners and will often contain a ' persuasive ' element. It may, for example, be a talk about the positive work of your organisation, what you could offer an employer, or why you should receive additional funding for a project.

The Key Elements of a Presentation

Making a presentation is a way of communicating your thoughts and ideas to an audience and many of our articles on communication are also relevant here, see: What is Communication? for more.

Consider the following key components of a presentation:

Ask yourself the following questions to develop a full understanding of the context of the presentation.

When and where will you deliver your presentation?

There is a world of difference between a small room with natural light and an informal setting, and a huge lecture room, lit with stage lights. The two require quite different presentations, and different techniques.

Will it be in a setting you are familiar with, or somewhere new?

If somewhere new, it would be worth trying to visit it in advance, or at least arriving early, to familiarise yourself with the room.

Will the presentation be within a formal or less formal setting?

A work setting will, more or less by definition, be more formal, but there are also various degrees of formality within that.

Will the presentation be to a small group or a large crowd?

Are you already familiar with the audience?

With a new audience, you will have to build rapport quickly and effectively, to get them on your side.

What equipment and technology will be available to you, and what will you be expected to use?

In particular, you will need to ask about microphones and whether you will be expected to stand in one place, or move around.

What is the audience expecting to learn from you and your presentation?

Check how you will be ‘billed’ to give you clues as to what information needs to be included in your presentation.

All these aspects will change the presentation. For more on this, see our page on Deciding the Presentation Method .

The role of the presenter is to communicate with the audience and control the presentation.

Remember, though, that this may also include handing over the control to your audience, especially if you want some kind of interaction.

You may wish to have a look at our page on Facilitation Skills for more.

The audience receives the presenter’s message(s).

However, this reception will be filtered through and affected by such things as the listener’s own experience, knowledge and personal sense of values.

See our page: Barriers to Effective Communication to learn why communication can fail.

The message or messages are delivered by the presenter to the audience.

The message is delivered not just by the spoken word ( verbal communication ) but can be augmented by techniques such as voice projection, body language, gestures, eye contact ( non-verbal communication ), and visual aids.

The message will also be affected by the audience’s expectations. For example, if you have been billed as speaking on one particular topic, and you choose to speak on another, the audience is unlikely to take your message on board even if you present very well . They will judge your presentation a failure, because you have not met their expectations.

The audience’s reaction and therefore the success of the presentation will largely depend upon whether you, as presenter, effectively communicated your message, and whether it met their expectations.

As a presenter, you don’t control the audience’s expectations. What you can do is find out what they have been told about you by the conference organisers, and what they are expecting to hear. Only if you know that can you be confident of delivering something that will meet expectations.

See our page: Effective Speaking for more information.

How will the presentation be delivered?

Presentations are usually delivered direct to an audience.  However, there may be occasions where they are delivered from a distance over the Internet using video conferencing systems, such as Skype.

It is also important to remember that if your talk is recorded and posted on the internet, then people may be able to access it for several years. This will mean that your contemporaneous references should be kept to a minimum.

Impediments

Many factors can influence the effectiveness of how your message is communicated to the audience.

For example background noise or other distractions, an overly warm or cool room, or the time of day and state of audience alertness can all influence your audience’s level of concentration.

As presenter, you have to be prepared to cope with any such problems and try to keep your audience focussed on your message.   

Our page: Barriers to Communication explains these factors in more depth.

Continue to read through our Presentation Skills articles for an overview of how to prepare and structure a presentation, and how to manage notes and/or illustrations at any speaking event.

Continue to: Preparing for a Presentation Deciding the Presentation Method

See also: Writing Your Presentation | Working with Visual Aids Coping with Presentation Nerves | Dealing with Questions Learn Better Presentation Skills with TED Talks

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How to Prepare a Presentation in English Successfully [+ FREE Presentation Checklist]

May 1, 2018 | Business Professional English , Free Resource , Public Speaking & Presentations

How to Prepare a Presentation in English without Stress

This lesson on how to prepare a presentation in English has been updated since its original posting in 2016 and a video has been added.

Giving a presentation is already difficult to do, even in your native language. But to give a presentation in English? Well, it can feel impossible, maybe even terrifying.

If you’re nervous, you might be worried about:

  • What if your audience doesn’t understand?
  • What if you use the wrong word or – worse – forget your words?
  • What if someone asks a question and you don’t understand?

These are all common questions about giving a presentation in English.  And the good news is: it is possible to give a presentation in English with confidence.

Whether you are presenting information about your company or presenting a proposal to a new client, presenting a new idea to your boss and colleagues or presenting to an audience at a conference, these are the strategies you need to best prepare for your next presentation in English.

These are exactly the same strategies native English speakers use to prepare for their presentations, too!

7 simple strategies to prepare a presentation in English.

Lesson by Annemarie

7 Strategies to Prepare a Presentation in English

Strategy 1: Plan, Plan, Plan

I know this sounds simple but this is maybe the most important step! That’s why I said it three times.

Before you do or write anything, spend some time thinking about what you want to say for this opportunity to present. You can use these two questions to help you:

  • Where is your audience now (before your presentation)? In other words: what do they currently know or not know? Is there something they are missing? Imagine your presentation is a map and Question 1 is your Point A.
  • Where do you want your audience to be after your presentation? What do you want your audience to know or do or think or believe after your presentation? On your presentation map, this is your Point B.

And now think of the steps you need to help your audience go from Point A to Point B.

Strategy 2: Know Your Who and Your What

Who is your audience?  You want to know the kind of people you will be speaking to so you can offer the right information, use the right language and think about the best visual aids.

For example: Imagine you design applications for smart phones. You’ve designed a great new application for children and you want to market/sell this application. As the designer you understand all the technical words and information about the application. And now you have the opportunity to present to a group of moms at a local school. It would be AMAZING if every mom in the audience bought your application.

How should you present to them? Do you want to use a lot of technical words? Will they understand them? Or should you use more common, everyday language that is clear and simple for everyone?

What is your purpose?  Generally, presentations are used to teach, to inform, to motivate. to persuade or to encourage action. When you understand the purpose of your presentation,  it will be easier for you to use the correct language and the correct style. It will also help you organize your presentation well.

“These are the seven strategies you need to prepare for a successful presentation in English, for any situation!”

Strategy 3: Get Organized

Presentations in English generally have 3 parts:

  • Opening (Introduction)
  • Body (Main Points and Details)
  • Closing (Summary)

In the next several weeks, you will learn exactly what you need for each section of your presentation. For now, it is important to think how you can organize your information into these 3 parts.

Important advice : Limit the number of main points in your presentation from 3 to 5 (no more than 5!). You want your audience to be well-informed but not overwhelmed.

Strategy 4: Show, Don’t Tell

In English, we love stories and pictures to help us remember information.

What about you? Have you ever listened to a presentation that has a LOT of numbers and statistics and data and dates? Do you remember any of that information now? Most people say no to that question.

In English, the expression “show, don’t tell” means  help your audience understand your main points through stories, visual aids and/or strong action words .

People remember stories, not numbers. When you can, use a story or a great visual aid to help your audience remember your key points.

For example: If you are presenting scientific information and you want to use a number to talk about how many cells are in the human body. According to an article by Smithsonian, there are 37.2 trillion cells in the human body!!! How many is that? I have no idea! Instead you could use a picture to help you. Imagine the largest sports stadium and every seat is filled. Show this picture and now tell people how many full stadiums you need for 37.2 trillion. With a picture, your audience can visualize this big number. And it will be easier to remember.

Strategy 5: Talk, Don’t Read

This one is so important. Please, please, please do not read your presentation.

For an audience, when someone reads a presentation it:

  • Shows you didn’t prepare well

Of course, you can use note cards to help you remember and to stay focused. But talk to your audience. Look at your audience. Move around. Be comfortable and natural.

The more you prepare, the more you practice, the easier this will be! And your audience will enjoy your presentation so much more!

Also, do not be afraid to go slow !

A good presentation does not mean speaking fast. Remember: this is the first time your audience is hearing this information. They need time to hear and to think about what you are saying. You will help them (and you!) if you speak slowly.

By speaking slowly, you will also have more time to think about what you want to say in your presentation, remember the key points and make fewer mistakes!

Strategy 6: Think Ahead

One of the scariest parts of a presentation in the Q&A ( = question and answer) part of the presentation. Most people fear they will not:

  • Understand the words of the question
  • Understand the accent of the person speaking
  • Know what to say
  • Remember the words they need

A Q&A session doesn’t always happen but if you have to do this, here is how you can calm your fears:

Review your presentation. Think about your audience (remember the  Who Are They  question!). Can you identify any likely questions?

Give your presentation to your peers, colleagues, friends, and family. Ask them what questions they have. It is possible they will have some of the same questions as your audience.

