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Basic presentation outline.

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"Tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you have told them“

The number of points in the body of your lecture can expand and contract as required.

  • average adult attention span is 15-20 minutes: divide the body of your talk into 15-minute sub-topics
  • give each sub-topic a short introduction, conclusion, and transition into the next sub-topic
  • vary the pace: for example, have question periods at the end of each sub-topic, or alternate 15-minute lectures with 15-minute interactive activities or audio-visual presentations

I. Introduction (2-3 minutes)

  • Opener Or Attention Getter
  • Significance of topic
  • Relevance to Audience
  • Thesis and Preview (Tell your audience “the big picture”; give them a roadmap to their learning)  
  • Support material

(sign post - words that indicate that you are going to make a point - initially, finally, next.)


(sign post - words that indicate that you are going to make a point - initially, finally, next)

III. Conclusion (2-3 minutes)

  • Summary of topic and what was learned
  • Review the main points or your learning objectives
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  • Last Updated: Sep 28, 2023 2:18 PM
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How To Make an Effective Presentation Outline

Edraw content team, do you want to make presentation outline.

EdrawMind helps move ideas forward, faster and better. Learn from this complete guide to know how to make a perfect Presentation Outline. Just try it free now!

1. What is a Presentation Outline?

A presentation outline presents a comprehensive idea of what you plan to share with the audience. It is a synopsis of a talk, pitch, or subject matter under discussion. It serves as a guide for writing a paper, publishing a study, or building a presentation and enables you to structure your information in a way that is easy to understand. Making a presentation outline is similar to having all the necessary pieces in place before building a house. It may appear counter-productive to spend time and resources sorting things in the form of an outline. However, outlining saves time and gives clarity on a particular topic.

2. Why Should You Create a Presentation Outline?

A presentation outline assists you in preparing for your pitch or speech. It provides a clear path to take your audience from where it is to where you want it to be. It plays an important role in positively shaping people's perspectives about your planning and execution skills. There are several other advantages associated with creating a presentation outline which includes:

  • It helps in brainstorming your presentation and saves time by giving a clear idea of what you need to focus on.
  • It helps structure ideas so that they appear in a logical order.
  • It enables you to determine the main points you need to keep in your presentation.
  • You can categorize ideas into groups and create separate slides for each group for further clarity.
  • It helps you rehearse your presentation while going over the important points.
  • It provides a visual aid to help people understand your topic in a better way.

3. How to Create a Presentation Outline?

The following steps will help you create a presentation outline:

1 Considering the Purpose of Presentation

Determination of your presentation goal is fundamental to creating an outline. To find the purpose, you need to think about what you want from your audience. Finding this out will enable you to build your whole presentation. There are six purposes your presentation possibly have:

  • Entertaining
  • Inspiring to act

Considering the purpose will help you build an impressive presentation. The following few questions will enable you to figure this out:

  • What do I want people to take away or understand from my presentation?
  • How will my talk help those attending the presentation?
  • What do I want people to do after the presentation is over?

Answers to these questions will help you create a summary of your presentation and will serve as a fine starting point.

2 Creating Structure

Creating a structure implies considering where different points belong in your discussion and where to use the supporting material. There are three main components of a presentation:

  • Introduction

Structuring your points and arguments in these parts will enable you to transition from one part of the presentation to another without creating any trouble.

3 Using an Attention Grabber

Thinking about how you want to open your topic is an integral part of planning a presentation. If you want your audience to get engaged with what you are talking about, you can ask an interesting question, share a related story or quote something entertaining. It sets the tone for the rest of your discussion.

4 Considering Visual Content

You can add images, videos, or other visual content to your presentation to convey what you want to. It helps you to communicate emotions, excitement, passion, and experiences effectively. You can also focus on using different fonts and colors to make your presentation more interactive and interesting.

5 Including a Call to Action

A creative call to action will inspire your audience to take appropriate action. It will show what you want your audience to do after the presentation. Let your audience know what it will get from performing the required action.

4. How to Make a Presentation Outline?

You can make a presentation outline in the following two ways:

With PowerPoint and Word

1 creating an outline in word.

