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Just Do It: Getting Started on Your Next Presentation

Where to Begin?

Person writing image You’ve been asked to give a presentation.  Now what?  Where do you begin? Like most people you have probably suffered through a presentation where the speaker rambled on.  You waited patiently for the main idea.  You left wondering, “What was that all about?” Situations like these happen most often because the speaker failed to do the upfront planning and organizing required for a meaningful presentation. You can avoid that frustration for your audience by planning and structuring your presentation so the audience can easily follow your main points and logically go with you to your call to action or powerful conclusion.

Begin at the Beginning!

Begin by discovering as much as you can about what success will look like in the mind of your presentation sponsor—the person who has asked you to present.  Ask important questions such as:

  • What is the purpose of this presentation?
  • Why did you ask me to present?
  • If this presentation is a smashing success, what will be different at the end?  How will the audience think, feel, act . . . differently than when they came in the room.
  • Who will attend?
  • How many people are expected to attend?
  • What can you tell me about them?  (Age, education, role in the organization, background, knowledge of my topic, coming voluntarily or mandated to attend, do they know one another, etc.)
  • What speakers have done well in the past with this audience?  (If applicable)
  • What worked?
  • What didn’t work?
  • How much time will I have?
  • Will there be other speakers before or after me?
  • What will the room be like?  (Setup, size, equipment, acoustics, etc.)
  • Is PowerPoint expected?  What other visual aids have worked well in the past with this audience?

What’s Next

This is simply the bare bones information you need as you begin the journey of planning and structuring your presentation. After you’ve gathered all this essential information you can then begin to think about your big idea (your goal of your presentation), your key points and supporting points and then your attention-grabbing introduction and close. Best of luck in getting started!  For more information contact me at 720-542-3324 or kathy@kathycoperman.com

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