Use a process to create better presentations

Use a process to create better presentations
Image Credit: Alden Jewell

So just exactly how do you go about creating a presentation when you’ve been asked to give a speech? All too often we forget about the importance of public speaking and go about creating presentations in a haphazard manner that is more hit-or-miss than planned. The results generally show that this is what we did. During the development of our presentation, we can find ourselves going down the wrong path. Even worse, changes to what we are going to be talking about can happen late in the speech development process and this can end up being very expensive in terms of time and effort. There has to be a better way!

The Systems Approach To Creating Presentations

If we forget about the process that we go through when we are creating a speech and instead spend some time thinking about how other things in the world get created, we’d realize that when a new product is being created the people doing the work will generally follow a progression of steps that will lead them from the planning phase through the completion of the project. If we apply this systems approach to creating a speech then we can end up with a much better and more efficiently developed presentation.

When we are creating our next speech we want to make sure that we know what we are doing and we want to know why and how we are going to go about doing it. We can make this happen by applying proven techniques to the creation of our speech. What we need to know is exactly where we are going to need to start when it comes time for us to create a speech. We also have to have an understanding of what will be required for us to do in order to get the result that we desire.

One of the biggest problems that we all face is that although we may know how new products are produced, we seem to forget all about this when it comes time to create a speech. Instead of using a careful proven methodology, we instead throw our hand up, dive in, and start to throw some material together. We will often start things out by using an old presentation, we’ll then create more slides to add to the old presentation, and then we hope that the whole thing will somehow communicate our message to our audience. In the end, it doesn’t and you end up with egg on your face.

Three Steps To Creating A Presentation

If you want to be able to create great presentations each and every time, then you need to create a process by which you create speeches. The same technique that is used to solve virtually any project can be applied to the process by which you create a speech. Using a methodological step-by-step approach will allow you to create better presentations and do so more efficiently.

The first step in this process is to, before you do anything else, sit down and take the time to plan what you are trying to accomplish. Ask yourself “what do you want to get out of giving this presentation?” This part of the process will involve having you understand who will be in your audience and what their interests will be. You are going to want to use this information to create both themes and strategies for your speech.

The next step in your process will be to organize what you are going to want to tell your audience. In order to do this you will create a framework on which you’ll be able to create your speech. The goal here is to create a skeleton for your speech that contains all of the important parts. This will require you to identify the key ideas that you’ll want to include in your speech, Once you know what you want to cover, you’ll then have to organize them into a clear, concise, and convincing flow that you can use to build your speech with.

What All Of This Means For You

Creating a speech can be a challenging task. All too often when we go about creating a speech we don’t do it in an organized manner. Instead, we just end up throwing the things that we think should be in the speech together. The speech that we end up creating looks like this was the way that we made it and it doesn’t convey the benefits of public speaking. A much better way to create a speech is to use a process.

When things besides speeches are being created, we often use a methodological process to put them together. These processes have a clear start, middle, and finish. These processes start out with a planning phase that allows us to understand who we will be talking to. We need to take the time to understand what our audience will want from our speech. Next, we need to organize our speech. This involves creating a framework for the speech that is made up of the most important points that we want to share with our audience.

The importance of creating effective presentations cannot be overstated. We need to stop trying to throw together presentations and instead apply a proven methodology to create high-quality presentations every time. Take the time to plan and organize your next speech and you’ll be pleased with the results that you are able to get.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: What do you think would be the best way to find out what the interests of your next audience are?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Every time that we agree to give a speech, we really want it to go well because we understand the importance of public speaking. However, this does not always happen. What this means for us as speakers is that we should all be searching for a way to make this business of giving speeches run more like clockwork. What can we do to boost our odds of giving a successful speech? It turns that there is something that we can do. What we can do is to employ a systems approach to giving speeches and this will allow us to make sure that everything that has to be done will get done. It all starts with us planning and organizing our speech. However, after that, we still have work to do.