Now make a list of possible questions and prepare your answers ahead of time. Practice giving these answers when you practice your presentation.

The more prepared you are, the easier a Q&A session will be.

Strategy 7: Practice, Practice, Practice

I cannot say this enough. You must practice. Say your presentation out loud many times. Practice your presentation in front of your work colleagues, your friends, your family.

The more you practice, the more prepared and confident you will be.

And you can kiss some of those fears and nervous feelings goodbye !!* *[Idiom]  kiss something goodbye : to end or lose something. So, you can end your fears and end your nervous feelings!

Get the complete Presentations in English Series:

Part 1: How to Prepare for Your Presentation in English

Part 2: How to Start with a Great Introduction in Your Presentation

Part 3:  How to Organize Your Presentation in English

Part 4:  How to End Your Presentation Powerfully

Now that you’ve had time to review the lesson, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Have you had to prepare a presentation in English?

Please take a moment to share your advice on how to best prepare. What has helped you the most? You might have the perfect strategy for someone else in our Confident English Community.

You can share your advice and ideas in the comments section below. That is the best place to get feedback from me and learn from others.

Have a great week and thank you for joining me! ~ Annemarie

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guest

Thanks you for sharing your strategies to elaborate a presentation. I think this is very comprehensive and useful because it shows all the important steps to create a presentation. Very interesting.

Annemarie

I’m so glad to know it was helpful!

Pratibha Yadav

I am going to present my ppt for the college assignment and these are very wise advice which I’m sure they make my presentation more prepared.Tysm

Liliana Llanas

I love all your videos. Thanks for sharing!

Rizky Handy Wibowo

thank you for sharing about this. this is very helpful.

Jaywant Patil

Thank you so much for your great presentation tips which we will implement in our areas. I used to so much mistakes that I realized after watching your video… Thanks once again for your valuable guidance..

Regards, Jaywant Patil 9819282438

Daria

so far, I haven’t had any experience in creating a presentation. but I am sure that everything is ahead

Ludovic TCHIMOU

Hi, Very interesting your advices, sorry rigth now I haven’t give the presentation in english but I’m working to be confortable when I have to speak in english. You prononciation is very helpfull because I’m crying to repeat your video to improve my one. Very good video and so thank you

azhar uddin

I appreciate u for the seven strategies of presentation may his soul peace and rest

Priyantha

Thank you very much ,this is very useful for me

Rani Pandit

Hello Annemarie! You are doing a great job these seven strategies are very useful for us in a presentation I am one of the students who always nervous on the stage so I like the point of doing “practise and practise” is great of becoming a good presenter. Thank you so much.By sharing one thing that my pronouncing and my grammar is very bad so I also have to do so many practices to become a good in English. I am not from a good background my family is very poor so I am doing my best for my family.

Anne

I can relate to that.

Erin

Hi Annemarie,

Thank you so much for sharing your strategies. All the seven strategies look very important and helpful. I particularly strongly agree with the 7th one. Without practicing in advance, it seems for me to easily lose confidence while making a presentation. I might need to be more diligent to prepare all the things in advance.

Thanks again for your very useful lecture! Hope you have a great weekend.

You’re very welcome, Erin. I’m happy to know it was helpful to you! Best of luck as you continue to prepare for things in advance. 🙂

adalet

Thank you indeed.I am a syh person and I get excited easily.I should practise and record myself.

I LIKE YOUR PRONOUNCIATON

Thank you for your comment. I’m glad my lessons are useful to you. And I definitely recommend recording yourself. It’s a great way to make progress and overcomes fear.

Dzmitry

It’s very useful and done with the help of a clear and simple language, as usual. I’m agree with Tatyana, it’s real and nice presentation about “how to be ready to the presentation”. 🙂 I have a big expirience in the presentations but all of them were in my native language or with the help of an interpreter. To my mind this strategies are common for all the languages and the most important thing not to neglect them and not to be lazy to do all the steps you’ve spoken about. So I think in a few weeks I’m going …  Read more »

Great advice, Dzmitry! Thank you for sharing. And you’re right, these strategies are true no matter what language you’re presenting in and it’s essential not to neglect a single step. I love your advice on including a little joke to relieve the stress. 🙂

Leila

Dear Annemarie Actually I am university’s professor and I always use English texts for my teaching materials. Unfortunately I have no experience on giving presentation in English. I have been invited as an expert to give a talk in an academic conference in English and I don’t know can I do it perfectly or not? would you please give me some hints in this context. Ta

What an honor to be invited to speak as an expert! That’s great. Click here to find all my lessons on Giving Presentations in English . If you’re looking for more personalized assistance or one-on-one help, I provide that to students who purchase classes from me or join one of my courses .

Best wishes with your presentation!

Usama Altaf

Dear Annemarie I did a presentation in English in front of my class and my topic was “how to get confidence to speak in front of class?” I did gramatical mistakes but my respectful teacher helped me a lot. I m bery impress from you. You r doing very well.

khaled abo el magd

Dear Annemarie ..I did a presentation in English at course it talked about how to be happy .. I practiced my talking a lot but when I started I forgot a lot f notes cuz this is my first presentation and I wanted to make a creative end I chose to make audience dance about ‘macrena dance’ In the final of the presentation, I received positive feedback from audience and I felling I proud of my self

Wonderful, Khaled. And congratulations. Presentations are challenging but it sounds like you were well prepared. You deserve to feel proud of yourself.

Phyllis

Thank you so much Anne, iam grateful to this information. it is timely, I needed it. I give organization Presentations, but I must admit that iam still nervous.(stage freak) thank you I look forward to more guidance and skills stay blessed Phyllis

Hello Phyllis,

You’re very welcome. I’m happy to know this lesson was timely and useful for you. The key to overcoming stage fright and nerves is practice. 🙂

Sümeyye

Hi These are very usefull informations Annemarie thank you.In fact I have never give a presentation in English. It is so easy to understand your text and fortunately you use simple words for us.Buy the way i can apply your advices in my language too.I love your lessons and try to read all of them if i have time. See you😄👍

Dear Sümeyye,

Thank you so much for you kind comment! I’m thrilled to know these lessons are useful to you! And, if you do give a presentation in English in the future, don’t forget to use these lessons to help you prepare!

Can you tell me, what is your native language?

Thanks again Sümeyye! ~ Annemarie

Andras Gelley

Dear Annemarie, you shared the highlights of a good presentation, and it will be excellent to bear the ability to present it as a freely talk, without reading, or thinking about the next sentense, the next part of the topic or stucking in the next werb what doestn’t want arise in my mind . I would like to see the audience enjoing my talk because it is running fluently. I started to go on that way with your encourage. Thank you

Hello András,

Thank you so much for this comment. I’m thrilled to know this was useful to you. And yes, your improvements in English are growing every day!

Best, Annemarie

Tatyana

It’s very useful lesson for me! I don’t have a big experience in presentations, it’s quite scary for me especially the presentations in English! And it was very informative to read about main strategies which could help to prepare for presentations! It’s so clear and intresting, I have even a feeling of trying to do that, to practice a liitle)))) And thank you for new vocabulary, I love ” a killer presentation” and the idiom ” to kiss something goodbye”!) And in my opinion, your online lesson is also like a little presentation! I like how you focused on the …  Read more »

Dear Tatyana,

Thank you so much for your comment! And I am so glad it was useful even if you don’t have to give too many presentations. I think some of the guidance for a good presentation can also be useful for many other speaking situations in our daily life.

And I’m happy you liked the vocabulary expressions! They are great expressions to know!! 🙂

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. ~ Annemarie

faiza

Thank you so much

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How To Write A Presentation 101: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

How To Write A Presentation 101: A Step-by-Step Guide with Best Examples

Jane Ng • 02 Nov 2023 • 8 min read

Is it difficult to start of presentation? You’re standing before a room full of eager listeners, ready to share your knowledge and captivate their attention. But where do you begin? How do you structure your ideas and convey them effectively?

Take a deep breath, and fear not! In this article, we’ll provide a road map on how to write a presentation covering everything from crafting a script to creating an engaging introduction.

So, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What is a presentation , what should be in a powerful presentation.

  • How To Write A Presentation Script
  • How to Write A Presentation Introduction 

Key Takeaways

Tips for better presentation.

  • How to start a presentation
  • How to introduce yourself

Alternative Text

Start in seconds.

Get free templates for your next interactive presentation. Sign up for free and take what you want from the template library!

Presentations are all about connecting with your audience. 

Presenting is a fantastic way to share information, ideas, or arguments with your audience. Think of it as a structured approach to effectively convey your message. And you’ve got options such as slideshows, speeches, demos, videos, and even multimedia presentations!

The purpose of a presentation can vary depending on the situation and what the presenter wants to achieve. 

