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Chapter 3. Constructing Knockout Present... > Organizing Your Presentation

Organizing Your Presentation

All great documents—a persuasive memo, an illuminating worksheet, a cogent email message—have one thing in common: excellent organization. Content and formatting are important, to be sure, but their effectiveness is diminished or even nullified if the document has a slipshod or poorly thought-out organization. On the other hand, even a document with only so-so content and negligible formatting can get its point across if it’s organized coherently and sensibly.

Organization: Telling a Story

Why is organization so important? Probably because research has shown—and poets and storytellers have known for thousands of years—that humans have an innate hunger for narrative. We like to hear stories, and we learn better and take in data more effectively when it’s presented in narrative format. This doesn’t mean that every letter, email, or worksheet model must begin with “Once upon a time...” Rather, it means that you should apply the basic principles of storytelling to any document. Here are a few ideas to consider:


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