The way to win your presentation starts with thinking clearly, not mastering public speaking techniques

By Kedung Soejaya
May 15, 2024
You can find plenty of presentation training providers in Indonesia when you type in “presentation training” on the search engine. These providers offer various methods from an intensive workshop, short seminar, to online courses. They also offer practical advice on how to speak more effectively, use body language, and even how to manage room tension and your own nervousness.

The number of self-taught presentation materials are also easily found on the internet. Tutorials from experts, providing the tips and tricks on how to deliver impressive presentations. Blogs and articles on platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium also offer an extensive guide to prepare an effective presentation. Even social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram are not immune to upskilling your presentation.

The question then raises: are these self-taught materials, emphasizing on public speaking techniques and designing slides help us enough to create an effective presentation? When your job is to persuade and convince or even intervene at their behavior, these are not enough. The skill that you need to persuade them is to have a coherent and clearer way of thinking. This involves making clear and logically ordered supporting points and the ability to convey ideas in a way that the audience can immediately understand.

C4C believes that an effective presentation starts with its substance. Essentially, developing a presentation or a deck is writing, and writing is thinking on a paper or in front of the screen. Without a clear, structured thinking process, even the most advanced public speaking technique will not guarantee an effective presentation.
A good presentation begins with deciding how we want our audience to change
Before you start putting your deck together, answer these questions first: who is your audience? What are they feeling and thinking about? What changes do you want to see in their mindset and behavior? How long will the presentation last? Being able to answer these questions help us decide our objectives, and therefore the strategy to attain them.

Then, write a thesis sentence as the key message of your presentation that will lead the audience to the change you want to see. If the audience is only able to remember one sentence from your entire presentation, then the thesis should be that sentence. This sentence should be short, clear, and contain your opinion on how best to solve the problem the audience is facing. This is the main idea of the presentation that will bind all of your arguments together.

Next, outline your presentation using Three Act Structure. Framing your presentation with this structure invites your audience to be more engaged with what you are presenting and digest its information. The First Act is the context of the presentation. Use the ABT (And, But, Therefore) structure in describing the context of the presentation. This helps the audience understand that the presentation is about solving a problem they are facing. The Second Half is where you test the thesis of your presentation. This is where the core of your message is logically defended, while remaining brief and relevant. The Third Act is a reiteration of the thesis and call to action. This section reaffirms your point of view and invites the audience to take the next step based on what they have seen.

Finally, develop the presentation storyboard. The storyboard helps you visualize the presentation flow and ensure that each part of the presentation is tied with a clear logical explanation. This also helps you with its visual and narrative settings, so that they are digestible to your audience.
Use CRAP (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity) principle in designing your presentation
This principle ensures that your presentation materials are not only visually appealing but also instantly comprehensible to viewers
  • Contrast: Use colors, fonts, or shapes to emphasize important elements. Create a contrasting effect to highlight the single most important part of the slide, be it the title, the emphasized sentence, or the data you want to highlight.
  • Repetition: Repeat visual elements such as colors, shapes, textures, borders, and fonts to unify your design. Consistent use of design elements across slides will improve comprehension and visual unity.
  • Alignment: Align all the elements in the slide with the guidelines to make it look professional and pleasing to the eye.
  • Proximity: Place elements that are conceptually close together, but give enough space to other elements.
Coming in 25th-26th June: “Think Clearly, Present Better,” a hybrid class for everyone
Offline class will be held at Aloft South Jakarta. The training is designed to help participants develop clear thinking and effective presentation skills, not about honing public speaking skills or decorating slides.

By following a structured train of thought, you can put together a presentation that not only captures the audience's attention but also gets you closer to your goal. This structured thinking skill is a powerful weapon in winning presentations, ensuring that your ideas are conveyed in the most effective and impressionable way.

Related Articles