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Most presentations are laden with unnecessary data, try to cover too much, and do little to change the audience's mind. Here are four steps to putting together a presentation that is focused, relevant, and persuasive: Figure out the question you're answering. Before you start, understand why you are giving the presentation and what your audience wants to know. Establish that question up front and then spend the majority of the speech answering it. Create the opener. Your opening should be a story or anecdote that establishes the topic of your talk and grabs the audience's interest. Draft the ending. Don't summarize. Instead, give your audience something to do with the information you just imparted. Put it together and edit down. Weave these three parts together and be ruthless about taking out anything that's not crucial to your points.