  • Open Word document.
  • Select View > Outline. This will automatically generate an outline and open the Outlining tools.
  • If there are headings in your document, you will witness those headings organized by level (from H1 to H9). If there are no headings in the document, the outline will appear as a bullet list. You can assign or edit headings, and heading levels. You can also set up the structure of your document.
  • Select a bullet item.
  • Select a heading Level 1 for slide titles, Level 2 for bullet points on that slide from the Outline Level box.
  • When the work is done, select Outline View to edit your document.
  • Select Save to save your document, name your file, and then select Save once more.
  • Select Close to close the document.

2 Importing a Word Outline into PowerPoint

  • Open PowerPoint and select Home > New Slide.
  • Select Slides from Outline.
  • In the Insert Outline dialog box, find and select your Word outline. Select Insert.

With EdrawMind

how to make a presentation outline step 1

5. Presentation Outline Template

presentation outline template

This presentation outline template describes three components of the outline: The introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. The introductory part opens the topic with an attention grabber and summarises the importance of the topic and its relevance of the topic to the audience. It also includes learning objectives that points out what the audience is going to learn from this presentation. The main body part constitutes the main idea of the topic. This idea is substantiated by supporting material. The concluding part constitutes a summary of the topic discussed and what the audience learned from it. It reviews the main points and calls the audience to take appropriate action.

6. Key Tips for Creating a More Effective Presentation

Here are some important points to consider to create an effective presentation:

  • Know Your Audience. Get to know your audience by researching ahead of time so that you can make your presentation relatable.
  • Add Quotes, Testimonials, or Data. Adding additional information to your presentation can help you engage your audience better.
  • Visualize Your Ideas. The way you present your ideas is fundamental to the success of those ideas. EdrawMind helps you to create and present your ideas most effectively and efficiently.
  • Identify Key Takeaways from Your Presentation. It will enable you to recall, review, and reassert what you want to communicate with your audience.
  • Gather Feedback. Gathering honest feedback will help you make further improvements and adjustments to your presentation to make it more effective.

7. Key Takeaways

A presentation outline is a tool to communicate your ideas precisely. It helps you brainstorm and plan your presentation in a logical flow. Moreover, it helps to grab the attention of your audience by providing it with a visual depiction of what you are going to talk. If you want to create an impressive and creative presentation outline, EdrawMind will help you in this regard. It has a variety of functions and tools which enable you to create a dynamic outline suited to your topic. It enables you to brainstorm and present your ideas most effectively by using different diagrams, charts, graphs, clipart, etc. EdrawMind provides the best solution to your presentation problems.

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Presentation Outline Example and Template

How to make a presentation Outline

A presentation outline is a roadmap to a more successful business pitch — a general plan that summarizes what you want to say to prospective customers, clients or investors. It lets you organize your thoughts, group ideas into main points and present your material logically. But what should you include in your slides?

We've compiled 11 tips for more effective pitch prep.

If you came here looking for presentation templates , here's an a couople of examples from of our most popular ones. If not, just carry on.

presentation outline example


What is a presentation outline.

An outline for a presentation is a helpful tool that organizes the main points and flow of the presentation. It acts as a guide for the presenter, outlining the order in which information will be presented and the main ideas that will be covered. A good outline should include headings and subheadings that outline the main topics and supporting details, ensuring a clear and logical arrangement of information. Creating a presentation outline helps the presenter stay organized and focused, and makes it easier for the audience to follow the content and understand the main concepts of the presentation.

11 tips to create more effective presentations

1. decide on a goal.

Image contains a person writing on a paper

Before you brainstorm, and before you scribble down any notes, come up with a goal for your presentation. What do you want your pitch deck to say to your audience? What message do you want to convey? What do you want it to achieve?

Perhaps you want your pitch to raise seed funds. Maybe you want to introduce a new product or service to customers. Whatever the reason for creating your pitch, decide on a specific, measurable goal. This will guide the rest of your preparation.

2. Create a Structure for Your Presentation

Every good presentation includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion. These three components form the "skeleton" of your presentation — the bare bones of your pitch. You don't need to think about all the small details at this stage — you can flesh out your presentation slides at a later date.

