This outline works well for any presentation, no matter the topic or length.

Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
The main purpose of the opener is to build a relationship with your listeners. You should provide them with a map or outline of the presentation about to unfold. Once this relationship exists, they’ll listen and accept your message more readily. Your opener should take no more than 25 percent of your total presenting time.

Tell them.
Decide on one to four main ideas and divide your presentation so that each of these main ideas gets a block of time. Allocate no more than 60 percent of your total time to the main message. Leave the rest for the opening and closing. In your plan, be sure to include some time every five to six minutes to tell the audience what you’ve told them so far and where you’re going next. This helps the audience stay focused and interested.

Tell them what you’ve told them.
An effective closing should highlight and summarize the information you’d like your audience to remember most. It should plant a hook that will connect your listener to the inner truth of your message on an emotional, spiritual or imaginative level. For example, conclude with a story, an image or a provocative question that they can take with them.

1. No More Dull Deliveries by David Fine, Profit Magazine, Dec-Jan 1996

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