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Structure and Sequence Empower Effective Communication to Senior Management

Young professionals, similar to all techncially trained professionals, have difficulty separating presentation structure and sequence. Are you Communicating with FINESSE?
Young professionals, similar to all techncially trained professionals, have difficulty separating presentation structure and sequence.

Communicating with FINESSE had the opportunity to poll 63 young professionals in two separate forums. Our conclusion is that presentation sequence and structure are typically confused. Like most technically trained professionals, effective written and verbal presentations to senior management requires both. This article provides some insights and recommendations.


The presentation sequence refers to the order in which the content is presented during a presentation. It determines the flow of the presentation and the logical order in which the information is presented to the audience. For example, a presentation on a project may start with an introduction, followed by a discussion of the objectives, then the methodology, results, and conclusion.


On the other hand, the presentation structure refers to the overall framework or framework of the presentation. It includes the key components that are necessary for an effective presentation, such as an introduction, main body, and conclusion. The structure of a presentation is like a skeleton, which provides support and direction for the content presented.

The Most Frequently Used Structure

The CWF survey indicates that most young professionals use the chronological sequence as their presentations' primary structure and sequence.

Chronological sequences follow a timeline or a sequence of events, starting from the earliest event and progressing to the most recent.

Most young professionals acknowledge using a summary at the beginning of their written reports. However, a summary at the beginning of a verbal presentation is not typical.

A summary at the conclusion of a presentation is more common. Further discussion indicates that the summary is more a compilation of the findings and recommendations rather than a summary of all of the work. The summary is basically the conclusion of the chronological sequence.

An Improved Approach

Regardless of the sequence, every written or verbal communication needs a structure. Aristotle believed that every poem or theatrical performance should follow a three-act structure. The three-act structure stands the test of time. It is also a straightforward and extremely efficient structure.

The main body includes the bulk of the technical information. While different sequences can – and should – be used in the main body, a chronological sequence is acceptable. However, the opening and closing are where the action, and senior management's impressions, occur.

Provide a summary of the key points in the opening. Business leaders do not have time for all of the details. Plus, they control the process and will ask questions if they want details.

Brush through the summary again in the close, but really spend your time preparing for questions. Your presentation will be remembered primarily for how you answered questions, not for how you made the technical sausage.

Communicating with FINESSE

Business writing and presentations require the conclusions to be presented in the beginning. Remember the three-act structure, regardless of which sequences you use within the main body. Place your primary emphasis on the opening and the close. Remember that you need both a structure and a sequence.

The first S in FINESSE stands for Structure.

JD Solomon contributed to this article.


Communicating with FINESSE is a not-for-profit community of technical professionals dedicated to being highly effective communicators and facilitators. Learn more about our publications, webinars, and workshops. Join the community for free.


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