You need to have a clear purpose before you dive into choosing visual aids or props for your presentation or before you begin jotting down on paper how the whole thing will be laid out.
Why are giving this presentation? Define the goals and what it is you are hoping your audience takes away. Once you have identified your purpose, drive the content that will fill-up the time you have in front of your audience. Here are some ideas to help you shape and deliver an effective presentation that is centered around your purpose.
It is easy to forget the original reason why you are giving a presentation. Perhaps it’s as clean-cut as the boss asked you to present. Or maybe it is more along the lines that you have the desire to share key findings, information, or even a personal experience. No matter what the reason is, be sure to define the “why” when it comes to your motive for giving the presentation. Do you know what it is you would like them to do or know as a result of your presentation?
Whether you are planning a speech that’s 5 minutes long or 50 minutes long, you need to call out the main takeaways that you want your audience to digest. Any business public speaking training will tell you to use those takeaways as a guideline when you are planning out what will stay in your speech and what you will leave out. The idea is to get your main purpose and point across.
You are ready to start your presentation, and you have already defined what the “meat” of the presentation is going to be. The best way to set up the exit strategy is to leave your audience with an “actionable takeaway” that they can then go off and execute themselves. Even if you decide to have a Q&A at the end of the presentation, don’t let that be the end. Reinforce your purpose and send your audience away with an actionable takeaway. As the last thing they hear, this takeaway, relating to your purpose, will be more likely to be remembered and acted-on.
There is always something that you need people to do or learn as a result of your work, a reason why you are presenting. It may be that you want them to buy your products or services then and there, or maybe you just want them to be aware of insights and information necessary to forward your ultimate goals. Keep the “Why” in mind while creating your presentation, and while presenting it. Make your effort worth their time, and yours.
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