8 Ways to Structure Your Presentation | Top Tips

What does a good presentation structure look like? Do you know what you want to say, and the order you want to say it in?

The structure of your presentation is important.  A good presentation structure will help you give your presentation with impact, and make It easier for your audience. 

With a well-structured presentation you’ll find it easier to plan, easier to deliver and easier to get results with your presentation.

As a presenter, you need to engage your audience, and convey your messages clearly and persuasively. To achieve this, you need to structure your presentation to hold the attention of your audience, build their interest and then convince them of the value of your message.

Based on our 15+ years’ experience coaching senior executives, these top tips will help you structure your presentation for impact.

1. Start Strong

The opening of your presentation is critical. The role of your presentation start is to grab your audience’s attention and make them want to listen. You also want to connect with your audience to get them receptive to what you are going to say. Some ways to start a presentation include: Use a compelling story, a surprising statistic or a thought-provoking question. This will give you an emotional connection with your audience and get them invested in your message from the outset.

2. Establish Context

Once you have grabbed attention, you need to give your audience some context. Explain why your message is important, and what problem you are trying to solve. This will help your audience understand the relevance of your message and why they should care.  And of course, state your main messages clearly.

3. Make Your Case

Next step in your presentation structure is to make your case. This is where you present your argument and provide evidence to support your position. Be clear and concise, and use examples, stories and data to support claims. Make sure that your argument is logical and persuasive, and that it addresses the needs and concerns of your audience.  A really good presentation structure will break this main part of your presentation into three parts.

4. Address Objections

Are you expecting some push back from your presentation?  If so, now is the time to address those objections. If you address objections head-on, you demonstrate your credibility and build trust.

5. Recap Your Key Points

As you near the end of your presentation, it’s important to summarise your key points. This will help reinforce your message and remind your audience of what is most important. Be concise, be clear, and don’t introduce new information at this stage.

6. End Strong

People will remember what you say last. You can end with a call to action, a memorable quote, or a powerful story to reinforce your message. This will help to leave a lasting impression on your audience and ensure that they remember your message long after your presentation has ended.  One commonly used technique is to loop round to an idea you introduced at the start of your talk.

7. A quick test for your presentation structure

First, rearrange your presentation.  Change the order of your slides and/or your presentation notes. Do the headings still make sense? If your answer is yes, then you don’t have a strong presentation structure because your content lacks a narrative thrust.

Your audience needs to see that your thinking makes sense, as well as your conclusions. To demonstrate this, you need to lead your audience from the start to end of your argument. It’s like guiding them on a journey.  A journey has a start, a middle and an end. This will make your presentation structure feel both natural and logical.

Presentation structure tip: Introduce a narrative

One of the best ways to take people on a journey through your presentation is by using three small, common words. These words are ones we’ve known since childhood. They featured in the first stories we heard and influenced our understanding of narrative. Listen to anyone tell someone else a story – on a bus, in a bar, on the street – and you’ll hear them. Yet we often drop them from our presentations, perhaps forgetting that the best way to take our audience on a journey is through a simple narrative.


The three short words that strengthen your presentation are:

1. Presentation structure tip: So

So is the word that moves us on to the next point: “That happened, so the result was this” or “we can seen that this is true, so the conclusion is…”. Note: “Therefore” does the same job, but is more than twice as long: don’t use long words when a short one will do!


2. Presentation structure tip: But

But is the word that challenges your audience’s preconceptions. It marks the beginning of a surprising, contrary point:

“You would assume that this is true, but you would be wrong”.

By surprising your audience you grab their attention.

3. Presentation structure tip: Then

Then takes us to the next stage in your story. It focuses on a particular moment, makes it real and helps the audience to visualise it: “Then we realised what we had to do”.

If you following these tips, you can structure a presentation that is engaging, persuasive and memorable. Remember, the key is to capture your audience’s attention, provide context, make your case, address objections, recap your key points and end strong. With these elements in place, you can deliver a presentation that truly resonates with your audience and achieves your goals.

Improve your presentation structure

Now, have a look at your presentation and ask yourself whether each slide is a so, but or then slide. Where does each fit into your narrative? If your presentation is full of interesting information that doesn’t progress the audience through your thinking, then put it in an appendix instead.

Struggling with presentation structure?

We can help. We’ll advise and coach on all aspects of your talk or speech, from your presentation structure and message right through to your delivery. We’ll ensure you communicate clearly, confidently and with impact.

Call Louise on 020 7018 0922 or email louise@benjaminball.com to find out more.

Help me structure my presentations

About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates Team

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better.

Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.

We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email louise@benjaminball.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.

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