How to Make a Program Outline Template

By Francine Richards

A written outline allows an organized flow of information for a specific program or event. Outlines help present your program’s main components and details in a clear, logically ordered flow. Easy-to-read, your outline will define grouping of program activities and provide useful information for attendees. If you create outlines often for multiple programs, using a template is wise to minimize your efforts. A template gives you a starting point to customize each program’s outline.

Step 1

Open a word processing application such as Microsoft Word to create your program outline template. Using Word is advantageous if you plan to use a traditional outline style with Roman numerals, numbers and letters, since this functionality is a part of the application. Word also allows you to save the document as a template, which is beneficial if planning to use the template repeatedly with multiple programs.

Step 2

Draft an outline on paper by hand or free text on a document. Consider the generic elements of your programs and the order in which they will occur. Create your template using a specific program to guide the design of your general outline. For example, use “Introduction” as your main heading and “Closing” as your last main heading.

Step 3

Use Roman numerals or bold text to indicate each program section on your outline template. Use Roman numeral "I" for “Introduction,” "II" for your second section, and "III" for your third and so on. If using Word, typing a capital “I” followed by a period will automatically begin formatting your document into an outline. List your sections in logical order, such as chronological or in order of importance, depending on the type of program.

Step 4

Use capital letters or bullet points to create subheadings or supporting details under each section. Information in the program sections is general; however, the subheadings provide further details that relate to the heading. For example, for a wedding program, under "Bridal Party," input subheadings listing the wedding party attendants. As this is a template, you might use “Maid of Honor” and “Usher No. 1,” to be replaced with actual names, when creating an actual program.

Step 5

Customize your template to meet the needs of most of the programs you create. This will allow you to create your specific program outline with minimal effort. For example, if most of your programs include a schedule of events, tailor your template to the event type, such as an educational program, conference or festival. This will allow easy replacement of sections and subheadings to modify to your specific event.