Four tips on how to structure an engaging presentation

Thursday, June 23, 2016

At McCrindle, our team of speakers are commissioned to deliver over 120 presentations to a wide range of audiences and clients, per year. These presentations consist of conference keynotes, training workshops, PD sessions, executive briefings, launch events as well as research presentations.

As expert communicators, we understand how to communicate data effectively, how to communicate a story and the art of delivering a presentation that doesn’t just inform your audience, but inspires them as well.

Throughout a presentation, it’s important to structure your content and delivery. Here are four I’s that we have developed which provide a structural overview of how to engage your audience when delivering a presentation.  


While the content of a presentation is generally the focus, creating interest in your audience before moving to the bulk of your presentation is key to engagement. Have you heard the saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear?” Well the same applies here. Creating interest, attention and focus from your audience prepares them to engage with the content of your presentation.

So how do you create this interest?

A strong introduction (that utilises the 4 C's) will help to create this Interest, whereby you build a Connection with your audience, establish your Credibility and provide Context for where this session fits in the overall scheme of things. Now, you are ready to move into your Content.


After establishing interest with your audience and bringing them to a place where they are ready to listen to what you have to say, you can move to communicating the main content of your presentation. In addition to you being a presenter, consider yourself to be an instructor.


With attention spans being shorter than they have ever been before, when presenting we need to not just instruct but involve our audiences - particuarly the younger generations who are used to interacting with everything around them. Incorporating multi-modal delivery, discussions and activities within your presentation will help to involve your audience and keep them engaged with the material you are presenting.


Lastly, and if not most importantly, an effective and engaging presenter will Inspire their audience. Inspiring is about motivation and application, about moving your audience from the rational to the emotional. Connecting not just with their head but with their heart as well. What do you want to send them out with?

About our Communication Skills Workshops

In our message-saturated society, getting effective cut-through, engagement and response is a critical challenge. This session will teach and model effective communication based on an understanding of the influence patterns of today’s audiences and strategies to best connect. This session covers:

  • Understanding workplace presentations
  • Preparing your presentation
  • Delivering your presentation
  • Mastering professional presentation techniques
  • Presenting complex data in engaging ways

About Ashley McKenzie - Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle

Ashley McKenzie is a social researcher, trends analyst and Team Leader of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands the need for organisations to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. 

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut through in these message-saturated times. Her expertise is in training and equipping leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.

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