Presentations – Five Rules, Eight Prep Steps, Best Format

David Nour
David Nour
 In ’22, let’s commit to less presentations and more conversations! I just replied to another forum member about how most audiences abhor death by PowerPoint – you sit there and be quiet; I have 178 slides in 6 pt font, crazy stupid graphs, and a whole bunch of nonsense I want to take you through in the next 28 minutes. Wooot Woot, says NO ONE EVER!

Yet, in most of our lives we often have to present our ideas, perspectives, or plans. So, if you must, here are the Five Rules, The Eight Prep Steps, and your best Format: 


Desired Outcome: Engage, Influence, Inform your Audience to Become The Best Version of Themselves


The Five Rules


      1. Originality/Validity – Make it uniquely yours

      2. Relevance – Use stories and anecdotes to be relevant to your audience

      3. Perspective – Audiences internalize, synthesize, and learn when they’re comfortable

      4. Outcome – How will your audience be better off because of your session?

      5. Adult – Audiences all learn in very different ways


Prep Eight Steps


  • Outcome – what’s the desired end result (what do you want your audience to think, feel, or do differently?)
  • Time Frame and Sequence – how much time to you have and what’s the right sequence of your ideas


  • Key Learning Points – what will they take away and be able to go do


  • Rough Draft – just get the first version out of your head down


  • Supporting Stories, Examples, and Transitions – they’ll never remember your points; they’ll always remember your relevant stories and examples. Transitions are the connective tissue to link one idea to the next.


  • Visual Aids/Handouts – your visuals must match your verbal communication and handouts extend the      value of your session


  • Build the Opening and Closing – they’re the glue of why I should listen to you, and glad I listened to you.


  • Practice Your Session and Adjust the Timing – stop winging it. There is a direct correlation between how impactfully you present and how much you’ve practiced it, including timing, delivery, and flawless execution of your plan


Keynote Format


  • Strong Opening – Come out swinging; no need for you to thank the academy or your parents for having you!
  • Thesis – Why should I pay attention to you? 
  • Three Points of Wisdom – Please get beyond motherhood and apple pie!
  • Summary – Tie what you said back to the original thesis
  • Strong Close – Leave me wanting more…



  • No more than 10-15 slides for a one-hour keynote
  • Use more pictures/visuals than text
  • Tell relevant stories; they’ll be remembered more than your 972 points
  • No text smaller than what can be read from the back of the main room
  • Guide their eyes to what you want them to see – animation/build
  • Make it interactive, engaging, entertaining – content, content, content = ZZZZZZ
  • Self-deprecating humor is always safe; the punchline better be worth the setup!

Now, go rock that presentation and let us know what worked for you? David Nour

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