The Key To Delivering A Great Presentation Is Flexibility

You never know what will happen during a speech so you have to be flexible
You never know what will happen during a speech so you have to be flexible
Image Credit:
Chrissy Wainwright

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!

Be Flexible

The one thing that I think that we can all agree on is that we don’t run the world. What this means is that when we use the importance of public speaking to give a presentation, there are a lot of things that are outside of our control. This means that despite our best planning, there is a very good chance that things may happen that we had not counted on or planned for. What this means for us is that we need to be flexible.

The situation in which we are going to be giving our presentation can change. The audience that we’ll be presenting to can change. As the speaker, we need to be able to adjust our presentation to fit these changes and we need to be able to do it on the fly. One of the most common changes is that our time in which to present gets shortened. Instead of trying to cram our entire speech into a smaller period of time, we need to make sure that we have a shorter presentation that we can give that will work with the time that we now have.

Be Ready For New Material

It would be nice to think that every time that we give a presentation that it will be the same. However, things never seem to work out that way. One of the biggest changes that can happen during a presentation occurs when somebody in your audience asks you a question. How you handle that question is going to be critical to how your speech turns out. If you do a good job of answering the question then your audience will come away believing that you know your stuff. If you fumble your answer, then your audience will doubt that you are an expert in your field.

What you need to have done is before you start to give your speech, you need to have spent the time anticipating what kind of questions your audience may ask you. This means that you need to come prepared to answer questions that you didn’t plan on bringing up. The most impressive speakers, when asked a question, are able to bring up a slide that deals with that question and then answer it. This will leave your audience wowed and amazed.

You Are Always Selling

No matter what topic you are talking about, you need to keep in mind that you are always selling something. You can’t just get up in front of an audience and deliver yet another presentation. Instead, you need to realize that there is always something riding on your presentation. It can be a contract, a budget, or simply a set of decisions.

What this means is that when you are making a presentation, you are always selling. There are a lot of different things that you may be selling. You can be selling yourself, your organization, the information that you are presenting, or perhaps the proposal that you are making. If you can remember that you are selling your ideas to your audience, then you’ll bring the needed energy and excitement to your presentation.

What All Of This Means For You

Every speech that we give is a dynamic thing. A lot can happen and a lot can change on us. What this means for us as speakers is that we need to be ready to deal with changes as they occur so that we can deliver the benefits of public speaking. How we handle the things that change on us can have a big impact on how our audience views the presentation that we give.

We need to understand that things can change both before and during our next presentation. When this occurs, we need to have the flexibility to deal with it. Having our speaking time reduced is one of the most common changes that we can experience. Every speech that we give is a dynamic event. What this means is that we have to take the time and prepare for questions from our audience. We can never anticipate what they will ask us and so we need to make sure that we come prepared. It can be all too easy to not realize that every time that we give a speech we are selling. We may be selling ourselves or our ideas, but we’d like our audience to agree with us and end up buying what we are selling them.

The best speakers are the ones who seem to be able to roll with the punches. When things change on them, they are unfazed and they just keep on going. If we want to be more like them, then we are going to have to learn how to be flexible during our next presentation. The good news is that this is possible to do, we just have to take the time to prepare for all of the things that we can’t anticipate!

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

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to anticipate what your audience’s questions may be?

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 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 one thing that every speaker wants is for their next audience to pay attention to their speech. I mean really pay attention. Pay attention so much so that even if their phone stated to ring or vibrate or do both things they wouldn’t even notice because you had so thoroughly captured their attention that they could not take their eyes off of you. This is a great concept, but just exactly what can we do that would make it happen?

Leave a Comment