Success Tweet 118: How to Create a Compelling Presentation

If you’ve been reading lately, you know that I’m doing a series of blog posts that further explain the career advice in Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less, my latest career success coach book.  I’m going to be sorry when this series is finished.  I hope you’re enjoying reading it as much as I’m enjoying writing it. 
 
Success Tweets has gone into its third printing.  That really pleases me.  It has become a greater success than I thought it would be.  I really appreciate your support.  You can pick up a copy at your local bookstore or at Amazon.com.  Better yet, you can download it for free at www.SuccessTweets.com

Today’s career advice comes from Success Tweet 118…

Presentations are easy to create.  Write your closing first, your opening next.  Then fill in the content.  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.

Writing your presentation closing first is the best presentation and career advice I can give you.

People remember two things about your talk.  How you begin and how you finish.  They really remember how you finish because that’s the last thing they hear.  You want to finish strong, reinforcing and highlighting the main points you want people to remember.  That’s one reason for writing your closing first.

Another reason for writing your closing first is because it will help you map out the rest of your content.  You’ll probably have more information than you need for any presentation you make.  If you write your closing first you can use it to help you decide what information to leave in and what to leave out of your presentation.

For example, when I do my talk “How to Create the Life and Career Success You Want and Deserve” I always end by saying something like…

And there you have it, my best advice on how to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

It comes down to Four Cs: clarity, commitment, confidence and competence.

If you want to create a successful life and career, you have to

a) Clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career.
b) Commit to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success.
c) Build unshakeable self confidence.
d) Get competent in four areas: creating positive personal impact, outstanding performance, dynamic communication and relationship building.

Hopefully, you know more about how to create the life and career success you want and deserve now than an hour ago.  But like the US Steel pencils my dad would bring home from work used to say, “Knowing is not enough.”  You’ve got to use the information you learned here today if you are going to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

As I leave you today, I want to challenge you.  I want to challenge you to take at one thing you’ve learned here today, and put it to work tomorrow.  Do the same the next day.  And the day after that.  Because remember, knowing is not enough.  You have to put your knowledge to work if you want to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

When I was writing this talk, I wrote this closing first.  I began by highliting the key points I wanted to make – in this case the 4 Cs of  career success.  Any time I was wondering if I should include a specific piece of information in the talk, I asked myself, “Does this information reinforce the point you want people to remember about this talk?”  If the answer was “yes,” I left it in.  If “no,” I took it out.

OK, got it about writing your closing first?  Good.  Now let’s talk about writing your opening second.

You want to accomplish two things in your presentation opening: 1) Capture the audience’s attention, and 2) Give them some idea of what you will be covering in your talk.

When I do my talk “How to Create the Life and Career Success You Want and Deserve” I always begin by saying something like…

Hello and thank you for coming.  Today, I want to dispel one of the biggest myths about life and career success.  And that myth is “good performance is enough to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”  Good performance, not only is not enough, it is merely the price of admission in today’s highly competitive world.

If you want to create a successful life and career, think C – no think 4 Cs…

Clarity, Commitment, Confidence and Competence.

If you want to create the life and career success you want and deserve, you have to:

a) Clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career.
b) Commit to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success.
c) Build unshakeable self confidence.
d) Get competent in four areas: creating positive personal impact, outstanding performance, dynamic communication and relationship building.

Over the next hour, I’m going to tell you more about each of these four Cs and show you how to put them to work to create the life and career success you want and deserve…

See what I mean?  I captured the audience’s attention by telling them that I was going to explode a myth about life and career success.  Then I shared the myth.  Then I outlined what I was going to come over the next hour.

This format is the golden rule of journalism: Tell them what you’re going to tell them.  Tell them.  Tell them what you’ve told them.

By writing your closing first and your opening second, you’ve done two of these, you’ve told your audience what you’re going to tell them, and you’ve recapped what you’ve told them.  Filling in the content becomes pretty simple once you’ve completed these two steps.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  If you want to create dynamic presentations that communicate and get you known as a high performer, follow the career advice in Tweet 118 in Success Tweets.  “Presentations are easy to create.  Write your closing first, your opening next.  Then fill in the content.  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.”  Writing your closing first gives you the direction you need to create a dynamic presentation.  Writing your opening next, helps you capture the audience’s attention and gives you an outline for creating the rest of your content.  I learned this bit of career advice early in my career – way back in 1973 — and have used it ever since.  It is powerful.  If you use it, you’ll be on your way to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.

That’s my take on the career advice in Success Tweet 118.  What’s yours?  What presentation creation tips and tricks can you share with us?  Please take a minute to share them in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading.

Bud

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