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"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

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« How to Conquer the World (25 Minutes at a Time) Part 1 | Main | Zapping Article Chaos, Optimizing Content, Harnessing Transcript Power »

13 Box System: How to Structure a Presentation (in Minutes) 

Have you ever been asked to give a presentation?

If so, did you struggle for hours trying to figure out what to say first?
Then second?
Then third?

What if you had an “easy-as-pie” system to instantly map out any presentation you deliver?
How cool would that be?
It’d be very cool, right?

Well, you can have that system now
And learning how to use it will take just minutes.
(Really, it will.)

13 boxes was my life-saver
When I started public speaking a few years back, I wasn’t sure how to outline or structure a presentation. But a light bulb went off.

I remember running across something called “The 13 Box Structure System.”

The 13 boxes form a grid to help you outline a presentation that rocks
I first started out creating a grid with, um, 13 boxes.
Then I outlined my presentation.
And I was home free.

After using the 13 Box System, I was confident I had a presentation that incorporated a solid structure (a beginning, middle and end) and communicated exactly what I wanted to say in a way that kept the audience engaged.

Eugene Moreau of Moreau Communications reveals his 13 Box Structure System
Eugene just created four very short videos detailing how to use the 13 Box Structure System to give a presentation. Each video is only two minutes or so in length.

The system is dead simple and highly effective
Even if you’re comfortable giving presentations, do yourself a favor and check these videos out.

Here’s what I suggest:
• Grab a piece of paper and a pen.
• Place it in the landscape position.
• Watch the videos and make notes as you follow along.

First, Eugene shows us how the presentation grid is divided so the page has a beginning, middle and an end.

Then Eugene shows us how to create the five stages in a presentation:
1. Conclusion
2. Headlines
3. Critical Messages
4. Main Body
5. Opening Sequence

In the last video, Eugene shows you how to order the 13 boxes when you deliver your presentation.

Where and when can you use the 13 Box Structure System?
In addition to presentations, I think you can use this system just about anywhere. Use it for meetings, slide shows, videos, podcasts, etc.

Can 13 boxes really make a difference in your presentations?
It did for me.
I’m sure it will for you.

Watch the videos and decide for yourself.

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Reader Comments (6)

I'm doing an on camera interview of myself.

Can I use this system for this purpose? It looks like you can...
February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaime E
Hi Jaime,

Absolutely, you can use this system; that's a great idea!

That's what I love about the 13 Box System– it's incredibly flexible. Yes, it's primarily marketed as a tool to aid presenters but if you have a message or story to share, this system will work flawlessly.

Good luck with your project!

February 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterThomas Clifford
Thanks for your response, Tom.

I'm going to use your 11 most used interview questions and use the 13 box system. I plan to create an Anchor Video ( idea from Steven Washer's class) for my website...
February 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaime E
Hi Jaime,

Sounds like a neat plan– good luck with it.

Glad you found a few articles and ideas to help you plan things out. =)

February 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterThomas Clifford

Thanks for posting this. We are finding it very useful in adding a framework for rigor in our presentation development. It's great because it forces you to be clear, focused and articulate your argument well. Leaves no room for flimsy statements or Non-sequiturs that lead to un-needed tangents.
March 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Robertson
Hi Brent,

Glad you found the 13 Box System helpful. I stumbled on it a while ago and found its simplicity magical. I'm thrilled Eugene is actively marketing it and adding deeper components to it.

Take care,
March 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterThomas Clifford

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