Section 2: STRUCTURE

2 Structure Section.png

REGIONAL CASE STUDY: Dr Naif Al Mutawa’s TED Talk about Muslim Superheroes The 99. (First a link to his TED Talk, and second a link to US President Barack Obama praising Dr Al Mutawa’s work)

Lesson #13: The Decker Grid (Bert Decker’s classic presentation structure - in our view the simplest, most powerful and consistently effective presentation template ever created. If you only visit one resource from Crowdpleaser, the Decker Grid is a good choice)

Lesson #16: Nancy Duarte’s What is/What Could Be formula (Duarte’s brilliant Ted Talk The Secret Structure of Great Talks

Lesson #17: Gene Zelazny’s top tip on giving a McKinsey-style presentation (Zelaznys website doesnt give much away - you’ll have to buy his book! But the free advice, although brief, is wise and sage.)

Lesson #19: Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley on the Zoom-in Zoom-Out technique that Steve Jobs taught him (a link to Jobs classic Stanford Commencement Address, in which he zooms in and out repeatedly.)

Lesson #20: Barbara Minto’s Pyramid Principle (a link to a great one-page example of how to structure a presentation using the Pyramid, from the team at They give an example of a company that wants to cut costs. Hint: they used Minto’s S-C-Q-A technique to come up with the main argument at the top of the pyramid. If you need a refresher on this, go back to Section 1 of Crowdpleaser and the Lesson on Minto’s S-C-Q-A)

Lesson #21: Ex-HSBC chairman David Eldon’s ‘Hitchhiker’ extended metaphor for investing in China  (a link, uploaded by the team at Gulf Intelligence, to his 2012 speech at an HSBC conference in Dubai. He starts at 3 minutes 35 secs.)

Lesson #22: Quintilian’s 5 Canons of Rhetoric, via Professor Matt McGarrity (The 5 Canons explained in under 4 minutes by the brilliant Matt McGarrity of Georgetown University, whose public speaking module on has more than 500,000 students.)

Lesson #23: Chris Anderson’s ‘Through Line’ - the central structure of a great TED talk (Two links. First Chris Anderson’s advice on giving a TED Talk - he owns TED, so he should know! Skip to 5 mins 4 seconds for his comments on the ‘through line’. Second, Simon Sinek’s legendary TED Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action - a great example of the power of a through-line, with the phrase ^People dont buy what you do, they buy why you do it^ repeated every 3 minutes.)

Lesson #24: John Favreau, Barack Obamas ex-speech writer, on the lessons his boss taught him  (This is the two-minute version of Favreau’s interview at the Oxford Union on the speechwriting and storytelling lessons from his eight years with Obama. Theres also a link to the full 1 hour 2 minute version, which is even better.)

Lesson #26: Tim Harford on nailing the first 20 seconds of any presentation (This is his second TED Talk, which has been watched millions of times. He starts at 16 seconds - watch him until 36 seconds to see how he nails what he calls the ‘moment of maximum spotlight’ - the first 20 seconds. Masterful.)