If you want to become a dynamic communicator and career success, you need to become an excellent presenter. Presentations are an important communication tool. Many careers have been made on the strength of one or two good presentations.
A lot of people suffer from presentation anxiety. Public speaking can be frightening, although it doesn’t have to be. Presenting is like any other process, there is a series of logical steps to follow. The five steps to effective presentations in the Tweet have served me well for over 35 years.
In this post, I’ll be sharing the material I cover in a three-day workshop on presentations skills. Breaking the presentation process down into the five easily manageable steps listed in the Tweet is the best way I know to get over presentation anxiety. Let’s look at them in some detail.
- Determine your message.
- Analyze your audience.
- Organize your information for impact.
- Design supporting visuals.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Ask yourself these questions to help you determine your message:
- What do you want or need to communicate?
- What information does the audience need?
- Why do they need it?
- At the end of the presentation, what should the audience: Understand? Remember? Do?
Determine the best way to communicate your message by analyzing your audience. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who is the audience for this presentation?
- Why are they attending?
- What is their general attitude toward you and the topic?
- What is their knowledge level on this topic?
Use the golden rule of journalism: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, Tell them, Tell them what you told them” to organize your information.
- Begin at the end. Prepare your presentation ending first. This is helpful, because it keeps you focused on where you’re going.
- Prepare your presentation beginning. A good beginning has two things: a hook, and an outline of your talk.
- Fill in the blanks with your content.
Design visuals to support and enhance what you are saying. Good visuals support the points you are making, create audience interest, improve audience understanding, save you time – a picture is worth a thousand words, and they are memory aids.
Practice, Practice, Practice. There is an old saying, “practice makes up for a lack of talent”. Prior to getting in front of an audience, say your presentation out loud – several times. Listen to yourself. Consider videotaping yourself. If you don’t have the equipment, practice in front of a mirror, or your spouse, or your dog or cat – just practice.
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people are competent. Dynamic communication is an important career success competency. Dynamic communicators present with impact. Many people are frightened by the idea of standing in front of a group of people and doing a talk. Unfortunately, presentations can make or break your success. You can conquer your fear of public speaking by following the career advice in Tweet 117 in Success Tweets. “Presentation steps: 1) Determine the message; 2) Analyze the audience; 3) Organize the information; 4) Design visuals; 5) Practice. If you follow the career advice in these five steps – especially number 5, practice – you’ll become a confident, successful presenter and a career success.