Your introduction is probably the most important part of your pitch. After all, you only have seven seconds to make a good first impression, according to research. Use your intro to introduce your brand, greet your audience and give a taster of what's to come.

The body of your presentation includes your main ideas and any supporting ideas. Use it to feature testimonials, financials and fundraising info, traction and milestones, and, of course, your marketing plan.

Finally, your conclusion summarizes all your points in a few slides. This should leave your audience wanting more.

3. Think About Visual Content

Image contains a phone over a laptop on the table

Visual content is an essential ingredient. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than regular text, so including images in your pitch is a great idea. Don't forget about videos, either. Consumers are 64 percent more likely to purchase a product after watching an online video, making visual content a good choice if you want to generate leads and boost sign-ups.

The most successful pitch decks incorporate striking visuals. Others have fancy fonts and graphics. All of this visual content demands attention from your audience and creates a cool aesthetic that will help you outrank your rivals.

At this early stage of pitch deck preparation, you don't have to finalize the images you are going to include in your pitch. However, we think it's a good idea to point out where you are going to use images in your presentation. This way, you can organize your ideas and make sure everything flows properly.

4. Understand What Makes a Good Presentation — and a Bad One

No two presentations are the same. The most successful pitch decks, however, certainly have a lot in common. When creating your outline, discover what makes a brilliant pitch. The University of Hawaii says great presentations rarely cover more than five points. The University of Cambridge in England says there should be four key points in every 45-minute presentation.

Here at Slidebean, we think one idea per slide, good design, lots of images, and quotes all make presentations so much more interesting. We're not fans of the 'thank you' slide, though — the one that recognizes your audience for sitting through your presentation. It's completely unnecessary.

5. Include a Call-to-Action

A call-to-action is much better than a 'thank you' slide. This encourages your audience to take action after your presentation. When creating your outline, think of a short, snappy call-to-action that prompts a response. A call-to-action is your final chance to engage with your audience during your presentation. You might want to encourage people to sign up to your mailing list, for example. Alternatively, you can include a link to your website so people can download a trial version of your product.

"No matter what form your CTA takes, the most important aspect is the copy," says growth marketing expert Sujan Patel and Voila Norbert co-founder, writing for Forbes magazine . "You’re telling the visitor what you want them to do, so it needs to be persuasive. Remember, your audience is looking for an answer or a solution to a problem. Connect with them by telling them exactly what they’re going to get if they take action."

6. Identify a Solution to a Problem

Every day, more than 30 million presentations are created on PowerPoint alone. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of pitches designed in Keynote, Prezi, and Slidebean. With so many presentations out there, how do you inspire people to invest in your services? One way to create a successful pitch is to identify a solution to a problem that your audience might have.

Slidebean recently reviewed some of the best presentation examples from successful startups. Most of them provide solutions to common problems early on in their respective pitches. Customer messaging platform Intercom, for example, says analytics, customer base browsing, and customer research is the answer for businesses who find it hard to engage with customers. They include these solutions near the beginning of their pitch deck.

If you want to have a more successful presentation, think about solving problems in your niche when creating your outline.

7. Use Quotes, Testimonials and Statistics

Image contains a market share graphic

Quotes from senior management help you convey abstract ideas and make your presentation more engaging. You should obtain any quotes you want to use in your presentation during the planning stage. Testimonials from customers and clients also prove popular. Research shows that positive reviews influence purchasing decisions and increase trust.

Finally, statistics add some depth to your presentation. Industry facts and figures back up any claims you make and increase engagement. Discover relevant statistics when creating your outline. You don't need to include any actual quotes, testimonials or statistics yet. Just jot down where you want to place them in your presentation.

8. Think About Color and Design

The way you present information in your pitch is just as important as the information itself. Now is the time to start thinking about the font/s you want to use or the color of your slides. Research shows that red conveys passion and excitement and catches the attention of your audience. White, on the other hand, conveys simplicity and purity.

Slidebean has a range of color palettes that transform the look of your slides. You can choose up to three color sets and play around with different text, backgrounds, and highlights.