  • In the business world, presentations are commonly used to pitch proposals, share reports, or make sales pitches. 
  • In educational settings, presentations are a go-to for teaching or delivering engaging lectures. 
  • For conferences, seminars, and public events—presentations are perfect for dishing out information, inspiring folks, or even persuading the audience.

That sounds brilliant. But, how to write a presentation?

How To Write A Presentation

How To Write A Presentation? What should be in a powerful presentation? A great presentation encompasses several key elements to captivate your audience and effectively convey your message. Here’s what you should consider including in a winning presentation:

  • Clear and Engaging Introduction: Start your presentation with a bang! Hook your audience’s attention right from the beginning by using a captivating story, a surprising fact, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful quote. Clearly state the purpose of your presentation and establish a connection with your listeners.
  • Well-Structured Content: Organize your content logically and coherently. Divide your presentation into sections or main points and provide smooth transitions between them. Each section should flow seamlessly into the next, creating a cohesive narrative. Use clear headings and subheadings to guide your audience through the presentation.
  • Compelling Visuals: Incorporate visual aids, such as images, graphs, or videos, to enhance your presentation. Make sure your visuals are visually appealing, relevant, and easy to understand. Use a clean and uncluttered design with legible fonts and appropriate color schemes. 
  • Engaging Delivery: Pay attention to your delivery style and body language. You should maintain eye contact with your audience, use gestures to emphasize key points, and vary your tone of voice to keep the presentation dynamic. 
  • Clear and Memorable Conclusion: Leave your audience with a lasting impression by providing a strong closing statement, a call to action, or a thought-provoking question. Make sure your conclusion ties back to your introduction and reinforces the core message of your presentation.

prepare for presentation meaning

How To Write A Presentation Script (With Examples)

To successfully convey your message to your audience, you must carefully craft and organize your presentation script. Here are steps on how to write a presentation script: 

1/ Understand Your Purpose and Audience:

  • Clarify the purpose of your presentation. Are you informing, persuading, or entertaining?
  • Identify your target audience and their knowledge level, interests, and expectations.
  • Define what presentation format you want to use

2/ Outline the Structure of Your Presentation:

Strong opening: .

Start with an engaging opening that grabs the audience’s attention and introduces your topic. Some types of openings you can use are: 

  • Start with a Thought-Provoking Question: “Have you ever…?”
  • Begin with a Surprising Fact or Statistic: “Did you know that….?”
  • Use a Powerful Quote: “As Maya Angelou once said,….”
  • Tell a Compelling Story : “Picture this: You’re standing at….”
  • Start with a Bold Statement: “In the fast-paced digital age….”

Main Points: 

Clearly state your main points or key ideas that you will discuss throughout the presentation.

  • Clearly State the Purpose and Main Points: Example: “In this presentation, we will delve into three key areas. First,… Next,… Finally,…. we’ll discuss….”
  • Provide Background and Context: Example: “Before we dive into the details, let’s understand the basics of…..”
  • Present Supporting Information and Examples: Example: “To illustrate…., let’s look at an example. In,…..”
  • Address Counterarguments or Potential Concerns: Example: “While…, we must also consider… .”
  • Recap Key Points and Transition to the Next Section: Example: “To summarize, we’ve… Now, let’s shift our focus to…”

Remember to organize your content logically and coherently, ensuring smooth transitions between sections.

Ending: 

You can conclude with a strong closing statement summarizing your main points and leaving a lasting impression. Example: “As we conclude our presentation, it’s clear that… By…., we can….”

3/ Craft Clear and Concise Sentences:

Once you’ve outlined your presentation, you need to edit your sentences. Use clear and straightforward language to ensure your message is easily understood.

Alternatively, you can break down complex ideas into simpler concepts and provide clear explanations or examples to aid comprehension.

4/ Use Visual Aids and Supporting Materials:

Use supporting materials such as statistics, research findings, or real-life examples to back up your points and make them more compelling. 

  • Example: “As you can see from this graph,… This demonstrates….”

5/ Include Engagement Techniques:

Incorporate interactive elements to engage your audience, such as Q&A sessions , conducting live polls , or encouraging participation.

6/ Rehearse and Revise:

  • Practice delivering your presentation script to familiarize yourself with the content and improve your delivery.
  • Revise and edit your script as needed, removing any unnecessary information or repetitions.

7/ Seek Feedback:

You can share your script or deliver a practice presentation to a trusted friend, colleague, or mentor to gather feedback on your script and make adjustments accordingly.

More on Script Presentation

prepare for presentation meaning

How to Write A Presentation Introduction with Examples

How to write presentations that are engaging and visually appealing? Looking for introduction ideas for the presentation? As mentioned earlier, once you have completed your script, it’s crucial to focus on editing and refining the most critical element—the opening of your presentation – the section that determines whether you can captivate and retain your audience’s attention right from the start. 

Here is a guide on how to craft an opening that grabs your audience’s attention from the very first minute: 

1/ Start with a Hook

To begin, you can choose from five different openings mentioned in the script based on your desired purpose and content. Alternatively, you can opt for the approach that resonates with you the most, and instills your confidence. Remember, the key is to choose a starting point that aligns with your objectives and allows you to deliver your message effectively.

2/ Establish Relevance and Context:

Then you should establish the topic of your presentation and explain why it is important or relevant to your audience. Connect the topic to their interests, challenges, or aspirations to create a sense of relevance.

3/ State the Purpose

Clearly articulate the purpose or goal of your presentation. Let the audience know what they can expect to gain or achieve by listening to your presentation.

4/ Preview Your Main Points

Give a brief overview of the main points or sections you will cover in your presentation. It helps the audience understand the structure and flow of your presentation and creates anticipation.

5/ Establish Credibility

Share your expertise or credentials related to the topic to build trust with the audience, such as a brief personal story, relevant experience, or mentioning your professional background.

6/ Engage Emotionally

Connect emotional levels with your audience by appealing to their aspirations, fears, desires, or values. They help create a deeper connection and engagement from the very beginning.

Make sure your introduction is concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations. Aim for clarity and brevity to maintain the audience’s attention.

For example, Topic: Work-life balance

“Good morning, everyone! Can you imagine waking up each day feeling energized and ready to conquer both your personal and professional pursuits? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll explore today – the wonderful world of work-life balance. In a fast-paced society where work seems to consume every waking hour, it’s vital to find that spot where our careers and personal lives harmoniously coexist. Throughout this presentation, we’ll dive into practical strategies that help us achieve that coveted balance, boost productivity, and nurture our overall well-being. 

But before we dive in, let me share a bit about my journey. As a working professional and a passionate advocate for work-life balance, I have spent years researching and implementing strategies that have transformed my own life. I am excited to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you today, with the hope of inspiring positive change and creating a more fulfilling work-life balance for everyone in this room. So, let’s get started!”

Check out: How to Start a Presentation?

prepare for presentation meaning

Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or new to the stage, understanding how to write a presentation that conveys your message effectively is a valuable skill. By following the steps in this guide, you can become a captivating presenter and make your mark in every presentation you deliver.

Additionally, AhaSlides can significantly enhance your presentation’s impact. With AhaSlides, you can use live polls, quizzes, and word cloud to turn your presentation into an engaging and interactive experience. Let’s take a moment to explore our vast template library !

Frequently Asked Questions

1/ how to write a presentation step by step .

You can refer to our step-by-step guide on How To Write A Presentation Script:

  • Understand Your Purpose and Audience
  • Outline the Structure of Your Presentation
  • Craft Clear and Concise Sentences
  • Use Visual Aids and Supporting Material
  • Include Engagement Techniques
  • Rehearse and Revise
  • Seek Feedback

2/ How do you start a presentation? 

You can start with an engaging opening that grabs the audience’s attention and introduces your topic. Consider using one of the following approaches:

3/ What are the five parts of a presentation?

When it comes to presentation writing, a typical presentation consists of the following five parts:

  • Introduction: Capturing the audience’s attention, introducing yourself, stating the purpose, and providing an overview.
  • Main Body: Presenting main points, evidence, examples, and arguments.
  • Visual Aids: Using visuals to enhance understanding and engage the audience.
  • Conclusion: Summarizing main points, restating key message, and leaving a memorable takeaway or call to action.
  • Q&A or Discussion: Optional part for addressing questions and encouraging audience participation.

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A writer who wants to create practical and valuable content for the audience

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How To Choose A Perfect Presentation Outfit: Best Step-by-Step Guide in 2023

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How to Prepare a Professional Presentation

Last Updated: October 4, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Devin Jones and by wikiHow staff writer, Hunter Rising . Devin Jones is the creator of “The Soul Career," an online career incubator for women. She is certified in the CliftonStrengths assessment and works with women to clarify their purpose and create meaningful careers. Devin received her BA from Stanford University in 2013. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 216,742 times.

