Another Handful of Tips 16 – Preparing a Presentation
The five best tips on how to prepare a talk or presentation
Most presenters try to give too much information. You should focus on relevance to the present conditions and on new information or advice.
When you have researched your topic divide your presentation into three parts: opening, main body and a memorable conclusion.
1. Decide on your objective
Why are you giving this presentation? What action do you want your audience to take after your talk? Write down the outcome you expect.
2. Research your audience and the venue
How many people are you expecting? What will be their age range and their gender? What do they already know about your topic? What will they want to know?
Is the venue suitable? Will you need a sound system so everyone can hear? If you are using visual aids is there a suitable projector and can the room be blacked out?
3. Prepare your opening and conclusion
When you have decided on the best way to get your message across, prepare your opening to create a rapport with your audience.
Aim to get their attention right from the start. Begin with a story or an amusing anecdote that will draw them into your topic.
Next draft your conclusion. Review your main points and, if appropriate, prepare a strong call for action. End with a memorable statement.
4. Outline your main message
The body of your talk should contain facts with examples set out in a logical order. Never forget people want new information, not facts they already know.
Ideally, make only three points and make them three times.
5. Edit your draft ruthlessly
Keep your presentation simple and brief and don’t forget some humour along the way. If you want your message remembered you will need to entertain, as well as to inform.
Remove anything that’s not crucial to your main points. Allow plenty of time for questions.
“The important thing is what people want to know,
not what you want to tell them!”
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