Presentation Formula

Ken Gallacher was our guest speaker in June. His topic was “How to break through writers block and developing a formula for presentations.”
Ken used a white board and wrote down his outline structure for making stories and content fresh for an audience.

I. Lead – What is your most engaging story about your topic? (write this third, then go to #4, 5, 6, and 7)
II. Theme – Why do they need to know about it (write this second)
III. Body – What do you want them to know? (WRITE THIS FIRST)
A. what happened in the past with this topic? (#4)
B. what’s happening now? (#5)
C. what’s happening in the future? (#6)
IV. Close – How do they benefit? (#7) [tie to the theme or lead if possible]

-Don’t build it in outline order; build it in the order of these questions:

  1. What do you want them to know?
  2. Why do they need to know?
  3. What is your most engaging story to go along with this topic [Ken told us a story about a train at a mine in Eureka]
-The Lead hooks.
  • Controversy is good bait, but is a counterfeit form. It never sustains.
  • News headlines–the word “could” is used as bait–gas prices could go up; an asteroid could hit the earth
  • A true leader does not use controversy as bait–a leader unites. They bring people together and find common ground.
  • The Lead in an article is usually the title
-Always have two perspectives:
  • What YOU know
  • What it’s like to NOT know what you know
-The author’s or presenter’s goal is to create a bridge between the two
  • use analogies, metaphor, simile–something they can relate to
-When presenting, get out with the people. Walk around.
-How to remember your outline? Create an acronym from the outline. Use a key word from each step and then take the first letter to make a phrase you remember.
-Tell stories—you remember them better and so will they.
-Brains are wired to memorize in sequence—Once upon a time . . . this happened, then this happened . . . and they all lived happily ever after.
-Stories are GOLD—collect them
-Presentations need to be 80% stories and 20% content (the points you want to make). Your stories will drive home and support your content.
  • Story (90 seconds)
  • Point
  • Story (90 seconds)
  • Point
  • Story (the story should be relevant to the point you’re trying to make)
-If you need to expand the presentation, expand the Body (III, above).
  • Do 5 stories.
  • Don’t overdo the points—go heavier on the stories.
-To come up with stories about yourself, make a list of things that went wrong in your life and how it changed you and how you emerged victorious.

-Check out Patricia Fripp, a master of presenting:
-Check out–#2031 is “How to give an engaging presentation.”

Homework: Look at how titles are structured in news stories. See what they use to draw you in.


About Jodi

I'm an aspiring novelist working in fantasy and suspense, for now. I also have two pretty awesome blogs! and
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