When you need to clearly share important information, a PowerPoint presentation makes a great way to reach your audience. Even though it’s pretty easy to throw all of your information together, you’ll leave a bigger impact if you take time to organize and prepare beforehand. We’ll start with what to include in your presentation and move on to how to design and run through your slides. With a little bit of prep, you’ll nail any presentation you have to give!

Start with a title slide.

Introduce your topic with an eye-catching first slide.

  • You can always name the presentation after the work initiative you want to start or the problem that you’re trying to solve. For example, you could name it something like, “Customer Acquisition Strategies.”

Follow the title slide with an agenda slide.

Give a list of what the audience can expect.

  • Project Overview
  • Market Research
  • Business Model

Organize the middle slides for logical flow.

Determine the presentation’s beginning, middle, and end for more clarity.

  • For example, if you’re giving a persuasive presentation, you might start with background information on an issue, move on to ways to solve the problem, and finish with steps a person in the audience can take to work toward the solution.

Include a call-to-action slide near the end of your presentation.

Tell your audience about the next steps to take when you wrap up.

  • For example, if you want to cut down costs at your business, you may ask your listeners to track all of the work resources they waste throughout a week so they can be more conscious of what they’re throwing away.

Conclude with the key takeaways.

Summarize the main points you made so your audience remembers them.

  • For example, if you’re pitching a brand or product, you could summarize the issues the product solves, its main selling points, and why you think it's a good fit in a company.

Aim to have about 10 slides.

It’s tough for people to remember more than 10 concepts at a time.

  • For example, if your presentation is about a new eco-friendly initiative, a few slides filled with statistics about climate change’s effects offers a lot of information, but a single slide with a couple of bullet points specifically about how your company is hurt by it is much more effective.

Use consistent backgrounds.

Maintain the same simple layout and theme for all of your slides.

  • For example, your slide background could simply be white with a dark blue stripe across the top and a yellow line running through it as an accent.
  • Stick with colors that contrast, but complement each other. For example, you could incorporate white, dark brown, black, and tan as a presentation theme.
  • Avoid putting full images as your background since it can be really hard to read text that’s written over them.

Choose easy-to-read fonts.

Stick with large sans-serif fonts so they’re easy to see across the room.

  • Emphasize the most significant text by bolding, italicizing, or highlighting it. [10] X Research source
  • Vary your text size throughout the slide. For example, the heading at the top of the slide should be larger than the body text.

List main ideas with short bullet points.

Quick lists on your slides make it easier to follow along.

  • For example, instead of the sentence, “We need to be more mindful about our budget for this project,” you could write the bullet point, “Be mindful of budget.”
  • Have each bullet point appear only after you click the mouse so your audience doesn’t get ahead of what you’re talking about.

Add relevant graphics.

Choose high-quality images and charts that highlight your information.

  • Include captions for charts or images that are hard to understand.
  • Try making a single image stand out on a slide by making it a contrasting color to the rest of the slide. For example, you could have pictures of old products in black-and-white with a large image of the newest product you’re introducing in color.
  • In general, avoid using clip art or animated GIFs in your presentation since it won’t look like you’re taking it seriously. However, what’s acceptable may depend on your place of work and the specific presentation.
  • If you get a chance, check your presentation on a screen similar to what you’ll be presenting on to check if your images look blurry from across the room.

Avoid flashy transitions.

Transitions and animations distract a viewer from the content.

Practice your presentation out loud.

Run through the entire slideshow to boost your confidence.

  • Try recording yourself giving the presentation so you can listen or watch your performance. That way, you can easily see what you need to change.

Rehearse in front of an audience.

Ask for some preliminary feedback to see if your presentation lands.

  • If you can, rehearse your slideshow in a space that’s similar to where you’ll actually be presenting it so you can get a feel for the room.

How Should You End a Presentation?

Expert Q&A

Devin Jones

  • If you have a fear of public speaking, try taking a few deep breaths to help you calm down. The more you practice, the less likely you’ll be afraid of presenting it as well. [18] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you don’t have PowerPoint, you can always use alternatives such as Keynote, Prezi, or Google Slides for your presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

prepare for presentation meaning

  • Have a backup for your presentation in case there are technical difficulties. For example, you could give the presentation off of notecards or make handouts. [19] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Deliver Effective Presentations

  • ↑ https://virtualspeech.com/blog/designing-presentation-slides
  • ↑ https://www.business.com/articles/13-things-to-include-in-your-next-powerpoint-presentation/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.gmu.edu/guides/writing-a-powerpoint-presentation
  • ↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/09/22/10-smart-ways-to-make-any-powerpoint-presentation-way-more-interesting/?sh=567b2a1e2d24
  • ↑ https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/presentations-guy-kawasaki-10-20-30-rule.html
  • ↑ https://www.ncsl.org/legislators-staff/legislative-staff/legislative-staff-coordinating-committee/tips-for-making-effective-powerpoint-presentations.aspx
  • ↑ https://alum.mit.edu/powerpoint-presentations
  • ↑ https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/making-better-powerpoint-presentations/
  • ↑ https://www.gvsu.edu/speechlab/practicing-presentations-33.htm
  • ↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2013/06/19/the-only-way-to-prepare-to-give-a-presentation/?sh=7d89d11b84ef
  • ↑ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/specific-phobias/expert-answers/fear-of-public-speaking/faq-20058416

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How to Structure your Presentation, with Examples

August 3, 2018 - Dom Barnard

For many people the thought of delivering a presentation is a daunting task and brings about a  great deal of nerves . However, if you take some time to understand how effective presentations are structured and then apply this structure to your own presentation, you’ll appear much more confident and relaxed.

Here is our complete guide for structuring your presentation, with examples at the end of the article to demonstrate these points.

Why is structuring a presentation so important?

If you’ve ever sat through a great presentation, you’ll have left feeling either inspired or informed on a given topic. This isn’t because the speaker was the most knowledgeable or motivating person in the world. Instead, it’s because they know how to structure presentations – they have crafted their message in a logical and simple way that has allowed the audience can keep up with them and take away key messages.

Research has supported this, with studies showing that audiences retain structured information  40% more accurately  than unstructured information.

In fact, not only is structuring a presentation important for the benefit of the audience’s understanding, it’s also important for you as the speaker. A good structure helps you remain calm, stay on topic, and avoid any awkward silences.

What will affect your presentation structure?

Generally speaking, there is a natural flow that any decent presentation will follow which we will go into shortly. However, you should be aware that all presentation structures will be different in their own unique way and this will be due to a number of factors, including:

  • Whether you need to deliver any demonstrations
  • How  knowledgeable the audience  already is on the given subject
  • How much interaction you want from the audience
  • Any time constraints there are for your talk
  • What setting you are in
  • Your ability to use any kinds of visual assistance

Before choosing the presentation’s structure answer these questions first:

  • What is your presentation’s aim?
  • Who are the audience?
  • What are the main points your audience should remember afterwards?

When reading the points below, think critically about what things may cause your presentation structure to be slightly different. You can add in certain elements and add more focus to certain moments if that works better for your speech.

Good presentation structure is important for a presentation

What is the typical presentation structure?

This is the usual flow of a presentation, which covers all the vital sections and is a good starting point for yours. It allows your audience to easily follow along and sets out a solid structure you can add your content to.

1. Greet the audience and introduce yourself

Before you start delivering your talk, introduce yourself to the audience and clarify who you are and your relevant expertise. This does not need to be long or incredibly detailed, but will help build an immediate relationship between you and the audience. It gives you the chance to briefly clarify your expertise and why you are worth listening to. This will help establish your ethos so the audience will trust you more and think you’re credible.

Read our tips on  How to Start a Presentation Effectively

2. Introduction

In the introduction you need to explain the subject and purpose of your presentation whilst gaining the audience’s interest and confidence. It’s sometimes helpful to think of your introduction as funnel-shaped to help filter down your topic:

  • Introduce your general topic
  • Explain your topic area
  • State the issues/challenges in this area you will be exploring
  • State your presentation’s purpose – this is the basis of your presentation so ensure that you provide a statement explaining how the topic will be treated, for example, “I will argue that…” or maybe you will “compare”, “analyse”, “evaluate”, “describe” etc.
  • Provide a statement of what you’re hoping the outcome of the presentation will be, for example, “I’m hoping this will be provide you with…”
  • Show a preview of the organisation of your presentation

In this section also explain:

  • The length of the talk.
  • Signal whether you want audience interaction – some presenters prefer the audience to ask questions throughout whereas others allocate a specific section for this.
  • If it applies, inform the audience whether to take notes or whether you will be providing handouts.

The way you structure your introduction can depend on the amount of time you have been given to present: a  sales pitch  may consist of a quick presentation so you may begin with your conclusion and then provide the evidence. Conversely, a speaker presenting their idea for change in the world would be better suited to start with the evidence and then conclude what this means for the audience.