9. Plan the Order of Your Slides

Think of your presentation outline template as a very rough first draft. Decide on what types of slides you want to use, and decide on a final running order. You might feature quotes early on in your presentation, for example, and leave testimonials until the end. Don't forget to include a slide with your contact details — website, phone number, address, etc. — and your brand values.

Your presentation outline should be a group effort, too. Ask your colleagues for input.

10. Identify Key Takeaways From Your Presentation

Your outline should include enough information so you can visualize what your final presentation will look like. Once you have finished your outline, read it back and identify the key takeaways from the document. Is the structure of your presentation clear, for example? Does it convey your brand message? Will it engage your audience?

Every slide in your presentation should achieve the goal you created at the beginning of your outline. If something isn't working, make changes. You might want to switch slides around or remove unnecessary information, for example.

11. Use a Presentation Template

Once you have completed your outline, it's time to start putting everything together. Yes, you could create a PowerPoint pitch deck from scratch, but this is often time-consuming and complicated. Instead, use a template, which provides you with all the presentation slides you need.

Here at Slidebean, we have presentation templates for business of all sizes, including startups and scaleups. You can create a professional pitch deck in just a few minutes by following the on-screen prompts. Everything's included — bullet points, graphics, headers, footers, and more. Take the time to plan your pitch to produce a powerful sales document that helps you communicate with your audience.

Once you have created your presentation outline template, sign up to Slidebean and design a pitch that provides you with a huge return on your investment.

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How to make a presentation outline: a step-by-step guide

Georgina Guthrie

Georgina Guthrie

April 07, 2021

Whether you’re building a house, baking a cake, or writing an essay — having all the necessary pieces in place before you begin will make the task much easier.

It may seem counterproductive to spend time sorting things out when you’re in a rush… After all, why spend time organizing when you could dive straight in? But the fact is, the opposite is true: Planning saves time, and the same goes for creating a business presentation. Start with a presentation outline.

A presentation outline is a bare-bones version of your talk. It should take the general direction of your pitch, plus summaries of your key points. Its purpose is to help you shape your thinking, organize your thoughts, and make sure your material is presented logically.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what a presentation outline is, how storytelling can help engage your audience, and how to create a flawless outline of your own. Let’s get stuck in.

What’s the purpose of your presentation?

This is the foundation on which you will build your whole presentation — so make sure you know the answer to this question. A good starting point is to think about the overall purpose. There are six possible purposes your presentation might have:

  • Inspire action
  • Inspire or motivate

In a business setting, it’ll usually be ‘to inform,’ along with one or two others. If you’re there to talk about quarterly results, then you’ll want to inform and motivate. If you’re a business coach, your goals will likely be to inspire, motivate, and entertain.

Once you’ve worked this out, you’ll be one step closer to working out the purpose of your pitch. Here are some questions to help you find an answer to this question:

  • What do I want people to take away from my presentation?
  • How will what I talk about help others in the room?
  • What do I want people to do after my meeting?

Note down your ideas and start creating a topline summary of your presentation purpose. Summarize it into one or two sentences, then put that on your first slide. You can change it later, but this is a good starting point.

Create a story arc for your presentation

As humans, we love a good story. We’ve been doing it since, well, forever. The earliest cave paintings helped the painters and those who saw the paintings make sense of the world.

Interesting things happen when you start telling a story. Your brain’s auditory cortex (aka the bit that helps you listen) switches on. This helps you imagine the activities being described. Meanwhile, the frontal and parietal cortices are fired up, which helps us emotionally engage with what’s being said.

How Story Telling Affects the Brain

Stories have been, and will always be, a powerful tool for bringing people together. Great stories persuade and inform; the best stories inspire and stay with us. But we don’t often see this happening in the boardroom, where graphs and quarterly results preside.

Stats and numbers suck the life out of a presentation. We think these details will speak for themselves. But… they don’t because, well… they’re boring, and they make us switch off. If you want to inspire your audience, you need to weave those stats into a story . But where do you begin, and how do you start?

Storytelling isn’t something only a few select people are good at. Anyone can master the art with a little practice. It doesn’t even require heaps of creativity because the truth is, stories are formulaic, and once you’ve got the formula down, the rest runs on autopilot.

Let’s look at how to build your notes and ideas into a compelling story using one of the formulas below.

