Organize the body of your presentation (as promised in June newsletter)

This round, let’s focus on the body of our presentations. The body contains the substance. Your choice of organization of this portion depends on your purpose and logic. There are six ways to organize the body (or meat) of your presentation. Here some of them:

Historical organization

Begins with the past and moves in sequence to the present and future. Transitional words and phrases can include “consequently,  in the , past,  present, future, next.”

Visual Organization

This is good when presenting visual or special elements. Such as a travel tour, the voting areas of a city, the benefits of each province, landscape or garden design. Each one is perfect for spatial organization.

But perhaps your presentation is best suited to Structural and Function Organization. For example:

Structure and Function Plant Survival and Growth

Root Absorbs minerals and water for growth
Vine Delivers water and nutrients
Leaf Performs photosynthesis
Blossom Attracts insects for pollination

Taste and Flavor

Creates seeds for the next generation

Humans encourage the production and cultivation of plants because they taste good


Function and Structure of a Plant

Absorbs minerals and water for growth Roots
Chemical conversion of water and nutrients Leaves  perform photosynthesis
Attracts insects for pollination Flowers
Reproduction Seeds


The Function and Structure organization is more challenging; consequently most people don’t utilize the structure. But try it. It could surprise you and your audience, and that is always a good thing.

So here we go: here are more ways to organizing the “meat” of your presentation:

Topical Organization

There are instances when you cannot organize by history, visually or with structure and function. In those situations take each topic in turn; but always make the proper transition between these topics. In a presentation to a sales team there could be three parts: global markets, sales and pricing.  A topic on the benefit of organic food could be; health and nutrition, cost and certification.

Cause and Effect

Cause and effect is exactly what it means; your talk is divided into what is the cause and what is the effect. Here’s an example:


  • Olympics
  • Immigration
  • Globalization


  • Increased home prices
  • Traffic
  • Cultural diversity

Problem and solution

Problem and solution is yet another way to organize your talk or presentation.  The problem is presented and you give a solution. For example, a talk on a new Public Relations program for a Not-for-Profit could be:

The Problem

  • Lack of funding
  • No volunteers
  • Low visibility in community

The Solution

  • Public Relations campaign
  1. Increased awareness
  2. Increased funding
  3. Increased community awareness

Typically people make a topical presentation because it is so simple. But challenge yourself. Try one of these other techniques. Happy presenting!

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About releaseyourvoices

Release Your Voice with Pamela Hart: Public Speaking training based in Vancouver BC. We offer training seminars, oral presentation skills, corporate communication, private lessons or group training
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