On the eleventh day of Christmas…

On the eleventh day of Christmas…

…my true love gave to me 11 steps in the structure.

eleventh day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eleven steps in the structure of a presentation. The best presentation has a clear structure and knowledge of this allows the presenter to deliver a flowing piece without the need to memorise every single word. A useful and effective structure has 11 steps within it.

A presentation should have a single, identifiable and memorable message. That should be the reason the audience is engaged by the very start of the presentation. This can be a challenge, a question or a riddle. The presentation should answer that need generated in the audience at the beginning. This is the first and last step of the presentation. (1,11)

Structure is essential in a presentation: the magic of the number three in structure has already been highlighted. Three acts, three steps or three movements give a presentation symmetry that works very well. Ideally, each step should be complete in and of itself, a mini-presentation. These are then linked by the speaker to give the whole, the answer to the original challenge, question or riddle.

The simple maths therefore of three steps, each with three mini steps within, leads to the remaining nine steps between the start and the finish. (2-10) This structure also allows for a balance across the piece of the various sections. When this series of logical steps along a route is clear in the presenter’s mind it facilitates the escape from the confines of a script. It makes the challenge much less daunting. The gift of the eleven steps in a presentation allows flow, more accurate timing and delivery of the best presentation, ever.

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