How to Plan a Presentation: Key Points to Consider Before You Start

Great presentations begin with proper planning, which is why presentation planning is an important skill for any professional. Whether you are pitching a product to customers, sharing ideas with colleagues, or giving the keynote speech at an industry conference, the ability to present well will set you apart from others in your field. Planning an effective presentation takes time and dedication, as you will want to figure out the goal of your presentation and how best to convey your message. Consider the following tips for planning a presentation that will capture audience attention, develop their understanding of the topic, and achieve your desired objectives. 

Consider the Goal of Your Presentation

You should always begin planning a presentation with the end goal in mind. Think about what you are trying to accomplish as a result of your presentation. What is the one thing you want the audience to take away? This will be the overall topic of the presentation. Once you know your topic, write down your goals as well as any main points you want to make. Choosing a topic that aligns with your goals is the most important step in the planning process.  

Know the Background of Your Audience

Think about who you will be presenting to and what they hope to gain from your presentation. What previous knowledge do they have about your topic? Are you trying to sell them a product, introduce them to a new idea, or persuade them to act? Think about the people who will be in your audience, including their professional and personal backgrounds. Consider things like age, professional experience, demographics, and interest in the topic, as this information will help you tailor your presentation to better fit your audience. 

Select Your Main Points

Think about three to four main points that best illustrate the theme of your presentation. You should choose points that are most relevant to your topic and be prepared to discuss them in greater detail. Try presenting no more than three to four main points, as it is difficult for audiences to stay engaged if your presentation is too lengthy. A powerful presentation delivers information in a logical, concise, and structured manner.

Choose Supporting Information

The supporting information is what you will say to help the audience better understand your main points. This could be in the form of facts, data, charts, graphs, or even stories. It can be presented as creatively as you like as long as it directly relates to your main points and adds relevant insight.

Develop an Opening and a Conclusion

The introduction to your presentation is critical, as you only have a matter of seconds to capture your audience’s attention. Your introduction should engage the audience while also laying a clear foundation for the presentation. Your conclusion is another important part of the presentation. This is the time when you will remind your audience of your main points, present them with a call to action, and leave them with a lasting impression of your presentation.