A as in agenda


Here's the second step of the TARGET method. The agenda. If you look this word up (told you I love etymology), you'll find that it comes from the Latin word for "do" (agere), and its meaning is "things to be done". We usually use this word to define the main points of a meeting, but it's also used in presentations to help follow the story. Here, in the preparation period it helps us stripping our ideas to the most important ones, so they can serve as a skeleton to the whole presentation.

I'm fond of creating strong base, because I believe that it helps holding everything together if something goes wrong later. If you have a good starting point, it's easier to build up anything you're building. The layers will also play their own important roles, but the frame is something you want to make the strongest.

And now, here you are, with a bunch of good thoughts and ideas, and you don't even know where to continue with them. What I love doing is collecting them in Wunderlist, so when it comes to this step, I can simply rearrange them. Something you have to keep in mind that this initial agenda won't necessarily be the same as your final one. It's because along the way you might find a better way to knit the elements of your story together, so you change the order, add something to, or remove something from it. The more you practice this method, the better you will be creating a solid agenda in the beginning. So don't worry if you have to alter it later in the process.

Sometimes my first agenda contains whole sentences, but I like to cut them short at the end, so I can set the agenda in larger text. It's also useful to put one thought (one agenda point) in one line, because it's easier to read and understand. Multiple lines distract people, especially during a presentation. (One of my next posts will be about reading habits.)

And one last thing regarding the design of the agenda: leave it to the very end. As your thoughts can be flourishing during the process, you might rearrange your presentation a few times, and you don't want to adjust the design every time. Ask me how I know this.

I will show you a few agenda types in the upcoming weekly emails. Sign up if you don't want to miss them.