How To Structure A Winning Presentation

Today I want to help you understand and use the concept of leverage, and how to use presentations to leverage your message into the marketplace.

And if you're reading this, it's probably because you want to make a difference in the world in some way, shape or form.

So maybe you're thinking about starting a business where you help people improve the quality of their lives.

Or maybe you're wondering how to attract clients to actually serve to begin with.

Because let's face it, without clients it's very difficult to have a successful business!

Now, one of things that I worked out over the past eleven years of doing this, is you must be able to leverage your time effectively to be successful.

And one of the most effective ways to leverage your time is to go and do the number one thing that most people are unwilling to do.

In fact, it's been said that successful people are the ones that do the things that non-successful people are unwilling to do.

And one of the things that people are most unwilling to do is... public speaking.

However, public speaking is probably one of the most leveraged activities a human being can do. Even the biggest companies in the world like Google and Apple still use a stage to present their latest products or services to the world.

And I'm sure at some point in your life you've seen an image of Steve Jobs walking along a stage holding up an iPhone talking about it. And that's because of the amount of leverage they're able to get from that presentation.

Now, if you're able to overcome your fears and work through the confidence issues that are required to get out there on a platform and share your message, then you have unlocked an incredible opportunity to make a huge difference in the world... and do it in the most leveraged way.

But in order for us to get up on a platform we first have to overcome a whole bunch of mindset challenges. And I certainly understand what these mindset challenges are like.

In fact I am an introvert by trade and I grew up with a whole bunch of social anxieties. (I was really quite socially awkward to be honest!)

But I was able to train myself and teach myself the skills and techniques that were required to first of all  overcome my fears. Second of all to unlock my courage and confidence as a presenter. And third of all be able to actually share my message in a way that people understood, and more importantly actually took action on.

Now if you are going to get up on a platform, one of the things to keep in mind is that having a good structure to your presentation is going to benefit the audience remarkably.

In fact, your audience is going to respond to talks that not only provide a lot of content... but also have a very unique structure that allows them to consume your information while going on a journey with you as the presenter.

Now, you may or may not be aware that keynote presentations - or presenting from a stage in any format - actually do require a specific model to follow.

Every talk is comprised of only 14 pillars.

Any type of talk, whether that's a TED talk, a keynote talk, and network talk, a 30-second chat, a five-minute talk or a 90-minute workshop...  they all only have 14 things in them that make them actually zing.

The 3 Phases Of  Winning Presentation

The first phase is the connection where you actually connect with the audience members. If you don't get the connection right then you will have a disconnection that occurs in the audience and they won't absorb anything else you have to say.

There's nothing worse than having a beautiful message in your heart that you want to share with the world but no one connects to your message. So, the connection is the first stage.

Once you've made it connect with the audience, the second stage is to deliver the content. Whatever it is you want to teach or share in any way shape or form. You deliver it in the content stage.

And the third stage is what we call "a call to action" where you offer the audience some type of action that they can do. This can be either inside the room or during the following weeks after your presentation that allows your audience to progress with the information that you have been sharing with them.

If we have a look at those 3 key phases which is the connection, the content, and the call-to-action, each one of them comes from one of these 14 pillars.

And, six of the 14 things you need to be doing during a presentation happen during your connection phase when you're actually connecting with an audience.

Introducing Yourself

The first thing you want to keep in mind is your introduction. What do you actually say at the beginning of your talk to actually get people on board and get people started.

It's been said that a presentation is kind of like an aeroplane, because aeroplanes have the highest chance of crashing at takeoff and landing (please excuse the analogy if you're afraid of flying!)

And your talk is the same it has the highest chance of crashing at the takeoff and the landing. The first 5 to 15 minutes of your presentation is critical.

So, when you kick off, the first thing to do is an introduction. There's over 11 different ways to introduce yourself on a platform (all of which we're going to be sharing in a program we have coming up) but I want to actually jump to a piece that's going to be quite relevant for you right now.

So, the first one is the actual introduction.

After that you want to do what we call the three core problems, which are the three biggest problems that people face.

The third thing is what we call market forces.

The fourth thing is what we call a big promise or a big idea.

The fifth thing is what we call frames (as in the way you want the audience to think and behave during your presentation).

The sixth thing is what we call your why.

And today, I want to talk to you about exactly how to share your why. There's a popular saying that says 'people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.'

And people don't know how much you care when you're on a platform until you've actually shared your why. The core reason why you are driven to share this message in this room at this moment in time.

And most amateur speakers for some reason are unwilling to get vulnerable or unwilling to open up their heart and let people look into their soul and really understand what drives them to go out there and share their message.

The Art Of Storytelling

I want to give you the structure right now of exactly how to share your why. So the next time you get in front of a room full of people you'll know exactly what to say, and the order in which to say it.

When it comes to storytelling there is an archetypal framework that allows a story to really come to life and really bounce inside the audience and get them to feel a sense of connection with the speaker and also go on a bit of a journey.

Now, the secret to good storytelling is not to remember... but to relive.

So, don't try and make stories up, because that's just insanity.  You’re going to get caught out at some point. The trick is to think of the stories in your life - step back inside them - and then relive them as they happen step by step.