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If you can make an impact with your speech, then you'll change your audience

If you can make an impact with your speech, then you’ll change your audience
Image Credit:
NASA on The Commons

Every speech that we give comes with its own set of goals. Sometimes we’re trying to convince an audience of something, sometimes we want to make them laugh, perhaps we just want to tell a great story and have them share it with us. No matter what your specific goal for a speech is, every speech shares a common purpose: we want to use the importance of public speaking to make an impact on our audience. We want their lives to have been changed in some way by having attended our speech. This is a noble goal to have, now just exactly how do we go about accomplishing it?

It’s All About The Mechanics

I’m pretty sure that we are all familiar with Mr. Murphy and his law: “what can go wrong will go wrong”. As presenters, we live in a world where there are a lot of different things that can go wrong if we are not careful. We set ourselves up to get into the most trouble if we make the mistake of thinking that we can just “wing it”. Showing up to give a speech and hoping to be able to make it up on the fly never seems to work out well.

Instead, what we need to do is to realize that Mr. Murphy is always at work. Although we can’t necessarily stop him, we can perhaps head him off at the pass. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to make sure that when you are going to be giving a speech that you always show up early. By doing this you can catch and fix things like microphones that don’t work, lights that don’t turn on, and projectors that are broken before you take the stage.

Test Before Delivering

After you’ve been giving speeches for a while, something dangerous can start to happen to you. You can start to think that all you have to do is to write your speech out and then you can stand up and deliver it because you know it. The answer is, of course, that this is not the case. Even the best of us need to practice what we are going to say before we say it.

Let us agree on one thing: we can’t become good at giving a speech unless we practice that speech. We need to go through a series of dry runs before we can feel confident that we’re going to be able to deliver a good speech. The more that you practice, the better you will become.

Welcome To My Show

A question that you have to ask yourself before every presentation that you make is “why is this audience there?” They have shown up for a specific reason. They believe that by investing their precious time in listening to your speech they will somehow benefit. Your job is to make this belief come true.

What we all need to understand is that every time that we are making a presentation, we are really putting on a show. Your speech has to be both interesting and exciting. If you don’t make this happen, then all too soon your audience is going to grow tired of hearing you speak. The more entertaining you are, the better the chances are that your audience will actually listen to what you are telling them.

What All Of This Means For You

When we go to the effort of giving a speech, we want to be able to use the benefits of public speaking to connect with our audience. We have goals for what we want to be able to accomplish with our speech. Although our specific goals may change for each speech, we always want to make an impact on our audience. The trick is in knowing how to go about doing this.

We need to understand that we live in a complicated world where there are a lot of different things that can go wrong on us. Mr. Murphy is always out there just waiting for us to give our next speech. We need to take steps to prevent bad things from happening to our speeches. One way to go about doing this is to simply show up early. This gives us time to solve issues before they become problems. None of us can just write a speech and then stand up and deliver it. Instead, we all have to take the time to practice it because that’s how we become better. Our audience has shown up with expectations about what they will be hearing. When we present to them, we need to be sure to put on a show. Only by doing this can we hold their attention and get our message across.

Making an impact on our next audience is what giving a speech is all about. Taking the time to create, practice, and then deliver a speech requires a lot of effort on our part. If we follow these simple tips, then our chances of changing our audience will increase and the effort that we’ve gone through to make the presentation will have all been worth it.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How many times do you think that you have to practice a speech before you really “have it”?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The ability to look into the future, even if it was only for a few minutes, sure would be a nice talent to have. Unfortunately, I can’t do it and I’d be willing to bet that you can’t do it either. What this means for both of us is that when we are preparing to deliver a speech we are going to have to take steps in order to be ready to deal with just about anything that can happen up there – because there is a good chance that something will happen!

So just exactly how do you go about creating a presentation when you’ve been asked to give a speech? All too often we forget about the importance of public speaking and go about creating presentations in a haphazard manner that is more hit-or-miss than planned. The results generally show that this is what we did. During the development of our presentation, we can find ourselves going down the wrong path. Even worse, changes to what we are going to be talking about can happen late in the speech development process and this can end up being very expensive in terms of time and effort. There has to be a better way!

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