O'Reilly logo

How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation: A Speaking Survival Guide for the Rest of Us by T. J. Walker

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 5. The Game Plan

Should I Outline the Key Points of My Presentation to My Audience?

No—why make it harder on yourself if you forget a point? If you never tell your audience all the points you are going to cover in advance, then they will never know if you left one out. Plus, you will never feel pressure to remember your point number 12 from some complex outline. Sure, there are some world-class speakers like Apple's Steve Jobs who believe that you should always outline for your audience. However, if your audience isn't writing down everything you say word for word—and that rarely happens—then outlining your presentation doesn't help them or you.

My recommendation is for you to just focus on making one point at a time; this is easy for you and your audience. When you finish with one point—by giving examples, telling stories, and the like—then move to the next point. After you have finished covering the handful of most important points you wanted to cover, sit down. You will have given a pretty good presentation.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required