Keep in mind that the main aim of the introduction is to grab the audience’s attention and connect with them.

3. The main body of your talk

The main body of your talk needs to meet the promises you made in the introduction. Depending on the nature of your presentation, clearly segment the different topics you will be discussing, and then work your way through them one at a time – it’s important for everything to be organised logically for the audience to fully understand. There are many different ways to organise your main points, such as, by priority, theme, chronologically etc.

  • Main points should be addressed one by one with supporting evidence and examples.
  • Before moving on to the next point you should provide a mini-summary.
  • Links should be clearly stated between ideas and you must make it clear when you’re moving onto the next point.
  • Allow time for people to take relevant notes and stick to the topics you have prepared beforehand rather than straying too far off topic.

When planning your presentation write a list of main points you want to make and ask yourself “What I am telling the audience? What should they understand from this?” refining your answers this way will help you produce clear messages.

4. Conclusion

In presentations the conclusion is frequently underdeveloped and lacks purpose which is a shame as it’s the best place to reinforce your messages. Typically, your presentation has a specific goal – that could be to convert a number of the audience members into customers, lead to a certain number of enquiries to make people knowledgeable on specific key points, or to motivate them towards a shared goal.

Regardless of what that goal is, be sure to summarise your main points and their implications. This clarifies the overall purpose of your talk and reinforces your reason for being there.

Follow these steps:

  • Signal that it’s nearly the end of your presentation, for example, “As we wrap up/as we wind down the talk…”
  • Restate the topic and purpose of your presentation – “In this speech I wanted to compare…”
  • Summarise the main points, including their implications and conclusions
  • Indicate what is next/a call to action/a thought-provoking takeaway
  • Move on to the last section

5. Thank the audience and invite questions

Conclude your talk by thanking the audience for their time and invite them to  ask any questions  they may have. As mentioned earlier, personal circumstances will affect the structure of your presentation.

Many presenters prefer to make the Q&A session the key part of their talk and try to speed through the main body of the presentation. This is totally fine, but it is still best to focus on delivering some sort of initial presentation to set the tone and topics for discussion in the Q&A.

Questions being asked after a presentation

Other common presentation structures

The above was a description of a basic presentation, here are some more specific presentation layouts:

Demonstration

Use the demonstration structure when you have something useful to show. This is usually used when you want to show how a product works. Steve Jobs frequently used this technique in his presentations.

  • Explain why the product is valuable.
  • Describe why the product is necessary.
  • Explain what problems it can solve for the audience.
  • Demonstrate the product  to support what you’ve been saying.
  • Make suggestions of other things it can do to make the audience curious.

Problem-solution

This structure is particularly useful in persuading the audience.

  • Briefly frame the issue.
  • Go into the issue in detail showing why it ‘s such a problem. Use logos and pathos for this – the logical and emotional appeals.
  • Provide the solution and explain why this would also help the audience.
  • Call to action – something you want the audience to do which is straightforward and pertinent to the solution.

Storytelling

As well as incorporating  stories in your presentation , you can organise your whole presentation as a story. There are lots of different type of story structures you can use – a popular choice is the monomyth – the hero’s journey. In a monomyth, a hero goes on a difficult journey or takes on a challenge – they move from the familiar into the unknown. After facing obstacles and ultimately succeeding the hero returns home, transformed and with newfound wisdom.

Storytelling for Business Success  webinar , where well-know storyteller Javier Bernad shares strategies for crafting compelling narratives.

Another popular choice for using a story to structure your presentation is in media ras (in the middle of thing). In this type of story you launch right into the action by providing a snippet/teaser of what’s happening and then you start explaining the events that led to that event. This is engaging because you’re starting your story at the most exciting part which will make the audience curious – they’ll want to know how you got there.

  • Great storytelling: Examples from Alibaba Founder, Jack Ma

Remaining method

The remaining method structure is good for situations where you’re presenting your perspective on a controversial topic which has split people’s opinions.

  • Go into the issue in detail showing why it’s such a problem – use logos and pathos.
  • Rebut your opponents’ solutions  – explain why their solutions could be useful because the audience will see this as fair and will therefore think you’re trustworthy, and then explain why you think these solutions are not valid.
  • After you’ve presented all the alternatives provide your solution, the remaining solution. This is very persuasive because it looks like the winning idea, especially with the audience believing that you’re fair and trustworthy.

Transitions

When delivering presentations it’s important for your words and ideas to flow so your audience can understand how everything links together and why it’s all relevant. This can be done  using speech transitions  which are words and phrases that allow you to smoothly move from one point to another so that your speech flows and your presentation is unified.

Transitions can be one word, a phrase or a full sentence – there are many different forms, here are some examples:

Moving from the introduction to the first point

Signify to the audience that you will now begin discussing the first main point:

  • Now that you’re aware of the overview, let’s begin with…
  • First, let’s begin with…
  • I will first cover…
  • My first point covers…
  • To get started, let’s look at…

Shifting between similar points

Move from one point to a similar one:

  • In the same way…
  • Likewise…
  • Equally…
  • This is similar to…
  • Similarly…

Internal summaries

Internal summarising consists of summarising before moving on to the next point. You must inform the audience:

  • What part of the presentation you covered – “In the first part of this speech we’ve covered…”
  • What the key points were – “Precisely how…”
  • How this links in with the overall presentation – “So that’s the context…”
  • What you’re moving on to – “Now I’d like to move on to the second part of presentation which looks at…”

Physical movement

You can move your body and your standing location when you transition to another point. The audience find it easier to follow your presentation and movement will increase their interest.

A common technique for incorporating movement into your presentation is to:

  • Start your introduction by standing in the centre of the stage.
  • For your first point you stand on the left side of the stage.
  • You discuss your second point from the centre again.
  • You stand on the right side of the stage for your third point.
  • The conclusion occurs in the centre.

Key slides for your presentation

Slides are a useful tool for most presentations: they can greatly assist in the delivery of your message and help the audience follow along with what you are saying. Key slides include:

  • An intro slide outlining your ideas
  • A  summary slide  with core points to remember
  • High quality image slides to supplement what you are saying

There are some presenters who choose not to use slides at all, though this is more of a rarity. Slides can be a powerful tool if used properly, but the problem is that many fail to do just that. Here are some golden rules to follow when using slides in a presentation:

  • Don’t over fill them  – your slides are there to assist your speech, rather than be the focal point. They should have as little information as possible, to avoid distracting people from your talk.
  • A picture says a thousand words  – instead of filling a slide with text, instead, focus on one or two images or diagrams to help support and explain the point you are discussing at that time.
  • Make them readable  – depending on the size of your audience, some may not be able to see small text or images, so make everything large enough to fill the space.
  • Don’t rush through slides  – give the audience enough time to digest each slide.

Guy Kawasaki, an entrepreneur and author, suggests that slideshows should follow a  10-20-30 rule :

  • There should be a maximum of 10 slides – people rarely remember more than one concept afterwards so there’s no point overwhelming them with unnecessary information.
  • The presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes as this will leave time for questions and discussion.
  • The font size should be a minimum of 30pt because the audience reads faster than you talk so less information on the slides means that there is less chance of the audience being distracted.

Here are some additional resources for slide design:

  • 7 design tips for effective, beautiful PowerPoint presentations
  • 11 design tips for beautiful presentations
  • 10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea

Group Presentations

Group presentations are structured in the same way as presentations with one speaker but usually require more rehearsal and practices.  Clean transitioning between speakers  is very important in producing a presentation that flows well. One way of doing this consists of:

  • Briefly recap on what you covered in your section: “So that was a brief introduction on what health anxiety is and how it can affect somebody”
  • Introduce the next speaker in the team and explain what they will discuss: “Now Elnaz will talk about the prevalence of health anxiety.”
  • Then end by looking at the next speaker, gesturing towards them and saying their name: “Elnaz”.
  • The next speaker should acknowledge this with a quick: “Thank you Joe.”

From this example you can see how the different sections of the presentations link which makes it easier for the audience to follow and remain engaged.

Example of great presentation structure and delivery

Having examples of great presentations will help inspire your own structures, here are a few such examples, each unique and inspiring in their own way.

How Google Works – by Eric Schmidt

This presentation by ex-Google CEO  Eric Schmidt  demonstrates some of the most important lessons he and his team have learnt with regards to working with some of the most talented individuals they hired. The simplistic yet cohesive style of all of the slides is something to be appreciated. They are relatively straightforward, yet add power and clarity to the narrative of the presentation.

