How to Write an Outline for a Presentation

Creating an outline is important when preparing for a presentation because it will help you stay organized and ensure that all the necessary information is included. Presentation outlines can be made in any number of ways: you could use software like Microsoft Word or Pages (for Mac users), or even create one using bullet points if you don’t want any formatting at all.

You and your audience may benefit from an outline. It offers you a picture of what must be done, while it also presents the audience with a sense of order when listening. When you outline your presentation, you will have greater ease in delivering your speech. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look into what a presentation outline is, its importance, and the steps to take to create one.

What is a Presentation Outline?

A presentation outline is a list of main points that you want to cover during your presentation. It is a written guide that lets you know how to present a speech, presentation or report. Making an outline for a presentation will help ensure that all the important information is included and presented in a clear way.

Why is an Outline Important?

Using an outline allows you to deliver your talk more effectively, and gives your audience a better understanding of your presentation. Below are the importance of a presentation outline:

  1. It gives your audience a sense of order when listening to the presentation which will make it easier for them to understand what is being said.
  2. A presentation outline enables you to deliver your talk more efficiently.
  3. Using an outline makes you better prepared because you already know how everything fits together and what information needs to be covered next.
  4.  It will help you stay organized and ensure that all the necessary information is included.

Steps to Follow to create a presentation

To write an outline for a presentation, follow these simple steps:

Brainstorm Your Ideas

To get started, you’ll want to brainstorm all the necessary information that needs to be included in your presentation. Make a list of each theme/topic and write down any ideas or points that may come to mind.

List all the presentation’s main points and key messages. This can be done by sitting down with a pen and paper or by typing them into your computer. Make sure to write them in order, as they will be presented to your audience members.

Organize Your Points

Once you have written down all the presentation points that need to be included, it’s time to organize them. Organize your presentation by writing a short sentence or phrase as a heading for each point. When creating your presentation outline, use bullet points instead of complete sentences. The presentation should only have three main presentation points at the most, anything more can make it difficult to follow and understand what you are saying.

Analyze Your Audience

Next, analyze your audience to determine the direction to take. How well do they know the topic? What are their interests? What is the presentation’s goal? Will you be talking directly or indirectly to your audience members, asking them questions related to the presentation points? All of these needs to be considered when analyzing your audience.

If you are unsure how well they know the topic, it may be a good idea to begin with an introduction and background information. You can then follow up with presentation points that explain more in-depth information and close on a strong note.

Build a Structure 

The next step is to create a structure for your presentation, this will allow you to see how presentation points flow with one another. Consider the presentation’s talking points, main themes and order. Also, consider the points that will be the most important and decide how many presentation points you need to include in your presentation

Add in transitions between presentation points to make it more interesting for audience members. You should also think about what you want the presentation to communicate and how presentation points will relate to one another. However, don’t go overboard with this step, if your outline is too complicated it may be difficult for others to follow along during the presentation itself.

Start with an Attention-grabbing Statement

Try to think of an effective introduction that sets the tone for your presentation and grabs audience members’ attention. This is often done by asking a common question or including an interesting fact about the presentation topic.

If you already have your presentation plotted out in bullet points, then it may be helpful to state that outline up front to give attendees an idea of what to expect.

Include visual Content

Visual contents make your presentation engaging for your audience. You can use presentation software to insert graphics and photos into presentation slides. In addition, think of other things that may be relevant to the presentation topic like stories or examples that will help audience members better understand what you are communicating.

Come up with a Well-developed Conclusion

Your presentation is unlikely to be effective if it doesn’t have a good landing. Before you begin writing, think about what you want audience members to take away from your presentation and how you’ll wrap up the presentation with that in mind.

Be sure to mention connections between each part of your presentation so that everything ties together in the end.

Use Presentation Templates

Presentation templates are good because it means you will not need to worry about coming up with your own content or reusing old content. Also, it saves you time spent on formatting anything like colors, fonts and sizes of text boxes.

With a template presentation it is easier for your audience members to understand what you are presenting them because there is less visual clutter on the screen that may be confusing or distracting from the presentation points.

Practice Your Outline

Once you have written an outline for your presentation, you will want to practice delivering presentation points in front of a mirror or with friends/family members. Practice delivering presentation points in the order they will be presented to your audience members, and ask for feedback.

While practicing, take note of any glitches in presentation flow and presentation order. Also, see if presentation points are long enough or too short and whether presentation points adequately cover each theme/topic. Watch presentation videos online to get an idea of how other people present themselves. You can then compare your presentation outline to theirs to see what works best.


Creating a presentation outline can be as simple as writing down the presentation points you want to share and then ordering them in an engaging way. Once you have finished creating your presentation, it will be easier to begin speaking and more likely you’ll be able to maintain audience engagement throughout the presentation. Practice it before delivering it to make sure that everything flows well.

If all of this sounds intimidating or like too much work for you, we’re happy to help! Our team is always willing and able-bodied to take on any project from start to finish – including taking care of the entire presentation creation process. Let us know how we can best serve you by filling out our contact form below today!