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Planning the Presentation


Techniques Public speaking > Preparing the Presentation > Planning the Presentation

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Build a full project plan for all the work you need to develop and deliver a great presentation. A project plan lists all the activities, notes how much work each one is, who else needs to be involved and when the work will be done.

Things you may wish to include in your presentation plan could include:

  • Developing the presentation
    • Checking with organizers
    • Researching the subject
    • Researching the audience
    • Writing the words to use
    • Writing a supporting paper
    • Developing visuals (eg. slides)
    • Practicing the presentation
    • Revising the presentation
    • Sending a copy to organizers
    • Getting 'giveaways' printed
  • Getting there
    • Finding the address
    • Buying train or plane tickets
    • Booking a hotel
    • Packing (what should you take?)
  • On the day
    • Networking with key individuals
    • Checking out the room
    • Setting up for the presentation
  • Follow-up
    • Following up on contacts
    • Thanks to organizers

This is a very small plan. In practice a full project plan can be tens or even hundreds of lines long. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the preparation list is likely to be much longer than other lists.


I am speaking at a national conference. I work with the organizers in planning transport and hotel. I brainstorm a list of things I need to do to prepare, including research, which I get a colleague to help with. I also get company information to add from a corporate group. The follow-up includes telling the sales manager about potential sales leads.


It has been said that 'failing to plan is planning to fail' and there is a lot of truth in this statement. It has also been said that 'the devil is in the details', and it can be critically important to get right into the details of what happens when. Problems that happen are often due to things that were not included in the plan.

For a serious activity you may want to use software to plan the project, such as Microsoft Project. For a simpler activity, it still be very helpful to hand-write a list of things that you need to do, then cross them off as you get them done.

Another project activity that is often important is risk management. If you identify things that could go wrong, such as your computer breaking down, then you can prepare for such eventualities, such as sending your presentation ahead or carrying a copy on a memory stick.

See also

The 4D Change Project Framework


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