The arts of music, poetry, literature, and drama have been around so long that each of them has templates. To dismiss templates is to ignore the wisdom of the ages.

To name a few, music has verses and choruses, poetry has sonnets and haiku, literature has novels and short stories, and drama has setting, character, plot, and resolution.

Templates exist for speeches and presentations too. Past to present to future is one. Cause and effect is another. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis is yet a third.

But by far the most useful in the business world is the situation, problem, solution template.

In business, define the problem first, then argue for your solution.

"Adapted from The Essentials of Persuasive Public Speaking by Sims Wyeth. Copyright 2014, 2011 by Sims Wyeth. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved." Available at Amazon.