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An edited and revised book on public speaking for introverts based on the articles from this site

How To Write A Presentation

Everyone has their own way of writing presentations, you’ve just seen the start of my process.  Now I’m going to take you through what I do next.  The following stages differ for different people, my suggestion is to follow my ideas the first time you have to prepare a presentation, and then, if you find something isn’t working for you, play around with it, try something different, mix it up and identify your own style.

The first thing I do is come up with a structure.  Its the structure we’ve already seen. Its a pathway through the presentation from the beginning through to the end.  The pathway guides a hero, overcoming challenges, leading the hero (and the audience) to the conclusion.

Now, I begin to think.  I have the framework of a story, but not yet the full picture.  I mull it about a bit – does anything jump out at me.  Are there any ideas that I need to highlight, or group together.  Am I always moving towards my conclusion?  This can be done in the back of your mind, as your driving.  It can be done alone in your office – or alone in a bathroom cubicle.  Its a quiet, solitary time of playing with ideas – the sort of thing introverts are born to do.  Don’t skimp on this – this is where you -as an introvert – are going to be at your best.  It should be a recharging cathartic time of building mental palaces – then knocking them down and rebuilding them until you have everythign organised in your mind.

The next thing I do is write a first draft of the presentation.  I start from scratch, remembering to cover each point – each challenge – each scene in turn.  Right now its about getting something on paper (or in my case, generally something on the screen of a word processor).  It doesn’t have to be perfect – indeed, one of the secrets of m system is it never has to be perfect.  All you’re trying to do is make sure that each scene flows into the next, and that you have everything written down.

This is the time, by the way, to reinsert some of that supporting information you pulled off your list of bullet points.  Now, when your hero is facing a challenge, you can quote some of those facts and figures, throw in some of that trivia, to make sure your audience are as informed about the hero’s world as they can be.

When you’ve got to the end, reread what you’ve written.

Are there any phrases you particularly like?  highlight them.

Are there any phrases you think you could say better? rewrite them.

Are your facts and figures couched in ways that mean your audience can relate to them, and understand what they really mean?

Are there any places you can take advantage of storytelling techniques such as one of the three rules of three?

Now I’ve done this, I read through again, and I find each point that I’ve written – each important thing i have to say, and I note it down as a bullet point.  I also note down any great turns of phrase – ways I want to say things on stage.  Eventually I’m left with a list of buller points – these are my speakers notes – this is my presentation.  these notes are what I’ll try to learn, and what I’ll use to jog my memory when I want to know where to go next.

This is the point where my presentation is written.  From here on in, its all about the practice and the performance.