BE PREPARED: Manage your time and craft an incredible speech! [Speak on the Shoulders of Giants]
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SURE-FIRE WAY #8: PREPARATION
Diligent presenters build their presentations by first taking the time to create every possible slide imaginable for the topic in discussion. Then, with the “big picture” in mind, you should proceed to delete the unnecessary 30 or 40 slides that you just spent hundreds of hours building, but that you now realize you don’t have time for in your ten-minute speech. Your audience will appreciate knowing that you cared so much to build slides that you never showed them.
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Did you think there was something off about this week’s public speaking tip?
Hold on! Keep reading.
One of our firm’s education arms, the Institute of Strategy and Valuation, published an article titled, “10 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Your Presentations: A Light-Hearted Look at Public Speaking.”
Addressing the fear that goes with presenting in front of people, the article presents a humorous look into public speaking—including this week’s sure-fire tip.
We are well aware of the stress everyone goes through when they need to represent their brand or company in front of an audience.
If we could avoid being put in that position, we would.
But… that shouldn’t be the mentality!
According to the article, “If we want to be leaders or achieve anything meaningful in our lives, we will often need to speak to groups, large and small, to be successful.”
Public speaking is an important, learnable skill… we just need to practice.
Yes, it’s easier said than done so we’re here to help and share with you some useful tips!
Looking at this topic from a humorous perspective (instead of the usual serious and fearful way), we know that sure-fire way #8 is actually stating the opposite of what you should be doing.
You need to be smart and efficient when it comes to preparation.
The best public speakers invest a good amount of time and effort to create their slides, outline their speech or discussion points, and rehearse those to perfection.
This is a process that can take a lot of hours to accomplish, especially because of the editing and adjustments that need to be made.
It’s always best to come prepared. Investing time to edit and improve your presentation will pay off.
However, the amount of time and effort you put into preparing for your presentation is not directly proportional with how prepared you are.
There are instances when a speaker comes to a presentation with a hundred slides but must skip through half of those because of time constraint.
The speaker could have spent weeks working on the slides! And seemingly all for naught!
That’s a lot of work for something the audience won’t see.
Avoid wasting your efforts by keeping in mind the number of minutes or hours given for the event.
If you know how long you’ll be speaking, then you know the right amount of things to discuss and number of slides to include.
You’ll save extra time and energy that you can use to strengthen your points even further by doing more research. This also gives you more chances to conduct multiple dress rehearsals.
Here are other ways to guide you:
Clearly define the goal of your speech – Your presentation is centered around a main idea and objective. What do you want to achieve? What are the ideas that you want to express and share?
These are questions that would add more direction to what you’re building. It also helps you tighten your focus when preparing.
Identify the event you’re speaking at – The same presentation doesn’t work for all types of events. For example, a speech about financial management may not be as impactful in a non-business event. Knowing more about the event that you’ll be speaking at allows you to adjust certain parts to make it more relatable to the audience.
Using the same example, your financial management speech can work in a non-business event such as a school conference by adding parts that students can relate to! Adding these small details make your speech more engaging while keeping it in line with the event you’re speaking at.
Do not dwell on unnecessary elements for your slides – According to one of our previous tips on building visuals for a presentation, you shouldn’t spend too much time on adding animation transitions and extra clip art for flair. Stick to the basics of having neat and simple slides that your audience can easily read.
Use high-quality images, the right font size, and the right balance of colors.
Spend more time practicing what you have to say – While visuals are important, it’s simply an element that enhances your whole presentation. Your delivery matters too. Make sure that you connect with your audience.
Practice allows you to modulate your voice properly and set the right tone. You can also practice your gestures and find ways to improve your projection.
Observe proper time management – Taking too much time to discuss certain points is also unwise.
For example, you take too long introducing your main point. By the time you reach the point of your presentation, your audience is already uninterested.
Time your speeches when practicing. By doing so, you know which sections take more time, which will help you trim down or expand these parts for a better flow.
Great speeches are a result of spending a good amount of time honing your content and delivery.
By investing time to effectively prepare, you can create an impressive and engaging presentation all throughout.
Apply these notes on your next presentation and see the difference it makes!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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