1.Fact and Story

Mixing storytelling with facts works in a kind of mutually supportive cycle. Facts add substance to the story; the story adds interest to the facts.

In this structure, you weave the two together and move back and forth between the two.

  • Start with a ‘what if’ question. For example, if you were pitching a vacuum cleaner, your initial sales pitch might be ‘what if you didn’t have to lose suction?’
  • From here, work in facts that illustrate the way things currently are. To continue with our example, it might be current stats on traditional vacuums losing suction. Keep alternating facts with fiction throughout the body of your presentation.
  • End on a high note that makes the listeners feel like they learned something and want to move to action because of it. For example, to invest in your new product, or to sponsor your new app .

2. The hero’s journey

From Odysseus to Chihiro , adventure stories typically feature a hero who goes on a journey fraught with peril and learns a vital lesson at the end of it. It’s a formula employed by thousands of writers — and you can draw from it to add some drama to your presentation.

This structure works really well for inspirational personal stories, or tales about a company from its humble beginnings to the success it is today.

  • Begin somewhere neutral. The situation is neither ideal nor unbearable.
  • Introduce a challenge — one that needs to be solved.
  • Present a worsening situation. The problem is being addressed, but things are still getting worse.
  • Talk about rock bottom. The situation seems impossible; there is apparently no way forward and all seems lost. Until…
  • Talk about a new discovery that offers hope.
  • Armed with your new abilities, you can tackle the issue head-on.
  • Talk about resolving the problem, but instead of returning to the way things were before, the hero (you) discovers an even better way of living.
  • Finish with a lesson, which you can share to inspire your audience.

3. The Pitch

The ‘pitch’ style of presentation is commonly used by salespeople. The goal is to show how a product or idea can help an individual overcome a hurdle toward a positive outcome. The story should be relatable, so the audience can picture themselves in the situation and, therefore, benefitting from the solution.

  • Start with a summary of the way things are in a way that’s easy to relate to.
  • Introduce the problem or hurdle that you need to solve. Make it relatable to further help your audience put themselves in the situation.
  • The solution: give your audience a glimpse into a possible solution.
  • The fork in the road: Give your audience a couple of options for solving the problem. Offer an average option first, then follow up with a better one.
  • Close: Choose the better option and explain why that’s the best one (and only real suitable choice).
  • Finish up by telling the audience exactly how to solve the problem, step by step.
  • But that’s not all: Before you finish, talk about extra benefits that extend beyond simply solving the problem. Finish on an uplifting high.

4. The explanation

This presentation format is for when you want to teach your audience something — whether that’s a process, a new skill, or a way to overcome a problem. It has similarities with the fact and story structure, insomuch as facts should weave into the story.

  • Explain how things are at the moment, what the goal looks like, and how you plan to get there. You can even start with a story to add emotional interest from the get-go.
  • Take your first step on the journey toward the final destination.
  • Add more steps that build on this.
  • Take a moment to recap on the points you’ve covered so far while tying them into the main point. This will help your audience visualize the ground you’ve covered and see where you’re heading.
  • Add the finishing pieces to the puzzle and lead your audience to the end.
  • By the end of your journey, your audience should feel as though they’ve learned something new.

5. The Opportunity

A close relative of the pitch, this three-part structure swaps a hurdle for an opportunity. Here, you want to show your audience that a problem they thought they had actually has an easy fix.

  • Start with the situation as it is now.
  • Next, add a ‘but’ — this could be a small hiccup that stops things from being as good as they could be. For example, our chocolate pudding company is doing really well. But we could be doing better if we changed supplier.
  • Talk about the opportunity, with as many facts and stats as possible to make it feel achievable and real.
  • Add a conclusion.
  • Explain why the product or service meets the challenges raised. Add more stats and facts to support your point.

How to plan your presentation

Now you’ve worked out your structure, it’s time to start building your presentation, pulling in all your points and forming them into a story.

Storyboarding is the best way to do this. Directors use storyboards to map out their films scene-by-scene — you’re going to use it to map out your presentation, slide-by-slide.

