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What does a great presentation have in common with a great wine?

When you open a great wine, it impresses you right away. It has structure and body, and a finish that lingers. Most of all, you remember it. The same with a great presentation!

Opening: When you design your next presentation, think of the first thing your audience sees and hears. Is it a lot of chit chat, “thank yous," “glad to be hear” kind of ramblings, and maybe your agenda? Not memorable at all. Grab the audience with a question or statement that makes them think…an intriguing idea, and THEN you can back in with your agenda. Like a good wine, first impressions are critical.

Structure: With wine, structure refers to those components that support the body of the wine, holding it together, giving it lift and intensity. Same with your presentation. The audience will need very easily heard sections that logically flow one to the next and support the main idea of your presentation. Think of it as having chapters in a story: one logically leads to the next.

Body: For wine drinkers, the body of a wine can be light, medium bodied, or full bodied. It doesn’t change as you drink. In your presentation, try to be consistent in your tone and content. It’s OK to have touch of humor, but overall, if your content starts “medium bodied” stay that way throughout.

Finish: The finish of a great wine lingers, you savor it; you don’t want it to end. The same with your presentation. Grab the audience with an image, an idea, a call to action that they will remember. How many presentation endings can you remember right now? My guess is, not many. But if planned right, your ending will linger in the mind long after you stop talking.

So, when designing your next presentation, think about the characteristics of a great Cabernet or Zinfandel for your inspiration. And of course, after presenting, (and this is the best part…) you can reward yourself with a fine glass of vintage vino!

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Loraine Antrim is co-founder of Core Ideas Communication, a communications consulting agency focused on presentation development and media training for C-suite executives. Core Ideas enables executives to package and communicate relevant and compelling messages in their presentations and interviews. Loraine's expertise is killing butterflies. You know, butterflies: the feeling in your stomach before you have to present or speak in public. Loraine works with executives to create a powerful story, memorable messages and an authentic delivery style. Confidence kicks in, and butterflies scatter. Nice work killing butterflies! You can contact Loraine at: manager at coreideas.com