In planning your presentation, three steps are critical:

  1. Structure of the presentation;
  2. Basic rules of good presentations; and
  3. Creating support materials.
  1. Structure of the presentation:

    To determine structure, you have to answer, you have to answer two questions: (1)Which three to five points that should be remembered; and (2) what is the most appropriate way to present these points.


    • Begin by writing your last slide first, write out conclusion
    • Start you slide by an introduction which includes an agenda, outline of content, and summary of presentation.
    • Check to see if your last and first few slides correlate


    • A flip chart is an easy, cost-effective way to illustrate key points for audiences of 50 people or fewer; slides to illustrate key points for large audiences; overheads are better for illustrating key points for smaller audiences; and slides for large audiences.


    • Use tables to display data details which would be lost in graphs or charts.
    • Use a line graph to demonstrate how something has changed over a period of time.
    • Opt for a bar graph to compare data, and keep it in two dimensions as three-dimensional bar graphs are difficult to read.
    • Consider a pie chart to show how percentages relate to each other within a whole
    • Show a map to illustrate differences in rates between and among counties, states or countries.
    • Use an organizational chart to show chain of command, communication between departments, and how different departments are related.
    • Try a flow chart to illustrate a series of steps in a procedure, decision, or other "stepwise"process.
    • Put an appropriate amount of information and data on each chart or graph. Too much data can overwhelm the audience and be difficult to remember.
    • Estimate between 10 seconds to not more than 100 seconds per slide. If a slide takes more than several minutes, you may want to consider breaking it up.
  2. Basic rules of good presentations:

    • KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid. Focus on the main point, check out equipment in advance.
    • Rehearse your presentation using the equipment you plan on using, and any back-up equipment you plan on using in case the equipment fails.
    • If you are rehearsing before a live person leave out the first and last slide and see if they reach the same conclusions as you intended the audience to reach.
    • Don't memorize your presentation.
    • Use your notes sparingly.
    • Talk to your audience, not your visual aid.
  3. Creating support materials:

    Provide documentation and handouts to extend your message to other the audience may want to share it with. Some materials you may want to include are:

    • Summary of presentation or outline of presentation
    • Resource List of persons or materials for more information
    • Background on organization and/or team