Most presenters would improve a lot if they had better presentation structure.
In this post I will explain one simple tip, using ‘subject dividers.’
How can ‘subject dividers’ help us give better presentation structure?
Let me explain.
Almost everybody has used them for organising their files at some point.
They are obviously very helpful.
Imagine a full ring binder without any subject dividers – it would be a mess.
Well, the ‘subject divider technique’ can work wonders for a PowerPoint presentation too.
Just like with the ring binder, this can help provide a better presentation structure.
I saw a really good example of this technique recently, where a client of Speak With Impact used them well.
His presentation was a general update on a range of important topics.
He covered a total of five topics.
There was no overall theme uniting these topics together but he wanted to cover them all.
(It made sense to cover them all in one go, as he would not get this specific audience together again for some time).
The first rehearsal went fine but I felt there was something we could do to make it better – the transitions from one topic to the next were holding him back slightly.
You could see him worrying about the switch to the next topic before he finished the existing one.
Then there was a slight hiatus and it took him a while to build momentum with the next topic.
So I got him to try the ‘subject divider technique.’
We simply added five slides to the deck.
The first slide we added had the heading of the first topic and an appropriate image.
The second slide we added had the heading of the second topic and an appropriate image.
This was done for each of the five key topics.
The next rehearsal after this was superb – he smashed it.
His transitions worked seamlessly.
And his overall performance grew too – his confidence increased and he was no longer thinking about how to finish one topic and how to move onto the next one.
The ‘subject divider’ slides made it easy for him.
At this point you might be worrying that this eats into the delivery time.
It only added around 10 seconds per slide.
Less than a minute in total.
And it was probably less than that in net terms because we lost the hesitation between topics.
I was fairly sure this would work.
But was pleasantly surprised by the size and speed of the impact.
The total time taken to produce five slides of this type was minimal.
The results were instant and he had a better presentation structure.
We probably reached the optimum point with one less rehearsal overall, so that saved some time.
His confidence improved overall, especially at the switches between topics.
And best of all?
I had a really nice e-mail from him saying he has tried it in several presentations since then, with equally good results.
Learn this technique once, use it forever!