​When a reader looks at the Table of Contents (TOC), they should “get” what the presentation is about and want to read it based on how the page titles string together.

the structure of a table of contents

​When readers are trying to consume information for a purpose, they want to know what they’re getting into. In fictional prose, it’s great to build suspense and have surprises and plot twists. But it’s different if the goal is to convey information quickly.

​Even though the TOC will be at the front of the presentation distributed as a slidedoc, it should be the last thing you write. The TOC will be a derivative of your outline view in your presentation software. Don’t add page numbers until you are certain they won’t change.

​Above is the TOC for a presentation about endangered species. You can see how readers get the gist of what the document is about, so they can choose to read it all or jump to a specific section.

Anatomy of a Table of Contents

the structure of a table of contents

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