8 Steps to Stellar Presentations: Main Body

Step 7: Structure the Main Body

In previous blog posts, we’ve looked at
Step 1: Develop Your Objectives
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Step 3: State the Main Ideas
Step 4: Decide on Supporting Information
Step 5: Create An Opener
Step 6: Develop Transitions

The main body of your presentation is a compilation of key points and supporting information (Steps 3 and 4).
The body is the section where you either convince (or persuade) your listeners to your point of view, or lose them.
Your ideas need to be logically sequenced, using simple transitions (Step 6) so your audience can easily follow, understand, and remember your message.

The body of your speech is comprised of 80% of your entire presentation.
It organizes between 2-5 (preferably 3) main points which explain, clarify, or affirm your one main point. Each of these main points will have 1 or more subpoints and supporting material. Clarify the relationship between your ideas by using as much parallelism as possible.

Create the most logical main body sequence for that audience.
There is no ONE best logical sequence for every speech or briefing.
Consider your topic, audience, purpose and objective to determine which approach will be best for this presentation.

Chronological Order
Based on time, happening now, or going from past to present.
The story, the series of events, from the beginning, then what happened next…

Set out the most important information, and then evolve into a chronology.
Establish the facts first, then tell the story and series of events.

Inverted Pyramid
Following the journalistic style of a traditional news article, with the most critical information first – facts (who, what, where, when, why, how), then supporting details, in descending order of importance.

Order things by listing and moving through them in the order you determine.

Based on importance, with the most important information first.

Identify the problem, discuss its causes, then offer a solution.

Question and Answer
State the questions that you think your listeners may be asking themselves (or that you want them to ask), and answer them.

Spatial Arrangement
Presents the key points related by area (International, Southern California).

Topical Approach
Placing the least important information at the beginning and concluding with the most important.
Benefit: Relating the point you want MOST remembered at the end of the presentation.



-Sheryl Roush, Speaker, Speaking Coach
Sparkle Presentations, Inc.

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