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4 Components for Planning Speeches Like Presentation Experts

According to communicologist Eugene White (1960), there are four interrelated components for presentations: speaker, speech, audience, and occasion. These can help presentation experts in planning their PowerPoint content, and assist speakers with their actual discussion.

It’s hard to talk about these principles in the order you should tackle them. That’s why the concepts speak for interrelationship or connecting one to another.

Determine as much as you can from each factor to focus your speech and make you sound more credible and convincing.

The Speaker

Think of yourself as a speaker. Do you talk fast or slow? Do you use a lot of technical terms? Do you find it easy to get along with people you’ve just met?

Before preparing a deck outline or storyboard, examine yourself. Familiarize yourself with your strengths and weaknesses and focus on finding your comfort zone to decide which parts should be best highlighted or discussed in a more in-depth manner.

Knowing yourself lets you set your presentation’s direction. If you’re more outgoing, start with a good joke. If you’re more to the point, begin with a poignant statistic.

The Speech

Your language use should fit your audience and the occasion.

Imagine speaking about the common cold to a group composed only of children. Would you use terms lifted straight from a medical textbook?

Your choice of words in slides and speech decides if you’ll be seen as boring and uninspired, or interesting and rousing.

Once you have information on the other factors, adjust the amount of time you spend per slide. This affects your flow greatly, and also relies on what you can learn regarding the two remaining factors.

The Audience

Check up on your audience to identify important details you’ll need in your presentation.

These can include age, gender, number, educational background, group affiliation, nationality, and culture. They let you determine your approach’s formality and technicality.

You can determine a lot of things from simply checking up on your audience. Finding out audience size also lets you decide how intimate you should be with your presentation.

A larger audience will have to need a broader approach. Be aware of local cultural norms to avoid embarrassing situations that ruin your credibility.

The Occasion

Knowing the occasion narrows down your speech’s objectives. Know the event’s basic nature, time, and venue.  The event’s nature clues you in on the goals you’ll set for yourself.

The engagement’s actual starting and allotted time decides your speech and deck length. Be conscious of recent events, use good news, and avoid referencing recent tragedies.

Knowing the venue also clues you in on how formal your speech should be. How you dress up in a hotel function room is different from how you would in a smaller auditorium.


Interrelatedness may seem difficult, but simply writing plans on a piece of paper sets you on the right track. Getting everything down sets your presentation’s tone, purpose, formality, and its overall message.

It’s easy to understand and even easier to get right. If you’re looking for people who can get it done right away, then our PowerPoint experts are ready to help.

Contact SlideGenius now and get a free quote!



Presentation Tips: 5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Credibility.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed June 3, 2015.
Public Speaking: The Basics.” Speaking in the Disciplines. Accessed June 3, 2015.
What Kind of Voice Do You Have.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2013. Accessed June 3, 2015.
White, Eugene. Practical Speech Fundamentals. New York: The McMillan Co, 1960.

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