Start with why – by Simon Sinek

Since being released in 2009, this presentation has been viewed almost four million times all around the world. The message itself is very powerful, however, it’s not an idea that hasn’t been heard before. What makes this presentation so powerful is the simple message he is getting across, and the straightforward and understandable manner in which he delivers it. Also note that he doesn’t use any slides, just a whiteboard where he creates a simple diagram of his opinion.

The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout – by Rick Rigsby

Here’s an example of a presentation given by a relatively unknown individual looking to inspire the next generation of graduates. Rick’s presentation is unique in many ways compared to the two above. Notably, he uses no visual prompts and includes a great deal of humour.

However, what is similar is the structure he uses. He first introduces his message that the wisest man he knew was a third-grade dropout. He then proceeds to deliver his main body of argument, and in the end, concludes with his message. This powerful speech keeps the viewer engaged throughout, through a mixture of heart-warming sentiment, powerful life advice and engaging humour.

As you can see from the examples above, and as it has been expressed throughout, a great presentation structure means analysing the core message of your presentation. Decide on a key message you want to impart the audience with, and then craft an engaging way of delivering it.

By preparing a solid structure, and  practising your talk  beforehand, you can walk into the presentation with confidence and deliver a meaningful message to an interested audience.

It’s important for a presentation to be well-structured so it can have the most impact on your audience. An unstructured presentation can be difficult to follow and even frustrating to listen to. The heart of your speech are your main points supported by evidence and your transitions should assist the movement between points and clarify how everything is linked.

Research suggests that the audience remember the first and last things you say so your introduction and conclusion are vital for reinforcing your points. Essentially, ensure you spend the time structuring your presentation and addressing all of the sections.

How to Outline a Presentation: A Complete Guide From a Pro

How to Outline a Presentation: A Complete Guide From a Pro

When you’re writing an important speech, you must start with a clear outline. However, I find that many speakers are uncertain of how to write a good outline for their presentation. This is why I decided to write a guide for you, in hopes that learning to perfect your outlines will help you give better presentations in the future.

How do you outline a presentation? Always start with your introduction and end with your powerful closing. Flesh out the body by listing topics in the order that you want to cover them in. Never skimp on the important details of your speech. Remember that an outline is only a draft.

I know at this point that you still have questions, and that you still be confused at how to write the best outline for your speech. But writing a good outline for your presentation does not have to be stressful! This is my complete guide from a pro for you, in hopes that you can take the stress out of this important step.

Table of Contents

How to Outline a Presentation

Outlining a presentation can be done with a regular piece of paper, or on a word processing program on your computer. If you are hosting a PowerPoint presentation, you may prefer to do the entire thing from the comfort of your computer. But if you do decide to write your outline on a piece of paper, make sure you use a pencil and eraser so that you can make changes as you go along.

The very first step in creating an outline is to ask yourself what the purpose of your presentation is.

Write your main message or a one-sentence summary of your thesis at the top of your outline when you get started. This may help you stay on task, and it will keep the purpose of your speech right in your eye’s sight. After all, you don’t want to stray too far off the main topic of your presentation !

Remember, a quality outline is meant to enhance the purpose of your presentation. If you do not write a proper outline, you may risk not properly conveying the right message to your audience.

Or you may even forget to cover essential points that you wanted to talk about. A thorough outline is especially important if you are planning to speak without notes.

You should remember to properly summarize what you want to say with every sentence of your outline. After all, this is not a full script, so a summary is all you really need. Remember to rehearse and practice with your outline, so that you can remember what you have written.

Start With a Strong Beginning

Your introduction is where you start strong by grabbing your audience’s attention from the very beginning. But if that makes you feel stressed out, just remember to stay calm! Creating a great first impression from the beginning of your speech is not as difficult as you might be worrying.

When you create a strong beginning, you should try some of the following:

  • Start with an attention-grabbing statement that captures your audience from the start. If you have a few ideas but are not sure what to use, try running your ideas by a trusted friend or mentor.
  • Give a strong signal that you are beginning your speech. You don’t want your audience unsure of whether you’ve actually begun or not.
  • Give the main thesis statement about the purpose of your presentation.
  • You could start by giving a brief preview of all of the things that you are going to talk about in the body of your speech.
  • Talk about your credentials at the beginning. However, you should make sure to find a way to do it that is entertaining. You don’t want to risk boring your audience from the very beginning of your speech!
  • Thank your audience from the very beginning! This is not only a good way to begin your speech, but a good way to end it, as well.
  • If there are any current events or famous historical events that relate to the purpose of your presentation, you can start by talking about these. However, pick only one so that you do not draw your introduction out too long.
  • Ask your audience a question at the beginning. You could draw out their interest by answering this question at a later point in your speech.
  • Whenever possible, make sure you begin your speech on a positive note . This sets a good tone for the rest of the presentation.
  • Start by telling a story that relates to your presentation. A good reason to start with a story is that it helps you form a strong connection with your audience from the beginning. Write some of the main details of your story in your outline so that you remember them.

Be reminded thought, that sometimes it is wise to write your introduction last as only you know what you’ll be introducing. This way, you’ll also avoid including something in your introduction that you won’t be actually talking about.

Once you have written out your introduction, you have completed the first step in creating an excellent outline for your presentation.

Create a Powerful Ending

In my experience, it can be easier to create ending before you flesh out the body of your presentation. However, it is up to you if you prefer to create your outline in a different order.

If you are a regular reader, you might have realized that I already posted an in-depth article here about how to end a presentation in a powerful way . Right now we are going to talk about the same thing in somewhat less detail.

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prepare for presentation meaning

Just like with your beginning, make sure that you’ve made it obvious you are ending. After all, few things are more awkward than your audience sitting there long after you’ve finished, feeling confused about whether they should leave or not.

If the point of your speech is to motivate your audience to do something, you might consider ending your speech with a call to action . A call to action is simply an instruction that you give your audience about something you want them to do.

You could also potentially end your presentation with a powerful quote or an entertaining story . And if you have a unique tagline that exists to help promote your personal brand, consider ending with it.

But if you are planning to have a question and answer period at all, make sure you are not directly ending with one. Plan to wrap up your question and answer period before delivering your speech’s closing at the end.

This is because ending with a question and answer period is not only not memorable, but a negative question from an audience member can leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth . This is not the last thing you want your audience members to remember as they’re leaving!

And as always, you should thank your audience at the end of your speech. This will make them feel valued, and impressed with your gratefulness.

Flesh Out the Body of Your Presentation

So, you’ve got your beginning and ending all figured out, but now what else do you do with your outline? This is the stage where you work on the body of your speech. That is, you will want to think about what you want to say in between your beginning and end. Here are some speech writing tips I have written about previously.

Write the main points of your outline in order

It may be easier for you to write bullet points or even a numbered list. List your main points in order of what you want to talk about. If at first glance the topics don’t seem to flow, it is okay to re-arrange them.

You can also decide at this point if there is anything you want to add or subtract. If you feel like you’ve made a mistake, don’t worry! It is okay to make any changes along the way.

Add sub-points and transitions to your topics

Add sub-points to your main points in order to further flesh out your outline. Even if you want to keep it simple, sub-points may help you to stay on track and remember what you were going to say.

You can also add to the ideas that your main points present. Make sure that the transitions from one point to another flow smoothly from one thing to the next.

Don’t forget the essential details!

Are there any special details that you need to remember for your presentation? Put these in your outline so that you don’t forget them. This can include important names, dates, and locations that you need to remember.

Write down how long will it take

If your speech is supposed to cover a certain amount of time, try listing times for each of your main points. This may help you not go over or under your time.

Also, take a look at these articles:

  • 11 Great Tips How to Write a Great Persuasive Speech
  • How to Deliver a Perfect Elevator Speech

How to Outline a PowerPoint Presentation?

You may be thinking that you don’t need an outline for your PowerPoint presentation. However, don’t rely on your slides alone ; you need a proper outline, too. An outline for a PowerPoint presentation should also include images that you intend to use for your slides.

Fortunately, the PowerPoint program itself also allows you to view an outline of your slides. This can help give you a visual of your overall presentation.

Remember, This is Only a Draft!

If your outline isn’t the way you want it to be, remember that it is only your very first rough draft. Your outline doesn’t have to be perfect, because it is not your final product. While you should work hard to make your outline as good as possible, you don’t need to stress about it.

And remember that if you finish your outline, and you are not satisfied with how it looks? It is okay for you to scrap it and start all over again. There is no reason that you should stick with an outline that you don’t feel confident about.

An outline is a great place to start whether you intend to read from a full script, read from cue cards, or speak without notes. If you are an avid reader of Speak and Conquer, you’ll remember that I recommend creating an outline in many of my articles.

Get Feedback From Others About Your Outline

There is no reason that you have to go any of this by yourself. If you have a friend or mentor who is experienced with public speaking , why not ask them to take a look at your outline for you? They may see something that needs to be changed that never even occurred to you.

