Using post-its to build the presentation structure

23 March 2011

Structure comes first

To define the structure of a new presentation I am using the post-it method.  Post-its have the advantage that they can be moved around on a page and their small size helps you to focus, focus, focus.  Many presentation gurus (Nancy Duarte, Garr Reynolds to name just two) suggest using them at the beginning. I use an A3 sheet of paper on which I printed the BBP template from Cliff Atkinson, which I find to be a good starting point. The hierarchical structure helps me to focus the content around 3 main points, and then develop 2 levels of sub points.

This manual (analog) method doesn’t make my mind wander off to thinking what could be visual ways of presenting the information, what fonts would be appropriate, what charts and what photographs.  I’ll leave these decisions to later.

Once I like the structure, I copy the text from each post-it into the outline view in PowerPoint. This gives me a single slide for each post-it.

Now comes the second phase.

This is a good point to think about outsourcing, if you have resource constraints.  Get in touch to see how I can help turn your structure into an effective PowerPoint.  Take a look at what my clients say about my work.

How do you start building a brand new presentation?  Post-its?  Straight to PowerPoint? Leave a comment below?

One Response to “Using post-its to build the presentation structure”

  1. Good Points here.

    This gives the BIG Picture.

    Another method that works extremely well, especially with software, is Mind Mapping.

    I use it to develop, practice and deliver most my presentations.

    More at and