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

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, will be published November 2018 by Immortal Works Press. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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