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Struc­ture your Pre­sen­ta­tion with a Haiku

Apr 19, 2023 | Presentation Design

A good pre­sen­ta­tion is not only about what infor­ma­tion we share, but how we share it. A well-struc­tured pre­sen­ta­tion can make all the dif­fer­ence in engaging and informing your audi­ence. One uncon­ven­tional yet effec­tive way to struc­ture a pre­sen­ta­tion is by using the con­cept of a Haiku, a tra­di­tional form of Japanese poetry. This method can pro­vide a quick, simple, and mem­o­rable struc­ture that will help you cap­ture your audi­ence’s atten­tion and leave a lasting impres­sion. Are you open for a new way to make your pre­sen­ta­tion design a little easier? Then let’s explore what a Haiku is and how our pre­sen­ta­tions can profit from it!

What is a Haiku?

A Haiku is a beau­tiful, bite-sized form of Japanese poetry that packs a punch in just three lines! With a simple syl­lable pat­tern of 5–7‑5, these little gems can con­jure up vivid images of nature or evoke deep emo­tions. It tra­di­tion­ally focuses on the beauty and sim­plicity of nature, depicting a moment in time. The Haiku’s struc­ture and brevity lend itself to a pow­erful, con­cise mes­sage that res­onates with readers.

Here is an example for the topic of presentations:

Ner­vous heart takes flight,
Words dance on slides, ideas,
Audi­ence alight.

And another one:

Spot­light on the stage,
Whis­pers hush, thoughts crystallize,
Truth unveiled, eyes gaze.

The above lines are an artistic descrip­tion of the pre­sen­ta­tion topic. Each line describes a dif­ferent event during the same moment of time. They do not follow a causal or chrono­log­ical order. Adding this order would help us with struc­turing our pre­sen­ta­tion. The first line could describe a cur­rent state of some­thing. The second line, why this sit­u­a­tion is prob­lem­atic. The third then could offer a solution.

In the fol­lowing example, I use the generic example of the problem of unhealthy food with its solu­tion of healthy food:

Fast food reigns supreme,
Health declines, temp­ta­tion wins,
Fresh meals bring balance.

A causal struc­ture like this looks very much like a classic dra­matur­gical con­cept we know from adver­tise­ments and pitches. Let’s dive even deeper into this con­cept and explore it more.

The Haiku Pre­sen­ta­tion Method

Using the Haiku as inspi­ra­tion, we can create a pre­sen­ta­tion struc­ture that encour­ages clarity and sim­plicity. Here’s how you could apply this method to your next presentation:

The Title

Start by crafting a short, five-syl­lable title for your pre­sen­ta­tion. This will help you con­dense your topic into its core mes­sage and set the stage for what’s to come. Choose words that evoke curiosity, allowing your audi­ence to antic­i­pate the top­ic’s depth.

Example: “Data’s Dance with AI”

The Opening

Begin your pre­sen­ta­tion with a brief, seven-syl­lable state­ment that encap­su­lates your main point. This opening should be clear and com­pelling, drawing your audi­ence into the presentation.

Example: “Merging pat­terns shape our world”

The Con­tent

Orga­nize the main con­tent of your pre­sen­ta­tion into three key points or sec­tions, reflecting the 5–7‑5 syl­lable struc­ture of a Haiku. Use the first sec­tion to estab­lish con­text, the second to delve into the heart of the matter, and the third to reveal the con­clu­sion or impli­ca­tions of your topic.


  1. Con­text (5 syl­la­bles): “Data influx grows”
  2. Main Point (7 syl­la­bles): “AI sorts, learns, and adapts”
  3. Con­clu­sion (5 syl­la­bles): “A new world dawns”

The Closing

End your pre­sen­ta­tion with a mem­o­rable, seven-syl­lable state­ment that sum­ma­rizes your topic and rein­forces your main mes­sage. This will leave a lasting impres­sion on your audi­ence and encourage fur­ther thought and discussion.

Example: “Inno­va­tion shapes tomorrow”

Ben­e­fits of the Haiku Pre­sen­ta­tion Method

  • Sim­plicity: The Haiku-inspired struc­ture forces you to distil your mes­sage into its most essen­tial ele­ments, making it easier for your audi­ence to under­stand and remember.
  • Engage­ment: The con­cise and poetic nature of this method allows you to cap­ture your audi­ence’s atten­tion and hold it throughout the presentation.
  • Cre­ativity: Using the Haiku as a basis for your pre­sen­ta­tion struc­ture chal­lenges you to think cre­atively and find unique ways to express your ideas.
  • Adapt­ability: This method can be applied to pre­sen­ta­tions of varying lengths and topics, making it a ver­sa­tile tool for any public speaker.


The Haiku Pre­sen­ta­tion Method offers a refreshing and cre­ative approach to struc­turing pre­sen­ta­tions. By drawing inspi­ra­tion from the sim­plicity and beauty of the Haiku, you can create a pre­sen­ta­tion that is both mem­o­rable and engaging. Give this method a try for your next pre­sen­ta­tion and dis­cover the power of poetic brevity in con­veying your message.

Thank you for reading.

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