Chapter 5: Presentation Organization

28 Introduction

Chapter 5 Learning Outcomes

  1. Label and discuss the three main components of the rhetorical situation.

  2. Identify and provide examples of at least five of the nine basic cognate strategies in communication.
  3. Demonstrate how to build a sample presentation by expanding on the main points you wish to convey.
  4. Demonstrate how to use structural parts of any presentation.
  5. Identify how to use different organizing principles for a presentation.

image of a woman with short wavy hair and glassesNaiomi has a big presentation coming up for a potential client in the paper industry. She wants to be certain her presentation and pitch for marketing services is built on a sound foundation of the current concerns her client may face. As you read this chapter, consider what Naiomi might do to win the client based on her presentation development.

This chapter will help you consider how to organize the information to prepare for a presentation. While knowledge on your topic is key to an effective presentation, do not underestimate the importance of organization.

Organization in any presentation is helpful both to you and to your audience. They will appreciate receiving the information presented in an organized way, and being well organized will make the presentation much less stressful for you.

A successful presentation involves flexibility and organization. You know your material. You are prepared and follow an outline. You do not read a script or PowerPoint presentation, you do not memorize every single word in order (though some parts may be memorized), but you also do not make it up as you go along. Your presentation is scripted in the sense that it is completely planned from start to finish, yet every word is not explicitly planned, allowing for some spontaneity and adaptation to the audience’s needs in the moment.

Your organization plan will serve you and your audience as a guide, and help you present a more effective speech. Just as there is no substitute for practice and preparation, there is no substitute for organization and an outline when you need it the most: on stage.

Chapter Preview

  • Rhetorical Situation
  • Strategies for Success
  • The 9 Cognate Strategies
  • Purpose and Central Idea Statements
  • Research
  • Organizational Models for Presentations
  • Outlines
  • Transitions  
  • Conclusion


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