You could also give a practice round of your speech in front of a friend, family member, or mentor. Give them a chance to make suggestions about whether or not there’s anything that you should change. After all, it’s better for you to realize if something needs to be done differently before the actual day of the presentation.

If you don’t have someone who you can rehearse in front of in person, try recording your presentation in front of a video camera . Show it to someone you trust via email or social media. If they have any suggestions for change, you can alter your outline accordingly.

Why is a Presentation Outline so Important, Anyway?

While reading this article, you may be wondering why you even need an outline for your presentation. This may be especially puzzling to you if you are planning to give a speech without notes . But I find that an outline can be incredibly useful no matter what kind of presentation you are planning to give to your audience.

Like I said before, the main point of an outline is to enhance the main purpose of your speech further. But I’m also going to give you a list of some more reasons why I believe an outline is absolutely essential.

Some other good reasons for creating an outline for your presentation are:

  • You will have an easy visual to look at the order of the topics you are talking about. This way, you can see if anything looks out of place.
  • The proper outline will help to keep your speech organized.
  • You will be able to look at the connections between your ideas . This may even help you realize you need to add or subtract certain things from your speech.
  • A good outline will help you remember to t ouch on every important point that you need to cover in your presentation.
  • Outlining helps you see whether or not your main points and sub-points flow smoothly . If you create your outline and realize that some of your points do not flow, you can easily re-write key parts.
  • Using an outline instead of a full script will give you more freedom to improvise during your presentation. This is why creating an outline is a great first strategy if you are speaking without notes, or trying to memorize a speech in a short period of time.
  • If you’re not sure where to start preparing for your speech, then writing a loose outline is a good first step to help you out.
  • Practicing with an outline will help enhance your memory about the main points and sub-points of your presentation.

No matter what kind of presentation you are planning to give, a solid outline with help you be prepared and ready to go.

Conclusion: How do you make an outline for a talk?

Today, I have compiled a thorough guide about writing a quality outline. We discussed creating a good beginning, ending, and body of your presentation. We have even talked about why a good outline is important, too. If you have any other tips to share about creating an outline for your presentation, make sure to share them in the comments section.

If you are looking to improve your public speaking and presentation skills, check out the rest of my articles on Speak and Conquer. The purpose of my site is to help you succeed in becoming a better public speaker. For example, I have covered popular topics such as how to memorize a speech in less than an hour , and how to use hand gestures effectively during a presentation .

Related Questions

What software should I use to outline my speech? Preferably, you should have a program that allows you to use bullet points or numbered lists. Bullet points and lists are a good place to start when you are outlining. Microsoft Word, Word Processor, or Notepad are acceptable for basic outlines.

How do I decide what the purpose of my speech is? Decide if you are there to inform, educate, motivate, or entertain your audience. When you have narrowed it down to just one of those, you will be able to decide the main idea of your speech. You should preferably speak about a topic that you are well-educated about.  

How do I write a speech? Start with a purpose, and then create a detailed outline. Flesh out the points and sub-points from your outline. Decide very early on if you want to give your speech with or without notes. Revise your drafts as much as possible until you have created a full speech. If you are going to speak with notes, write some of the information from your outline onto cue cards.

Useful reading

  • 16 secret ways how to speak to a bored audience
  • How to Use Your Voice Effectively in a Presentation?
  • 13 Effective Ways How to Make Speech Pauses
  • Delivery Techniques →

How to Prepare for a Speech: Strategies for a Successful Speech

how to prepare-for-a-speech

Are you nervous about your first public speaking experience?

Or are you excited and can't wait to express your thoughts to the audience?

Whatever the case, it is crucial to learn how to prepare for a speech so you can deliver a successful, heartfelt oration.

Whether speaking in a seminar, a board meeting, or a classroom, the better you prepare, the more confident you feel.

So, what are different useful strategies that can help you prepare better? Let's find out!

Things to Consider Before Preparing the Speech

There is a lot more that goes into preparing a speech than simply writing some notes and reading them out loud in front of the audience.

Here are some crucial things to consider before starting to write your speech.

Learn Your Audience

Knowing your target audience is essential to prepare an excellent speech that adequately conveys its message. You first need to check where you will deliver the speech and who your audience is. 

Learn about your audience's different backgrounds and cultures . Avoid making cultural remarks during the speech, as what seems insignificant to you may stir others' emotions.

Try to find out their interests to make your speech light and relatable. Find out the age range of your audience. Speaking to young students requires a different game plan than speaking to experienced professionals.

children-laughing

Learn about the audience's knowledge and expertise on the subject of the speech. Is it something new, or are they well-versed on the subject?

It is best to avoid using thick jargon if the audience is inexperienced and new to the field, whereas with an experienced audience, you can take things to the next level.

Knowing your audience will also help you include relatable experiences from your own life, making the speech more interesting and fun to listen to.

Furthermore, from the audience's point of view, there must be a reason to listen to someone speak. In essence, you have to make sure that the speech you're going to give will offer value to the audience and their current situations. This feeds directly into the next point.

Understand the Purpose of Speech

What do you wish to achieve with this speech? What message do you need to deliver? The answer to these questions will help you shape your speech.

Take your audience on a step-by-step journey with your speech, and in the end, ensure they understand your end goal.

Sometimes, you want to deliver specific messages as is, whereas other times, you only wish to convey a thought-provoking speech.

Knowing the purpose or purposes of the speech will help you include interesting and relatable anecdotes that draw the audience's interest.

Try Out the Speaking Medium Beforehand

Technological advancements have touched every medium. You may present the speech to your audience face to face or via a virtual medium .

For instance, in the recent past, many companies and organizations conducted their conferences, meetings, and interviews via Zoom .

plans-meetings

It is best to know what your speaking medium is beforehand. Knowing whether you will be presenting on the stage in front of a live audience, speaking via video platform, or going on the TV or radio can help you prepare accordingly.

Calculate the Duration of Your Speech

Knowing the duration of the speech is essential to prepare a targeted, engaging speech. The preparation for an hour-long speech is different from that of a five-minute-long speech.

Knowing the time duration will help you understand how many anecdotes, interesting facts, or examples you can include and how to structure your speech, so you keep the audience's attention throughout.

How to Prepare for a Speech

Next comes up writing the speech. A speech consists of the introduction of the subject, the main body, and a conclusion. 

An engaging and meaningful speech contains a mix of facts, statistics, interesting anecdotes, fun phrases, and loads of relatable content. Here are a few easy and valuable tips for writing a powerful speech.

Step #1: Thoroughly Research Your Topic

A full grasp of the topic is essential to delivering a successful speech . Knowing every detail of the subject matter will give you the confidence to stand in front of your audience.

Whether you are presenting as a student in your classroom or as a president in your board meeting, the topic's knowledge will give you authority over the listeners. The same goes for presenting a subject with other group members.

You must thoroughly know the issue, whether you are presenting the introductory, central, or concluding parts of the speech. This knowledge will also help you later in the question/ answer session.

Step #2: Start With an Interesting Story or Question

Capture your audience's attention with an enticing and ear-catching introduction. Avoid going straight up to introduce your subject. Instead, start your speech with something fun, light, and breezy. 

You can share an interesting fact, include any amusing little personal incident, or propose a mind-boggling idea.

tall-tales-fantasy-story

The first few minutes of your speech are essential as they can make or break the audience's attention to what comes ahead. Deliver the most important pointers of your speech within this period and let the audience know they are in for a treat.

You might also like: 10 Engaging Ways to Start a Speech

Step #3: Take the Hook Down the Body of the Speech

Indeed, the first impression is the last impression . But all the high of the attention-grabbing introduction can go down the drain if the body of the speech lacks meaning, pull, and purpose.

Hence, it is necessary to give every part of your speech equal importance during preparation and at the time of delivery as well.

You will present your speech's main idea or purpose in the body. Therefore, you must make your content clear, easy to understand, intentional, and well-organized. Avoid adding unnecessary information.

Here's how to ensure the body of your speech is as good as your introduction.

How to Ensure Interest in Your Speech

  • Make a String of Ideas : Create a chain of thoughts leading to the main idea or purpose of the sitting. An unorganized and haphazard speech will distract your audience, and they will lose interest. Aim for this part of your speech to connect with your audience .For instance, if you are preparing for a motivational speech , then this part should allow the audience to connect with your speech emotionally. They should start thinking about the main idea and purpose of this speech.
  • Be Logical and Coherent : You should be logical, to the point, and clear while introducing and connecting different concepts. Make a central connection point of additional facts, statements, and ideas in the speech, and combine them with the main topic.
  • Repeat Your Main Point Several Times : Repeat your main point throughout the main body without being obvious. Let the idea sync in the back of the audience's minds. Avoid using the same words repeatedly; use synonyms or relatable analogies instead. Listening to the repetitive logic will help the audience grab the core idea.
  • Avoid Adding More Than Three Points : Try adding no more than three points to make the speech simple and easy to remember. Plus, include relevant examples explaining these points. 
  • Properly Arrange Different Ideas : Go through the central part of the speech and check if all the ideas or pointers are arranged systematically. The central part should take the listener on a journey that concludes with the final part of the speech.
  • Write Main Part Before Introduction : The body comes next to the introduction of the speech. But it is best to research and write this part before the introduction. Writing this part will give you a clear idea of what you will say in the introduction and the conclusion.

