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Have you ever sat through a rambling, disorganized presentation? (Chances are you probably have). If so, you probably found it hard to follow what the speaker was saying.


The aforementioned confusing presentation at hand probably lacked some structure that guides the way they discussed important points in their presentation. Remember that there are different approaches for different audience and purpose. Many factors can influence choice of structure, but the most important consideration is your presentation purpose/goal.


Here, we are going to discuss some structures that might be helpful when you are trying to develop your next presentation.




Open – Body – Conclusion (OBC)


This is known as the “tell them”, and is the most common approach in presentations. Here you tell audience members what they’re going to get in the presentation (introduction). Then continue by telling them about important information as the bulk of the presentation (body). And finally, provide a recap by going through essential aspects to give an overall understanding (conclusion).



The Sandwich Approach


This approach is effective when you want to persuade audience members, or change their minds. Here, start by stating advantages and/or benefits of your message or idea to open. Then move to the risks, concerns or feedback; lastly, move to explaining how the benefits can manage or eliminate those risks.


Sandwich is often utilized when delivering feedback, or raising concerns during a specific presentation.



Opportunity – Benefits – Numbers (OBN)


The OBN structure is useful when you face busy people who want to hear what you have to say in the shortest time possible. Under this approach, you give a quick summary of the opportunity at hand, outline the benefits that they can expect, then finally show numbers that back up your claims.


As you can tell, it is very direct and should be utilized when you are already somewhat familiar with the person you are speaking to.



Always Start by Sketching


There are a ton of other structures provided out there. But as a closing tip, it is generally always helpful to start with sketches and comic strips.


We have discovered the hard way through nights of reworking (along with many of our colleagues), that oftentimes putting pen to paper and just drawing up simple grids filled with ideas in each box can help tremendously in putting together a flow.


Choosing the best suitable structure for your presentation frees you! Structure frees you to think about the actual content and idea that you want to share, without the worry that the audience might get lost.


So at your next presentation, ask yourself:

What am i trying to accomplish >>> is there a clear train of thought? >>> how do the pieces flow together through my presentation?

Struggling to show important points in your presentation? Developing a (simple) storyboard helps you crystallize what you're trying to say and makes it easier for people to follow your train of thought.



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