Are you ready to take your training and practice to the next level – preparing successful presentations for your workplace or in your community?
In our last Communication Culture column, the world was preparing for the start of the 2012 Olympics in London. We looked at how to make it to our own personal finish lines in conversations that enhance our individual and small group communications.
How to deliver your message well in a presentation and in front of an audience
Even natural born talkers may struggle with the volume of material and the considerations that go into organizing a presentation. I have some tips for you to follow to keep you from being overwhelmed and to keep you on track with your message.
To start, let’s remember that all communications have a beginning, a middle and an end. Already you only have three clear segments of content to be concerned with!
Be assured that virtually all audiences will give you a fair chance. They want you to do well. It’s up to you to open well and do your best to get their attention and to show that it is worth their while to stay with you and your message.
At the start, tell your audience your most interesting point.
Engage them early into your presentation with:
– a question on how they relate to the subject
– a provocative statement
– an anecdote
Tell them what they are going to hear and why they should care about the topic.
Be clear about what’s in it for individuals participating in your presentation.
Now is also a good time to think about what you expect them to do at the end. It is very useful for communicators, whether in writing or at speaking opportunities, to keep the end in mind. It helps drive you to keep your content energetic, relevant and organized as you move towards a clear goal.
o The mid point generally takes the longest to deliver.
o It carries the most information.
o You might include case histories, stories, a historical perspective or lively scenarios.
– The middle is where you develop your theme.
• Think of all the things you need to say.
• Organize them logically.
• Now, cut it in half.
– If you give yourself enough time during your preparation stage to take a break, you will gain perspective about your own material. You will better know if it is clear, interesting, of value and essential and so you will edit better with that ‘breather.’
– I guarantee you will be able to cut out half, improve the delivery of your message and get to the point.
End as you began – with a flourish.
Announce your wrap up and end with a summary.
If you have a call to action, now is the time to call out for…. action! Tell your audiences directly what you want them to do.
Audiences are particularly attentive at this time so any point you make. Now is when you must be clear as your message will be at its most memorable.
VIP – Your very important presentation point: Before you plan your lively beginning, a middle to develop your ideas and a definite end, determine the purpose of the presentation.
Ready? Set? Shine on your very own podium!