Step-By-Step Guide for Scripting Presentations

Thinking about all the things you could say is rather different from sitting down and writing the presentation. Follow this four-step approach to writing a presentation.

Identify Your Big Idea and Three Main Points

Start with a ‘big idea’ and three main points that you want to make. An example of this would be a speech on Creative Intelligence with the main points being dynamic, diverse, and distinct. Notice the alliteration. It’s deliberate When spoken aloud, one after another, the repetition of the first letter gives a memory hook for the audience. It also gives you better recall later on.

Brainstorm Your Main Points

Now that I have decided on the important areas I am going to cover, I need to consider the sub-points I wish to make about each point. To do this, I use a sheet of blank paper and write down all the ideas that come to mind, around that topic. I then prioritize them. Below is the kind of list I would generate for each of my three Ds.


  • Knowledge emerges socially from small teams
  • Use feedback from customer, clients, and the audience for deeper insights
  • Interactive communication is central


  • Tolerate mistakes
  • Expect different styles of learning (oral, written, visual, kinesthetic)
  • Find strengths in individuals


  • Delegate responsibilities and control
  • Where is the niche, where are the opportunities?
  • Organizations like people can not be good at everything

Develop Your Headings

Using these brainstormed ideas, the next step is to develop what you will say around each sub-point. The stories you develop around each point might be from your own experience, what you uncovered from research, or you a story that will help bring the point to life. Once you have expanded each point, you have the majority of your speech written. The next part of the process involves weaving your ideas together, so they make sense.

Find Your Journey

During a presentation we take the audience on a journey. By the end, they will have travelled with us. This is when we create a journey or a narrative for them to follow.

With the example we are using here, you could personalize the content and ‘attach’ it to a character, for example saying this is how Sara developed her creative intelligence. You might even be the main character with the tale of what you have learned along the way, taking care to be self-effacing enough to recognize that the journey has only just started. If you create a logical flow, if one element naturally follows another in the tale, you and your audience are much more likely to follow the thread of your presentation.

Presentations: Information Overload

Could you drive your car, speak on the phone, eat a pizza, read the newspaper and watch a movie all at the same time? Probably not, particularly if you’re male. But that’s what many audiences are expected to do all across the world, every day as presenters toil to prove how smart they are, missing the point by a country mile. Which is probably what the audience does too.

You Can Present With Confidence

A presentation is not an opportunity to prove your intelligence or your grasp of the topic. The audience assumes these things already, which is why they came to listen to you (unless of course they were forced to!). Your job as the presenter is to package your information in a way that is easy to absorb, thus enabling your audience to make a decision based on your recommendations. It’s to inform, and in all likelihood to persuade too. Sexy slides are an added bonus and can make the experience more enjoyable. But too many slides just add to the confusion.

People can only focus properly on one idea at a time. This means that once you get to the next point, the listener will move off what you were saying previously in order to keep following your current train of thought. So the logical question is – how many key points can you pile into a presentation before you completely flummox your audience? In order to make a decision, they need to understand the point – the main point, that is. And if there are too many points, your presentation becomes a mish-mash, and then logically there is no main point.

It is understood that a compelling presentation requires great delivery. But unfortunately that is not enough. Cluttered content delivered well equals a poor presentation.

So what do you need to do?

First you need to decide on the purpose of your presentation, and what the main message will be. This answers the question “why?”. Everything you prepare should tie in to that main message. Next, you should strive to keep it simple. Avoid the overload that so many presenters feel obliged to dish up. Keep slides to the minimum. If some detail is a requirement, you can provide it via a handout or web link at the end. A few good stories or metaphors to illustrate your main point are much more effective, serve to engage an audience and are always appreciated.

Think about the best presentations you’ve experienced. You may find that they were almost always the simpler ones that were easy to follow. For the presenter, simpler presentations are easier to prepare because they’re… simpler. They’re also easier to rehearse, and to deliver. The audience enjoys them more. And you, the presenter, increase your chances of attaining your objective.

Uncomplicate your presentations. Keep them simple and fun. Keep clear of unnecessary clutter. Stay focused on your key objective, and get the result you were aiming for. Game, set and match.

Effective Presentation Skills: Flip Chart Tricks and Tips

Sometimes, they seem like relics of an earlier age, but flip charts still have their uses. Especially if we recognize that we can do more than simply write on them.

If you’re preparing a presentation, spend a little time preparing your flip chart sheets ahead of time. Don’t use the one on site; take your own instead. Here’s why:

First, you can write out the points for your presentation in pencil, in small letters, on the pages of the flip chart. This means you don’t need to take separate notes with you. And, it will look like you’re working without notes.

At the top of each page, write notes to yourself in pencil, just big enough for you to see them from a couple of feet away. Since your nearest audience member is likely to be at least 10 feet away, they won’t see what you see.

Alternatively, you can write very lightly in pencil what you plan to write in large letters for your audience. In other words, trace out your words ahead of time, in their final size, and use those words as your ticklers or speech notes.

Then as you’re working through that section, you can refer to your notes each time you write something on the flip chart. Much more effective than consulting separate notes on a lectern or elsewhere.

You can also draw lines on the page, or use sheets that come with preprinted gridlines to ensure you get everything on the sheet. When I use flip charts without preparation or planning, I often run out of space on the sheet, and end up putting just a couple of words on a succeeding sheet. That means the notes aren’t as coherent as they might be.

Finally, at the bottom of each page, write (again, in pencil and in small letters) a question for the audience that leads into the idea you’ll capture on the next sheet.

And when you finish with the idea on that sheet, you’ll ask a question like, “So, how do we implement this new process?” That gives the audience something to consider (and a transition) while you turn away to flip the sheet over and read the notes for that page.

The flip chart may be very old technology, but it can still be a very good friend when making presentations. Just think: no wires to connect, no devices to fail, no batteries to remember. The flip chart can also be a reassuring friend.

Sometimes an old medium offers some benefits you can’t get with newer and more advanced media.