Step #4: Remind the Audience of the Speech's Purpose in the Conclusion

A well-written and efficiently delivered speech keeps the audience captivated throughout.

If it's effectively presented, a speech hooks the listeners right from the introductory sentence, goes hand in hand through the central body, and becomes part of the memory with a great ending.

Hence, continue working on the speech's conclusion with the same zeal and effort as you have worked on the introduction and the body.

character-and-goal

The primary purpose of the conclusion is to wrap up the whole speech. Recap your speech here and convey the main idea in simple and understandable words.

Create a little summary of the pointers you spoke about in the main body and condense them into simple phrases that the audience can remember more easily.

As stated earlier, every part of the speech holds immense significance.

So, prepare a coherent, clear, and firm conclusion . Adding lousy or unnecessary comments in this section can break the spell you created with a powerful introduction and body.

Useful Tips for Effective Delivery Style

After preparing a well-researched and well-written speech comes the delivery style. Public speaking is especially challenging for introverts and shy people. On the other hand, enthusiastic and lively people may need to tone down a little.

No matter your personality, you can confidently present before any audience after learning a few basic tips and tricks for an effective delivery style.

Work on Your Body Language

Before you even say a single word, the first thing the audience will judge you on is your body language. How you present plays a crucial role in how the audience will remember you.

Many people are naturally confident and can lead the room with their charming presence. Contrarily, many people need to work on their body language, gestures , and delivery style. Whichever category you fall into, it is essential to practice.

speaking-infront-of-mirror-to prepare for a speech

You can practice your speech in front of the mirror to learn how your body moves. Stand straight and upright, move around, use your hands and show your authority. Learn where you can improve and keep on practicing until you're satisfied.

Practice With Your Friends

Indeed, practicing before a mirror is a fruitful exercise; but practicing before a group of people can boost your confidence.

With this practice, you won't be overwhelmed by the live audience when you present your speech.

Moreover, this practice will help you observe the reactions of the people. Plus, your friends can give you feedback on your speech and body language .

A Toastmasters club is perfect for this.

Use Visual Aids

Visual aids such as PowerPoint slides, short videos, or pictures can help convey the message effectively.

Instead of only imagining what you are saying, the visuals aid people see what you are saying.

If you plan to use any visual aid during the speech, rehearse with them beforehand.

Maintain Eye Contact With the Audience

Look directly into the eyes of your audience when speaking. This gesture will reflect that you are confident about what you are speaking. Plus, your audience will remain engaged with your content.

The audience will lose interest if you start fumbling or looking timid. So, don't remain standing in a single place; move around, and move your eyes all over the room.

Related: Importance of Eye Contact in Public Speaking

Be Natural but Interesting With Your Voice

Use the rise and fall of your voice wisely. But try not to be overdramatic. Avoid sounding too mechanical, and use your natural tone.

Many speakers get over-excited during delivering the speech and increase their speed. Don't go too fast or too slow; neither sounds pleasant. Try to add natural pauses while speaking.

Try to add relevant expressions in your sentences using your voice. If you are asking a question, it has a question mark at the end. Similarly, when there is an exclamation mark at the end, then exclaim.

Remember Good Looks Always Grab Attention

If there is a dress code, then follow that dress code. Otherwise, be well-dressed and look smart and sharp.

If you dress up too casually or inappropriately, you will lose the audience's interest without speaking a single word.

Final Thoughts: How to Prepare for a Speech

Public speaking can be thrilling for some while difficult for others. Whether you are shy or are brilliant at expressing your thoughts, delivering a triumphant speech requires preparation.

At first, it may seem exhausting to deliver the best speech possible.

But once you get a grip of the basics of speech preparation, it will be a seamless journey ahead. Following the strategies mentioned above can help you deliver the message effectively.

Don't start your work presentations by simply saying 'hello.' Here's how to be more engaging in the conference room.

  • I'm a public-speaking expert, and I've trained many executives and senior teams.
  • I tell all of them to stop starting work presentations with a salutation or a "hello."
  • Instead, you should engage your audience by telling a story or asking a question.

Insider Today

I'm sure you've sat through plenty of presentations where the presenter starts with a polite salutation like, "Hello, thank you for having me here today," or, "I am so glad to be here" — often followed by their name and professional résumé . Sometimes, if it's an internal meeting, you get the same salutations followed by an agenda slide with bullet points and the presenter narrating it.

As a public-speaking coach who has worked with many executives and senior teams, I know how to make work presentations more engaging. Here's how you should change your approach.

If you stick to your old ways, you aren't leaving a memorable first impression

Your audience is thinking three things when you walk into that conference room or onto that stage: Who is this person, why should I care, and how are they going to solve my problem?

Let's face it: Most people are more interested in how you will solve their problem than in you and your professional résumé. So let's flip the script a bit. Start with the solution to their problem, briefly talk about yourself for credibility, and then give them a reason to care.

Instead, try to capture their attention

Begin your presentation with a hook or a story — something that grabs their attention right from the start. For instance, your hook might be, "Did you know this?" or "What if that?" It could also be a short story that humanizes your services or products.

Most presentations are predictable; wouldn't it be better for both your time and your audience if you could introduce an element of surprise?

Some might feel it rude not to thank the organizer or greet the audience, so I suggest finding another place in your presentation for this. Here's a good structure:

Intro: "What if you could be a more confident and credible presenter? What if you could engage with your audience so they remember your products or services?"

Credibility: "My name is Meridith, and I've been coaching entrepreneurs and executives on how to speak with spark for over a decade, and I am really excited to be here. I want to thank [insert name] for inviting me to share the afternoon with you."

Solution: "Today, I will give you three ways to make your audience remember your products and services, helping you stand out in a competitive market. Let's get this party started!"

You could also try to form a personal connection

Often, presentations lack a personal touch. Try sharing a relevant personal anecdote or experience that relates to your topic. This not only makes your work presentation more relatable but also helps to establish a deeper connection with your audience.

For example, you could say: "When I was younger, I often hid in the back of the classroom, hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me because I didn't want to sound stupid or have the wrong answer. Later in life, I discovered acting and improv comedy . It was through the practice of these two art forms that I developed my confidence and learned how to engage more courageously with others. Today, I will give you solutions for how you can also better engage your audience with spark."

Try to encourage interaction

At the very least, you should try to engage your audience from the beginning — whether in person or on virtual calls. You can ask a thought-provoking question or propose a challenge that involves them directly. This approach shifts the dynamic to more interactive and engaging sessions.

If you implement any of these suggestions, you can make your presentation memorable and impactful immediately. And you'll most likely get a larger return on your investment of time and energy.

In today's fast-paced world, where attention spans are increasingly shorter than ever, it's crucial to grab and hold your audience's attention from the very beginning. By doing so, you set the stage for a more engaging and productive interaction. So challenge yourself to break free from presentation norms and embrace a style that resonates deeply with your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

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Watch: A public speaking champion reveals 3 keys to nailing your business presentation

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COMMENTS

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    Apply the 10-20-30 rule. Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it! 9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule. Simplicity is key.

  9. Prepare a Good Presentation in 12 Practical Steps ( Expert Tips

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    To make your text stand out, you need to use contrasting colors. For example, you can make the background black and your text a bright shade of green to make it stand out, or vice versa. Just be sure that your text is easily readable for your audience. 22. Proofread and polish your presentation.

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  14. What is a Presentation?

    A presentation is a means of communication that can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team. A presentation can also be used as a broad term that encompasses other 'speaking engagements' such as making a speech at a wedding, or getting a point across in a video conference.

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    1 Practice your pronunciation and timing. Let's be honest—presentations can be a bit scary. But if you practice in front of the mirror or with a mock audience, you'll end up feeling way more prepared. Presenting to your friends and family can be a great way to make sure that your voice is clear and loud enough—this is also a good tool ...

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    6/ Engage Emotionally. Connect emotional levels with your audience by appealing to their aspirations, fears, desires, or values. They help create a deeper connection and engagement from the very beginning. Make sure your introduction is concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations.

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    Stick with colors that contrast, but complement each other. For example, you could incorporate white, dark brown, black, and tan as a presentation theme. Avoid putting full images as your background since it can be really hard to read text that's written over them. 8.

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