Is finding the right balance between structure and spontaneity a problem for you? Here’s a quiz:

1. How much preparation do you do before a presentation?

a. I think through the basic ideas in my head and jot down a few keywords.
b. I plan carefully the main message I want to get across and then structure supporting points.
c. I plan everything I want to say and write down how I’ll say it.

2. What are you most concerned about when you’re delivering your presentation?

a. I must be natural and genuinely engage with the audience.
b. Yes, I want to be natural and engaging but also I want to stay on track.
c. I must remember everything I want to say and get it right.

3. What’s the most likely problem you might have when you’re delivering your presentation?

a. Well, I might waffle and go a little off track at times.
b. I’m not perfect but generally it goes pretty well.
c. I come across as rather stiff and artificial. I might end up reading my presentation to the audience.

Mostly As – you’re a winger
Mostly Bs – you’ve got it sorted
Mostly Cs – you’re a stickler

If you’re a winger – what could help you keep more on track? If you’re a stickler what could help you be more natural and engaging?

Two types of presentation content

Think of having two types of content in your presentation:

  1. The bones of your presentation – this is the framework of your presentation. It holds your presentation together. It includes your Key Message and your main points.
  2. The flesh of your presentation. This includes the stories, anecdotes, metaphors and other supporting material.

If you’re a winger

Focus on planning the bones of your presentation – this will ensure your presentation hangs together with a solid structure rather than being just an entertaining ramble. You can still be at your engaging and spontaneous best during the supporting material.

If you’re a stickler

Let go about getting the supporting material just right. It won’t be fatal if you forget to tell an anecdote or leave out a detail. You’ll be more engaging and natural. To help you let go,  put critical information in a handout.

Want to create your most engaging presentation ever?


Plan your presentation with the SpeakerMap™ - a proven system that will have you feeling confident and credible.


Success! You'll soon receive an email from us with a link to step 1 of the SpeakerMap system.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Discover more from Speaking about Presenting

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading