Image-6The Four Step Formula to a Perfect Presentation

By Sylvia Tishler

This week I worked with a brilliant young Canadian Author who recently wrote a book. She will be promoting her new book at many upcoming book and signing events and wanted help with her presentations. She arrived well prepared with her rough draft in hand and we got to work.

She read me her opening, “Hello, my name is … and today I will be telling you all about … BORING! Start all over I said. I mentioned to her  that from now on she would be using a four-step formula that would wow and engage her audience. It would help her presentation flow in a natural progression towards a succinct ending.

It goes like this:

Ho Hum

Begin your presentation with an opening statement that grabs your audience’s attention.

Tell a story, share startling facts, ask questions, stir their emotions, and make them laugh.

Example: (sample of one of my speeches)

When I was 11 yrs old my mother went to bed with a bad headache, three days later as my siblings and I were playing cops and robbers on the front lawn, we watched as my father carried my mother to the car and take her to the hospital. Two years later we watched my father carry our mother back into the house followed by an attendant with a wheel chair. 

Why Bring That Up?

You need to answer this question. Why did you tell that story, startle the audience, stir their emotions, ask them all those questions? This is the bridge that connects your opening statement to the body of your presentation. It tells them what your speech is about.

Example: (sample of one of my speeches)

For the next 35 years, seeing my father carry my mother into inaccessible places became a common site. From the car up the stairs to the church, from the car up the stairs to the house, into restaurants, doctors offices, local attractions. The list goes on. My father’s life long mission became lobbying for accessibility for the handicapped. Although there has been much improvement over the years, there is still much more to be done. You may feel empathetic but what can you do to help? Let me give you some suggestions.

For Instance

This is the body of your presentation. This is where all of your tips, your information, your facts and figures, and your persuasive arguments come in.


Never use a handicapped parking space even for just a quick stop. Lobby for local city improvements.

So What?

Your ending should answer what you want your audience to do with all the information you gave them and should relate back to the Ho Hum statement. This lets your audience know that you are finished.


So the next time you think, maybe I’ll just use that handicapped parking spot just for one minute, I won’t be very long … think of my father carrying my mother into her wheel chair in a tight space, or not being able to at all … Encourage your city council to make streets and buildings more handicapped accessible.

At the end of our time together my client’s presentation was funny, informative, and engaging.

She is going to knock their socks off at her events, and I’m sure the books will be flying off the shelves.

I’m glad I could help.


Sylvia Tishler has been providing public speaking education courses to business professionals since 1992. Sylvia is a renowned speaker, confident educator and savvy role model. She is the professional’s aide to confidence building. From alleviating public speaking jitters, to fostering refinement, she puts the polish on your framework of expertise to assure your success. Sylvia is the author of Pocket Manners and Public Speaking for the Terrified. She teaches custom courses focusing on communication training for private clients, small to medium size businesses, associations, and corporations. As a Style Coach, Sylvia offers her professional training to help you make positive changes to your outer appearance while empowering you to grow in confidence with simple coaching exercises. Head to toe she’ll help you make your first impression your best.

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