Department of Communication

 

Informative Presentation Organizational Format

Introduction

Frame your opening sentences carefully to engage your audience’s attention. Capture their attention but never abuse their emotions

Establish your relationship with your audience; an orientation like establishing your credibility; the “common ground” you share; reference to the situation or occasion; or maybe even use humor.

Provide a logical orientation into the body of your presentation via the thesis statement.

Thesis Statement/Central Idea/Preview

A single statement (maybe two) that captures the essence of your presentation and contains a preview of the main points that will come in the body of your speech. Moves with a short transitional statement into the body of your presentation.

A critical point in any presentation--it is here where you clearly establish what you will cover and the key ideas to be discussed. Vague or abstract theses statements/previews run the risk of leaving your audience confused as to what you will discuss.

Main Point #1
Normally, each main idea in the body of the speech must be adequately supported by material other than simply the speaker's opinion.
Common types of support include facts, statistics, examples, narratives, visual support, and testimony from both experts and lay sources. Within the body of the presentation it is critical that you give credit for work cited that is not your own. This tends to bolster the image of the speaker in the eyes of the audience. High quality sources usually will enhance the presenter’s credibility. This can be done easily by saying something like, “According to last week’s legislative session in Austin…”
Transitional statement is needed from one main point to the next.

Main Point #2
(same comments as above)

Main Point #3
(same comments as above)
Transition from body of speech into conclusion--common transitions that lead to the end of a speech are phrases like “in conclusion...” “let me recap what I’ve covered today...” and “in summary, let me remind you of the key ideas I’ve presented to you today....”

Summary of Main Points

A brief recap of the central points is made--touching on the key ideas presenting in each.
Summary should be in general terms since specifics have already been presented.
A good rule of thumb is to provide approximately 20-30 second summary of the main ideas presented. Serves to remind and clarify.

Closing Thought

The speech wrap-up that leaves the audience aware the presentation is over. We want to avoid a situation in which you are finished but the audience doesn’t know it.

Often effective closing thoughts incorporate some type of reference back to how the speech was opened. This is much like the “icing on the cake,” and can help make a good presentation even better.

When in doubt, simply end with “thank you...what questions do you have for me?”

 

COMS 1301

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