Unlock success: How to write a great presentation

Kevin Friesen

Written by

Kevin Friesen

Elevate your career with powerful presentation skills. In this blog post, we will explore the four essential steps to crafting an outstanding presentation that captures attention and leaves a lasting impression. I’m Kevin Friesen, an expert facilitator and Duarte Method™ specialist, here to guide you through the process.

Duarte video: Presentation skills: Tips to create a clear structure for your presentation


Step 1. Writing for your audience

This first step focuses on tailoring your presentation for maximum impact. To create a presentation that resonates, start by asking, “Who am I talking to?” Dive into your audience’s world by considering their:

  • Age
  • Culture
  • And beliefs

An easy tool to use to help you with this exercise is our Audience Needs Map™. Download it today to help you understand and relate to your audience. Remember, this step helps develop empathy by addressing their needs and potential resistance. Remember, your audience is the hero – so you need to focus on their transformational journey for maximum impact. Consider the questions:

  • What’s it like to be them?
  • What would make this a great meeting for them?
  • What might surprise them and encourage confidence?


Step 2. Defining the audience journey

This second step involves crafting a compelling narrative for success. Your narrative should have a clear Big Idea™ that encapsulates your viewpoint and the stakes involved. Consider the shift from current beliefs to the desired transformation. This forms the backbone of your presentation, guiding content decisions for an engaging and aligned presentation. Address both belief and behavior to ensure a holistic audience journey.

The stakes are crucial – what if your audience says no? Uncover what’s at stake for them to capture attention and keep them engaged.


Step 3. Creating a clear structure

Now that you know your audience, and you know your Big Idea™, it’s time to create a structure for your presentation. Set expectations upfront by communicating the meeting’s purpose and duration. Embrace the power of a three-act structure:

  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • And end

In the beginning, establish context without overburdening your audience. The middle is the messy part where challenges are addressed, providing a clear journey through complexity. The end brings it all together with a clear call to action, making your presentation memorable.


Step 4. Maximizing engagement with every visual element

Optimize engagement by focusing on one idea per slide. Use the signal and noise concept to amplify relevant content and eliminate unnecessary elements. Embrace clear space on slides to enhance visual appeal. Remember, your slides complement your presentation – they are meant to support and reinforce what you, the communicator, are saying. For a great tool to help you practice this principle, download The Glance Test™ resource to give it a whirl.


Glance Test


Additional presentation tips for success

Now, let’s dig into some additional tips to ensure your presentation stands out:

  • Engage your audience with compelling stories: Weave in relatable stories that resonate with your audience. Personal anecdotes or case studies can make your content memorable.
  • Utilize visual aids effectively: Incorporate visuals that enhance your message. Clear, impactful visuals can significantly reinforce key points and keep your audience engaged.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Rehearse your presentation to ensure smooth delivery. Practice helps build confidence, refine your timing, and identify areas for improvement.

Every presentation is an opportunity to showcase your clear thinking and compelling communication skills. By crafting presentations that are audience-centric, well-structured, and visually appealing, you will begin to notice a positive impact on your career.

For additional presentation tips, take our Captivate™ course – our public speaking course, or Slide:ology®, our course on presentation building. Best of luck on your journey to presentation excellence!


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