And each story goes through eight core phases...

The first thing that happens inside a story is you're aware of the scene. So, step one is setting the scene at the point at which you made a decision to go out there and make a difference in people's lives. So, setting the scene is where you describe the external appearance, That is, are you indoors or outdoors, on a train, on a bus, is it summer or winter? What's actually happening in the scene, where are you, and what is actually going on.

Once, you've set the scene you want to introduce the characters. Was it just you in this scene, or was it other people? And you want to subscribe the external appearance of these characters. What are they wearing, what colour hair do they have, etc.

Once you've introduced the characters you can move on to the third stage of storytelling, which is to describe the emotional state of the characters. For example, think about when you go and meet a friend for coffee. The first thing you're aware of is the café. The second thing you see is your friend. And the third thing you might become aware of is that they're upset.

So, this is actually what happens in real life. If you tell stories the way they actually happen then people will experience them and be connected with them.

But remember - relive them don't remember them.

And once you've actually explained the emotional state of the characters and what are they feeling inside themselves, what you want to explain is why are they feeling that way.

So what is the process that led them to feeling this specific type of emotion.

Now, people inside stories connect with emotions at a very very deep level. And this is because when we actually hear emotions within a story that are specifically linked to a character, our brain fires off a chemical known as oxytocin.

Bonding With Your Audience

Oxytocin is a chemical that allows us to bond with other human beings. And it's essential for a range of different connections that we have. But it also allows us to have a huge amount of empathy and connection for people because of that bond that takes place.

Now, when you explain a story to me that you were a part of, and you bring to life the characters, and then you highlight the emotional experiences of their characters, then my brain fires up this chemical and I immediately connect with you.

Now, here's the interesting thing.

If I bond with you and the characters in the story then I bond with your content. And this is really important because if you want people to learn from you and you want them to embody your information and act on it they have to bond with the content. And the best way to get people to bond with the content is to link that content to characters in the story.

You'll notice that some of the best presenters are really just excellent storytellers.

And that's because when you release oxytocin you start bonding with anything that happens next. And if the next thing I do after I tell my story is give you a whole bunch of content you will glue that content into your mind and that content will be stored with you literally for life. And this is one of the most remarkable things about our mind.

It’s been said that it's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us healthier. It's not what we earn but what we save that makes us wealthy. And it's not what we learn but what we retain that actually makes us wise.

And if you want your audience to retain, then they've got to be firing oxytocin and they do that when the characters are brought to life.

So, once you've set the scene... you've introduced the characters... you've explained the emotions... and you've explained the process in which they've actually come to feel those emotions.... what you want to do right now is bring the whole thing to a climax.

So, you might bring the whole story now to its crisis point. The point at which things had a turning point or a directional shift or some snapping that occurred to you as the individual telling the story or to the people inside the story. This could be the point at which you made the decision to step outside your comfort zone and start making a difference in people's lives. And this is where the whole story turns around.

From Crisis To Resolution

And when you bring that story to a crisis, or a climax of some description the next thing you want to do is bring in a resolution. You want to resolve the whole thing.

For example you might bring in a resolution where you spoke to somebody like a coach or a mentor that helped you get out of this situation in your life. Or maybe you read a book of some description, or maybe you attended event, or maybe you saw something online or watched a video.

But in the resolution stage you want to explain whatever it is that helped you get on track and find what it is that you're looking for. In fact, many professional speakers would often refer to this as something known as seeding: Where you put in an idea about something to help create a big shift inside your mindset.

Once you create a resolution inside the story where you've got yourself back on track and you've pulled yourself out of the ashes, what you do now is you explain all the outcomes that have occurred since then. You explain what's happened, what you've been able to achieve, the results that you've created as an outcome of having a resolution that has occurred.

Once all of this has happened. All you've got to do now is share some type of message - some type of piece of wisdom that sums the whole story up that you've just told in one or two very short sentences. You kind of want to imagine that you're walking down the path, and you bump into someone and you can only tell them one sentence. That's it. Only one sentence you're allowed to say to them.

What's the one sentence you would most love to say to them that summarises the entire story that you've just told.

Now, when you do this... set the scene, introduce the characters, explain the emotion, explain the process that causes the emotion, bring it to a crisis or a climax point and then resolve it... go to the outcomes and then share some type of message at the end of it.

You've now got yourself an incredible framework to be able to stand in front of any room. Bring the whole room to life, take them on a journey, literally stop time inside their minds and allow them to have an incredible connection with you.

Which means when you get on to sharing your content no matter what that content is they will have bonded with you.

And having that connection really is the most critical part of presenting.


Over the last 7 years we've helped build hundreds of difference-maker businesses in Australia. The first step is joining us at Prosper From Your Passion. Learn more or Book now

Prosper From Your Passion

Read more about: Public Speaking

Ben is the Difference-Maker Mentor and Co-founder of Authentic Education. He is exquisite at inspiring people to share their message, make a difference in the world and live abundantly on purpose.

Ben has been featured in media such as the Today Show, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington Post and News.com.au.

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