How To Create a Presentation Outline

Most people will need to create a presentation at one point or the other. To make sure that you will be able to elaborate your message through a presentation, you should create a presentation outline first. Outlining will make sure that you do not veer off topic or forget some key points in your presentation. Here’s how.

  1. Topic. Start by clarifying the topics that you are working on. Obviously, you will have a general idea of the topic. Most topics, however, will be very broad and will need to be polished into a more manageable subject. If you are creating a presentation about animals, for example, you will need to limit your presentation to certain types of animals or certain aspects of animals. You can even limit your presentation by making the report very general, which means that you will not discuss in depth each kingdom in the animal taxonomy. If you are making a report on economics, you can focus by selecting a certain industry or country. Focusing will make your point clearer.
  2. Key points. Next, determine at least three to five main points that you want the audience to learn after the end of the presentation. These key points will serve as the primary sub topics in the presentation. Make sure that the key points all have one over arching theme that will bind them together, which should be the topic for the presentation. Also try to arrange the key points in your presentation in a logical manner, such as chronologically, in terms of significance, or other factors.
  3. Details. Once the main points have been determined, the next step is to write down all of the details that you will need to get each point across. This will be the part of the research where you will do much research. Making the details as factual as possible will serve to make your arguments more convincing. Be sure to add citations whenever necessary, especially if you are creating a presentation for class or for an academic institution.
  4. Demonstrations. Determine the parts in the presentation where you will need to set up demonstrations. A demonstration will help make technical points much easier to understand. Demonstrations can be in the form of actual demonstrations where you will show the audience how to do certain things, or can be in the form of instructional videos that accompany the presentation. Apart from demonstrations, add in charts, tables, graphs, and pictures to help the audience understand your topic better.
  5. Conclusions. Make sure that you wrap up the entire presentation with conclusions that you have drawn out from your facts, arguments, and the key points that you have pushed forward. You can present a summary of the findings first before presenting your conclusion. You can also add recommendations after the conclusion, or add in a call-to-action, such as telling the audience what you think they should do or think about.

By starting off with an outline, your presentation should proceed smoothly and should be easier to digest for the audience.


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