Read time: 2½ min. Video play time: 4½ min.

Welcome to Part 2 of the 3-part series. In this part we will answer the question we ended with on Part 1 of the series.

If you haven’t read or watched part 1, you’ll definitely want to do that first. Go to Part 1.

How Can the Hogwarts Express Make Designing Your Presentation Easier? Part 2

Quick review of Part 1:

In Part 1 of this series we talked about how it can sometimes feel overwhelming to put together a presentation, and you can sometimes feel lost on where to begin.

We also emphasized that how you structure your presentation really matters, so you want an easier way to not only remember how to structure it, but make sure it will be more effective.

The easier way we revealed was to use a simple analogy; that your presentation is like a Story Train.

In part 1, we also discovered how important the Engine is to the Story Train and that we need to make sure it is the powerhouse of the train. We need to build up steam in the engine by using a story format and previewing answers to those journalists’ questions: who, what, where, when, why and how.

We stressed the importance of answering the main “why” question your audience has at the beginning of the presentation: Why should I listen to this presentation?

A great way to answer that “why” question, we discovered, was a simple formula:
Pain + “your Product (presentation)” = Pleasure.

We concluded Part 1 by suggesting that if you put in the effort and do these things effectively, you create the power you need to get the audience interested in actually boarding your train cars, physically AND mentally, and begin the journey with you.

The question we left off with in Part 1 that were going to answer in this article is:

“And once they do board the train cars, what two things will they find that will keep them on board and enjoying the ride?"

Let’s find out.

Part 2

The Cars

The Cars are the Sections of your Presentation, they are categories, sections, or chapters that contain the contents, the body of your presentation. This is where you explain your key points and provide supporting details.

Most people are already pretty good at this part. But there are a couple of things you want to address when it comes to your Train Cars, which we all sometimes forget,

1. First, we need to make sure each car has a Candy Cart! This is what makes the journey much more enjoyable for your passengers. It contains the things that make your presentation more than just a series of bulleted slides that can easily bore your audience.

Some examples of what might be on the Candy Cart are:

    • Eye candy (images, graphs, charts...)
    • Quotes
    • Examples
    • Videos
    • Scenarios
    • Humor
    • Case Studies…

All these types of things help keep people on the train and glad they’re on it.

2. The second thing is to make sure that each train car is securely hooked to the other cars with segues, transition slides, hooks… You want to avoid a break in the flow or you may lose attention.

While the transition slide is an important visual to let them know you’re starting a new section, you also want to make sure your audience actually wants to know what’s in it. You do that with some form of verbal transition or hook before you get to the new section.

You might briefly summarize the section you’ve just covered and then

    • Raise a new problem to be solved
    • Pose a question they’ll want answered
    • Or you might simply tell them the old, “but wait, there’s more…”

Here is a link to a swipe file for phrases that keep attention.

If you remember the Candy Cart and Hooks, it can really improve your Cars.

But wait, your Story Train doesn't end with the train Cars, does it?

Let’s find out in Part 3 of this series!

Cheers for now,

Nick


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