7 steps to planning better presentations

Ready to load up PowerPoint? Not so fast—that doesn’t happen until Step 5. Before that, you’ve got some work to do.

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In nearing the end of the spring conference season, and in the run-up to BlogWorld New York, I’ve started reflecting on how my approach to presentations has evolved.

Preparing a presentation for a conference is no mean feat. (I spend at least 30 hours on each presentation I create for conferences.) With that level of time investment, especially if you’re creating multiple presentations each year, you need to make sure you invest your time well.

This year, I’ve started approaching presentations in a new way. I’ve thrown out the PowerPoint-driven way of planning my presentations, turning toward a more story-driven way of building them. My goal: creating presentations that are more direct and more relevant to the people I’m speaking to.

Here, in seven steps, is how I’m preparing my BlogWorld NYE presentation. You can use these seven steps yourself, to improve your own presentations.

1. Decide on your topic.

Simple enough, sometimes. Other times, it may take a little more thinking.

2. Create your framework

The next step is to create the high-level framework for the presentation. (I’ve taken inspiration from Cliff Atkinson’s book “Beyond Bullet Points” here.)

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