Toy Story Storyboard

(Don’t worry, you can do stick people and squiggles if drawing isn’t your strong point.) Image Source

The trick here is to use broad strokes without adding too much detail. Make it too wordy and you’ll lose your top-level view, which is important for assessing the arc of your story. Ideally, have one or two sentences on each slide summarizing what each one will address.

You can do this with pen and paper, but when it comes to final drafts and editing, it’s a good idea to move your drawings over to a digital format. It looks far neater, and it means that if you need to change something, it’s as simple as deleting or editing a cell or slide rather than you having to start over.

Once you’ve got your rough storyboard more or less ready, it’s time to start building your presentation.

Your presentation outline

Using a presentation template will be a big help here. First, choose your template — then start adding pre-made slides according to your storyboard. For those who didn’t plan, this can be a bit of a nightmare that usually ends up with you shuffling slides around indefinitely. For those who planned, it’s simply a matter of putting all your hard work in place, then spicing it up with pictures, video, and audio.

Top Tip : If your slides are there to support your spoken words, try not to make them too wordy. Talking too much will distract your audience, whose attention will be split between what’s on screen and your voice. Instead, opt for images and video. If you’re sharing your presentation slides without presenting them, keep your communication simple and succinct. A wall of text is never engaging.

Finally, rehearse your presentation. According to experts, 10 is the magic number when it comes to practicing speeches . The more you practice, the better it’ll flow, the easier it’ll be for your listeners to get sucked into your story. And when it comes to persuading, inspiring, informing, or selling — having a captive and engaged audience is half the battle.

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presentation outline

An effective presentation starts with an effective presentation outline

Reading time: about 7 min

A presentation outline is an organizational tool that will help you organize your thoughts and summarize what you want to share in your presentation. A well-written outline can help you create a logical flow for the information you present and keep you on track as you present. This can also help you make your message more clear and keep your audience interested in what you have to say.   

Chances are that at some point in your career, you will be asked to give a presentation to your team, department, or senior management. And that’s a good thing because presentations are a great way to share your ideas and communicate important information in a compelling, visual format.

An essential but sometimes overlooked part of an effective presentation is an effective presentation outline. A well-crafted outline can help you to:

  • Organize your thoughts.
  • Determine how information will flow.
  • Keep your overall message clear and easy to understand.

Ultimately, an effective outline will help you create an effective presentation that will get the support you need from your intended audience.

What is a presentation outline?

Before a director shoots a frame of a movie, they first create a storyboard that outlines the sequence and flow of the movie’s story. In a similar way, you can create a presentation outline as a blueprint for the story you want to tell your audience. A presentation outline can help you to stay on message during your presentation, keep your audience engaged, and make the information you share easier to understand.

Why is it important to create a presentation outline?

Some people don’t like to create outlines because they think of them as time-consuming and tedious, but taking the time to create a well-structured presentation outline is important. An outline can help you:

  • Brainstorm ideas : Quickly gather and prioritize ideas that you want to share with your audience. 
  • Organize content : Create a sequential flow that helps you to clearly present your ideas in a logical order. 
  • Manage time: Estimate how long your presentation will last during the outlining phase. You might want to assign a specific amount of time to each section. This can help you spend enough time on more important or complex ideas while not spending too much time on easy-to-understand concepts.
  • Engage your audience : A good presentation outline helps you create a good presentation, which is more likely to keep your audience engaged.

How to write an outline for a presentation

The following steps can help you to create a presentation that will keep your audience engaged and informed.

Step 1: Define the purpose and the audience

It’s hard to create an outline for a presentation if you don’t understand why you are making the presentation, what it’s about, or who your audience is. To understand the presentation’s purpose and its audience, answer these questions:

  • What is the main message you want to convey?
  • What is your goal for this presentation? This is the outcome you expect, which can include entertaining, educating, informing, persuading, motivating, or inspiring an action.
  • Who is your target audience? Knowing your target audience is critical to shaping the tone of your presentation. For example, a presentation to executives might have a more formal tone than a presentation to your team. Consider what your audience is interested in, their level of expertise, and their expectations. 

