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Organizing Thoughts for Presenting Live and On Camera

Organizing Your Thoughts for Video and Presentations

One of the challenges many face is where to begin when they start trying to plan a presentation or even a video. Here are some techniques that have really helped me and my clients over the years.

First, if you can, pick something you love or are an expert at, which is usually something you love! I realize that sometimes you can’t pick something you love if it’s for a work thing, but if you can, it helps. If you are not even sure what you want to talk about, brainstorm a list of topics, everything you can talk about, everything you are an expert at and then start scratching items off the list that won’t work because of time or audience or knowledge or that you don’t love.

Write down everything you want to talk about. It might even be good to brainstorm everything you can talk about within the topic first, just jotting the information, or the bits as I call them down on a piece of paper. Once you have all of your thoughts or ideas written down, start grouping them together in categories that fit.

Be mindful at this time of how long you want your presentation to be, is it 5 minutes? Is it 20 minutes? Videos are shorter, E-Course lectures a little longer, webinars and presentations, even longer. Statistics show that a good length of time for video is 3 to 5 minutes max. A webinar is usually an hour although I have seen many marathon webinar trainings that last 2, 4 even 6 hours.

Now, try to fit everything in a grouping. If you have strays, will they stand alone? Meaning, can you talk for several minutes on that issue or piece of a topic? If yes, let it stand alone, if not, try and find other pieces that will go with it, or evaluate if you need/want it. Now, with each grouping, come up with a heading. Now your bits are nicely grouped and organized so not to be so overwhelming.

As you start to work on content, work within each grouping. You will find, at this time that you might have too much information in a group or maybe a bit can stand on it’s own or maybe there is a bit you don’t need or want at all. If you work on building content in only one grouping at a time, you won’t get so overwhelmed. Take each group one by one and build your content. As you go along, see what you need, want and discard the rest.

Always keep in mind, with regards to your time, that you will need an introduction and a conclusion. You might want to wait until all of your groupings are done to write your introduction and conclusion but always have an official introduction and conclusion rather than just random chatter. I talk about this in videos and other blog posts, exactly what makes a strong introduction and conclusion. The priority here is that you don’t get overwhelmed and that you create a nice and logical flow for your audience.

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