Use a clear structure

Make sure you apply a recognisable and helpful structure in order to deliver a successful presentation.The structure below may seem very simple but this is the best approach when preparing a presentation:

  • Introduction -Say what you are going to say. Helps your audience anticipate what they will hear, which then makes it easier to follow the content and see the connection between the ideas.
  • Main Body - Say it
  • Summary - Say it again. Serves as a recap, drawing all the main points back together again. Reinforces the audience’s memory of what you have said. Reminds them of earlier content that they wanted to ask a question about.

Example: Una Varsity’s slides for her presentation about ‘Giving a good presentation’ here.

Giving a good presentation (PDF opens in new window)

Sections, headings and slides
Think about the presentation slide as the basic element of your presentation structure. Using presentation slides can make it much easier for you to present the structure of your talk. This is similar to Planning -> Structure -> Linking when bookwriting essays.

  • Put short clear statements or phrases in your introduction.
  • Use your introduction slide to show the titles of the sections.
  • One bullet point for each section.
  • Repeat these statements as section headings in the main body.
  • If you have a longer presentation, you may need a separate introduction slide for each section.
  • Repeat the introduction in your summary – but rephrase to pick out important elements of what you said in the main body.

Signposts and flag-waving

  • State the connections as if you are waving a flag in the face of the audience. Show it to them; hold it up; make it clear; say it loud.
  • Think about the signposting language you can use to link each part together. When you move from one slide to the next, you should able to use a phrase that shows the connection between the main two.

For example:
"The next main topic I want to explain is..."
"To give you some examples of what I just described, take a look at this..."
"Let’s look at the opposite side of this argument."

For some spoken examples of presentation links click the audio files (.wavs will open in new windows):

Linking expressions (PDF opens in new window)