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Clarity Elusive

No business blog would be complete without a discussion on presentation skills. Almost every professor, recruiter, and business student alike knows that the ability to present well is highly prized in the professional environment. Yet, I would argue, the majority of improvements that business students makes during their academic lifes comes from the advancement of their Power Point skills, not from structural improvement of the contents of the presentations. In other words, students learn how to use Power Point, not how to create better presentations. Today I would like to share a structural format I learned during a CEMS skill seminar, and to start a discussion regarding presentation techniques so that our readers can share their experiences.

In a nutshell, a good presentation slide has four main features: Action Title, Data Section, Analysis and Conclusions. Here is an example:

The audience will be presented with the title of the slide (Section 1), see our findings on the matter (section 2), and be guided to our conclusion (section 3). Structuring a presentation in this way creates a strong internal logic. If questions regarding findings arise, the presenter can refer to the data section and guide the audience through the interpretation process. In the example above, the next slide in the presentation would pick up where this slide left off and discuss the possible “employee motivation programs” in a similar manner.

While the example above clearly serves the purpose of explaining technical information to the audience, and is widely used in the consulting industry, is it the only way to present?

Categories: Alex, Core Business Skills
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