Step 2: Choose a structure

A structure helps you determine how and where to present your key points. There are several different structures you can use in your presentation, including:

  • Chronological : Information is presented in chronological order. This structure is good for presenting historical information and for listing step-by-step processes.
  • Topical : Your information is organized by topic or theme. This is good for presenting different topics that are related to each other.
  • Problem/solution : This structure lets you present and describe a problem followed by possible solutions. This structure can be helpful if your purpose is to persuade your audience to adopt specific solutions.
  • Compare and contrast : Used to compare and contrast ideas, products, concepts, etc. This is good for discussions about the pros and cons of various items.
  • Cause and effect : This structure helps you to explore the cause and effect of various events. It can help you to explain the impact that decisions or actions might have on the solutions you choose.   

Choose the structure that works for your needs. You can also mix and match structures to customize your outline. It doesn’t matter which structure you choose. Just understand that the structure needs to include an introduction, main body, and conclusion.

Step 3: Use an attention grabber

This is where you consider how you want to start your presentation. Grabbing your audience’s attention will help them to engage early and remain interested in your presentation. For example, you can ask questions that lead into your subject, share a related story, or tell an amusing anecdote. Your opening can help to set the tone for the presentation.

Step 4: Use visuals 

Step 5: include a call to action.

The goal of a call to action is to motivate the audience to take a particular action when your presentation is completed. 

For example, if your presentation is about the importance of writing weekly progress reports, your call to action should motivate your audience to make the process of writing progress reports a standard procedure in their work week. The presentation itself should illustrate why you need their reports and help them understand what’s in it for them if they write their reports.

Step 6: Leave time for questions and answers

In a perfect world, your audience will understand everything in your presentation and there will be enthusiastic applause when you finish. But in case that doesn’t happen, make sure you include in your outline some time to address any questions your audience might have.

Step 7: Review and refine

After you’ve created your presentation outline, you might want to review it with other people to see if they catch something you missed. 

Tips for creating an effective presentation 

When your outline is completed, it’s time to create your presentation. Here are a few tips that can help you to make your presentation more effective.

  • Incorporate storytelling elements : Telling a relevant story has the potential to connect with your audience on an emotional level. Indicate in your outline where you will tell stories that can make information more relatable and memorable.
  • Practice, review, and refine : Practice your presentation, pay attention to its timing and flow, and identify areas that need to be refined. Get feedback from trusted co-workers or mentors who can help you to identify problem areas.
  • Keep your outline separate from your presentation : The outline provides the structure of your presentation, but it is not the presentation itself. You should keep it separate from the presentation so you can refer to it as needed during the presentation.
  • Be flexible : Expect the unexpected. Audience reactions and questions could lead your presentation down an unexpected path. Be adaptable and flexible to keep your presentation relevant. 

Using a presentation outline template

Templates are a great starting point for creating documents like a presentation outline. You can create your own template or use an existing template. A basic presentation outline example is:

[Presentation Title]

  • Attention grabber
  • Purpose of presentation
  • Subtopic 1.1
  • Subtopic 1.2
  • Subtopic 2.1
  • Subtopic 2.2
  • Summary to recap main points
  • Question and answer session
  • Call to action

Presentation outline template

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COMM 101: Fundamentals of Public Speaking - Valparaiso

  • Delivery Skills
  • Stage Fright
  • Body Language / Non-Verbal Communication
  • Listening Skills
  • Quotation Resources
  • Speech Outline Examples
  • Speech Examples
  • More Speech Examples
  • Presentation Options
  • Citation Resources This link opens in a new window

A basic speech outline should include three main sections:

  • The Introduction --  This is where you tell them what you're going to tell them.
  • The Body -- This is where you tell them.
  • The Conclusion -- This is where you tell them what you've told them.
  • Speech Outline Formatting Guide The outline for a public speech, according to COMM 101 online textbook  The Public Speaking Project , p.p. 8-9.

Use these samples to help prepare your speech outlines and bibliographies:

  • Sample Speech Preparation Outline This type of outline is very detailed with all the main points and subpoints written in complete sentences. Your bibliography should be included with this outline.
  • Sample Speech Speaking Outline This type of outline is very brief and uses phrases or key words for the main points and subpoints. This outline is used by the speaker during the speech.
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  • Next: Informative Speeches >>
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