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What You Need To Do Before Your Next Presentation – The Accidental Communicator

What You Need To Do Before Your Next Presentation

If you want your presentation to be memorable, you need to prepare
If you want your presentation to be memorable, you need to prepare
Image Credit: jeanbaptisteparis

The next time that you are asked to make a presentation, how it goes may be based more on how well you prepared than how good of a job you did making the presentation. What this means for you is that you are going to have to take the time to use the importance of public speaking to master the steps that a speaker has to go through in order to deliver an effective presentation. The good news is that none of these are hard to do. You just need to be able to remember the steps that you need to take.


Arrive Early

If you really want to knock your next audience dead, then you are going to have to be filled with self-confidence when you take the stage. In order to make that happen, you are going to have to be comfortable with your speaking environment. You can make this happen by arriving early for your speaking event. When you get there, take the time to familiarize yourself with the room and any technology that you will be using. If possible, make sure that you know what the position of the lectern will be, how the viewing screen will be positioned, what the microphone setup is and how the slide clicker works.


Know Your Key Point

So just exactly why are you making this presentation? There has to be a reason and you need to share that reason with your audience. What this means for you is that you need to make sure that you know exactly what your biggest point is – what is motivating you? This point is going to be the thing that you are going to want your audience to both understand and retain after you are done.

The best points that a speaker can make are the ones that convey a “how” or a “why”. This is opposed to the bad points that try to convey a “what”. Once you understand what your main point is, you need to make sure that all of the data that you present, all of the examples that you give, and, of course, your slides support your point in some way shape or form. When you are making these connections, you are going to have to make an effort to explain them.


Memorize

You have probably been told over and over to NOT memorize your speech. It turns out that is good advice. If we memorize our speech, then our delivery becomes wooden and our audience can quickly become disinterested in what we are saying. However, there is a small exception to this rule. You do want to memorize both your starting and your concluding sets of sentences. The reason for doing this is because you want to start your presentation off with a strong impression and then end it with a strong conclusion. Memorizing these parts can help to make this happen.


Take Time To Practice

You know that in order to deliver a successful presentation, you need to practice your speech. When you are practicing your speech, make sure that you do it out loud and that you perform it in real time. Your goal here is to train both your mind and your mouth to deliver a powerful presentation. Good news: to do this, you don’t need an observer, a mirror, or even a camera.


Time Yourself

You have only been given a specific amount of time in which to deliver your speech. What this means is that when you are practicing your speech, you are going to want to time yourself. Your goal has to be to make sure that you don’t talk for too long. However, the opposite is not true – you can talk for less than your allocated time with no problem. If it turns out that your speech is too long, make it shorter by cutting out content. Don’t try to shorten it by speaking faster. Any content that you cut out will never be missed by your audience. However, if you speed up your presentation, then your audience’s ability to retain what you tell them will decrease.


Print Out Notes

Even if you think that you have your presentation committed to memory, always bring notes with you. You never know when you might have a panic attack and your mind would go blank. Having notes, even if you don’t use them, is a sort of insurance policy. When you create your notes, use a large font and insert frequent breaks. Make sure that you use page numbers.


What All Of This Means For You

Every time that we give a presentation, we want to share the benefits of public speaking. We want our presentation to be effective and we want to make an impact on our audience. In order to make sure that our next presentation will accomplish what we want it to, we need to take steps before we start. If we can come to the presentation fully prepared, then we will have tipped the odds of being successful in our favor.

When you are giving a presentation, arrive early so that you can check out your speaking environment. Make sure that you know your speech’s key point because that is what you will want to focus on. Take the time to memorize your speech’s starting and ending paragraphs. This will allow you to be more effective. When you are practicing your speech, make sure that you do it out loud and in real time. Make sure that you time your speech and that you don’t run too long. Always speak using notes so that you’ll be prepared if your mind goes blank.

Delivering a speech is hard work. When we give a presentation we want to have the maximum impact on our audience. In order to make that happen, we need to go into our next presentation fully prepared. If you take the time and perform the steps that we’ve discussed, you’ll be ready when the time comes for your presentation to start. Because you were prepared, you’ll have a much better chance of delivering a presentation that has an impact on your audience.


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


Question For You: How much practice do you think is necessary to get ready for a presentation?


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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

Giving a speech is hard work. As long as you are going to go the effort of understanding the importance of public speaking and giving a speech, you sure want your audience to remember what you have told them. That’s where things can become a bit of challenge for us as speakers. We’ll often spend so much time trying to figure out what we want to say that we don’t spend enough time thinking about how to get what we are saying to “stick”. That’s why we need some suggestions on how to make sure that our message is going to have an impact on our audience.