Work on the structure and texts of the presentation

Before making a presentation it is worth asking yourself three questions

Answers to these questions will be our internal technical specifications. They will help us understand whether we are moving in the right direction.

1. To whom?

What do people already know about this topic?
What are they interested to learn more?
How serious should we be?

2. Why?

What problem of the audience do we want to solve with this presentation / our speech?

3. How?

How will the presentation take place? What are the technical limitations?

Question 1. To whom?

Knowing the target audience helps us understand:

1. What the audience already knows.

2. What new and useful information is worth sharing with audience.

3. How serious we should be.

Presentations in B2B and government segments will be mainly serious.

Serious Image

You can make a funny slide about your team.

Fun Image

Question 2. Why?

A presentation has the right to live if it helps the audience and solves a certain problem.

Focusing your presentation on a serious problem that your audience has is essential—this is the way that you get their attention. Unless you are solving a problem for your audience, why should they listen to you? You're just another waste of time for them.

If you follow just this one idea—of focusing your presentation on solving a problem that your audience has—then you will see a substantive improvement in the success of your presentations.

The reason that drawing your audience's attention to a threatening problem works, in part, is that fear is a reliable motivator when the issue is a serious one and you are offering a helpful solution.

[...] The goal here is, instead of having them say, "Oh great, here comes Katya with another boring update," you want them to think, "Every time this person presents to us, we learn something useful.


Question 3. How?

How will the presentation take place?

Presentations can be divided into two types: with and without the speaker. The design of such presentations will vary, because they are crafted to perform different tasks. While the first one is used to complement the speech, the second one imparts information independently from the speaker.

Rules for e-mail presentations


For e-mail presentations we use an aspect ratio of 16:9. So that the presentation will use the maximum of any device screen.

PDF format

Use .pdf format for sending out the presentation instead of .pptx

Keep an eye one the presentation size

Try not to exceed the limit of 10 MB, ideally — less than 5 MB. So that a mail client will be able to deliver your presentation.

15 slides

Try to make few slides and not overload them with information. 15 slides are a conditional maximum. And remember that 15 visually light slides are better than 7 heavy ones.

Different versions

Make sure to create differing presentations for different target audience. "Universal" presentation with bunch of unnecessary information is not an option. Make one for a client, the second — for a partner, and a third one — for investors, focusing on the appropriate aspects of interests.

12–14 pt for body text

For an e-mail presentation, the text size of 12–18 points is readable and comfortable. Every day we read sites with this font size. If there is a lot of text, take 12–14 pt; if there is little, 16–18 pt.

Presentation rules for stage speech

16:9 or 4:3

When creating a presentation for delivering a speech, you should keep in mind 2 ratios — 4:3 and 16:9. The first one is used for displaying a presentation on old projections, while the second one is suitable for modern projectors and plasma display panels.

PPTX format

.pptx is the best format for performing on stage. It responds to clicker and allows you to play animation and videos.

Minimum of text

If your words are already written on a slide, the audience will read them and won't listen to you anymore. So, replace this text with one capacious phrase for people to feel intrigued and interested.

Number of slides depends directly on the duration of the speech

There may be 200, or maybe only 3. Slides should complement your speech. If you only need two slides to visualize the key points of your speech — this is normal. Need 30 or 300? This is also normal.

Body text should be readable

A quick tip: find out the average age of the audience, this will be your minimum text size.

In case you have a lot of text on a slide (quotes, key definitions, a list of your services or benefits) and you can't divide it into several slides, set the maximum possible text size on this slide considering the previous rules. If the text is legible, use this font size throughout the presentation. Make sure you don't overload your slide with information.

To check everything before the speech

Before the speech check whether:

• the clicker operates

• the projector displays your presentation correctly

• there are no troubles with the sound

• the fonts are appropriate.

Keep a backup copy of the presentation on a flash drive. After checking everything in advance, you will feel more confident and avoid possible technical problems.

Creating the structure

After filling in the internal brief, you can proceed to creating the structure of the presentation. In the case of presentations with a large amount of information, it is convenient to use mental maps. For example, XMind Zen.

Making one universal structure on 50 slides for all audiences is not good. We've defined our target audience, what it is interested in, so now we have to outline the structure which meets our goals.

Suppose we have the task to make a presentation about the event. We have two goals: to find an investor and find volunteers. These are 2 different audiences, so the answers to "To Whom" and "Why" questions differ accordingly.

Let's start by collecting all the information about the project

This will be an array from which we will select information specifically for each recipient.

The investor wants to make money at the event

The main task of the investor is to minimize the risks when investing. Therefore, we have to convince them that:

• the number of people at the event is large

• the partners are reliable

• the team is experienced

• and that we have a strategy for holding events for the years ahead.

Volunteers want to be part of a large event

The main motivation for volunteer is attending the event for free, or working to support the idea. They want to know what kind of event it is, its mission, venue, who the speakers are, as well as who are their colleagues.

Now let's remove the excess data and divide information by slides

You can start in one of 4 ways: Start with...


Like in this talk, start with what is your deepest motivation and mission.


Bundle problem / solution — the workhorse in many presentations.


We start with the main output of the presentation. Cards on the table. Suitable for a busy audience, such as a board of directors.


Show what global change makes the project relevant right now.

We form the main part of the presentation according to the principle one idea — one slide:

An example where we used the principle of "one idea per one slide" and divided the slide about the company by 4. This approach helped us to create more interesting design.

We finish the presentation with a slide, whichsums up everything and motivates the audience

We've written an article about why writing "Thank you for your attention" at the end of the presentation is always bad idea. Click here to read.

Examples of the final slides from our portfolio:

Product photo (interactive table) in action, contacts and suggestions for further steps

Presentation for Hinteractive Technology

Atmospheric photo and slogan of the company with contacts

Presentation for the Agrosem agrarian company

Cute photo and contacts with clickable social network buttons

Presentation for the brand of children's clothing Bonka

Clear call to action and contacts with buttons

Presentation for the freelance platform Proffstore

Startup logo and contacts

Presentation for hardware startup 7id

Summing up

Composing the structure, ask yourself first — To whom? Why? How?
Answers to these questions will help you to focus on the information which is really necessary and valuable to the audience.

If you have difficulties with the creation of a structure, there is always Reprezent which is ready and happy to help.

Get your money-making pitch deck by a team of professional presentation designers.

Let us help you highlight your product to its best advantages.

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