Whether you are speaking to a group to promote your products or services or perhaps your latest book or simply to inspire and motivate a team, you must know the point of your presentation. What are you there for?
A client I worked with was invited to speak on a panel at an industry conference. This presenting opportunity was a chance to showcase his personal brand and company brand.
It would have been perfectly okay to just answer the questions put to him by the chair of the panel. But by understanding the true objective of this engagement, he was able to maximise the opportunity and ended up gaining media exposure – a further way to grow his brand.
Why do you want to make that presentation or give that speech? Is it because the boss has asked you to put forward a business case or proposal? Or perhaps you want to grow your business and personal brand by being seen in front of that networking group.
Before you start to write out the content of your speech you need to ask yourself, “Why am I giving this presentation?” This is really the most important question of all and what this really means is – what is in it for the audience? What’s the “take-away” for them?
At the end of your presentation, you ideally want the audience to take away something of value with them. That might be a new way of doing or looking at something. You might want them to think about something or to ask you questions or you may want them to buy your product, idea or recommendation.
Using my client example there was a “stated” objective which was to answer the questions highlighting new company announcements, informing the audience and updating them about the impact this business was making.
The “unstated” objective for my client was to impress and influence a particular journalist in the audience to do a further interview.
Just by having in the back of his mind these outcomes he was able to clearly articulate the company announcements, promote the industry and state the economic value of it to the community, which in turn did impress the journalist. Subsequently an interview was done, photo taken and not only did the business get some attention so did the personal brand of the speaker.
If you don’t have a clear theme, purpose or objective to your presentation then there is the danger that you will not only waste your own time, but also the time of your audience and lose that opportunity to build your personal brand.
A planned and well-structured presentation will not only save you time as the writer; it will guide you as the presenter and will also help the audience follow where you are throughout the entire length of your presentation.
Presentations rarely cover the entire topic: they should cover the key issues and what will resonate with the audience in the time allowed.
There are three main ideas to think about when structuring a presentation:
1. Have a beginning, a middle and an end
2. Don’t try and put too much in (less is more)
3. Reinforcement is always a good idea
There are some simple ways of structuring your presentation through to more complex ways.
Here is one simple way:
PREP is Point, Reason, Example, Point
Topic: Why learn about presenting?
Point – presenting is a valuable skill as you learn confidence and the ability to sell
Reason – I am here today so you can learn skills and practical tips that will have a positive impact on your career and life skills in general
Example – the first presentation I did was to a businesswoman’s group in Sydney, and I was …scared ...asked to present in Canberra (elaborate and include a story)
Point – So I would recommend learning presentation skills for personal and professional growth
I have a much more detailed outline structure I am happy to forward to you. Please subscribe to my regular eNews and it will be forwarded to you.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is passionate about helping business executives and entrepreneurial professionals elevate their personal brand, image and professional presence. Sue’s suite of services delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations provides a multi-faceted approach to gain high transformation for her clients.