PREParation is key! This formula will keep you from running in circles during your presentation. [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
Four Talk Styles to Avoid in Speeches or Presentations
Talk #2: THE RAMBLE
There are a lot of ways to build a great talk.
As many as those ways may be, public speakers or presenters still have to carefully choose the approach they use in their presentation.
This includes taking note of a few inappropriate talk styles that could tarnish their reputation as a speaker.
In our previous Speak on The Shoulders of Giants article, we talked about The Sales Pitch and why speakers should avoid that kind of talk in their speeches or presentations. Today, we’ll focus on another talk style to avoid: The Ramble.
It is difficult to travel if you don’t know where you’re going or if you don’t know the exact route you should take to arrive at your destination.
Knowing where to go and how to get there is important. Otherwise, you’ll end up just wandering around or taking more complicated routes when you could’ve arrived at your destination easily and efficiently.
This could also happen in speeches or presentations.
There are times when a speaker would get lost in his or her train of thought and end up rambling on and on without being able to emphasize his or her point.
It may sound something like this:
“I started talking, and then I kept talking, and then I lost my point, and then I didn’t know what to do so I kept talking, and suddenly I didn’t know how to stop.”
Tiring to read, right?
If a speech or presentation has this kind of flow, chances are it’s tiring for the audience to hear.
According to Chris Anderson in his book titled, “TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking,” presentations that are meandering and have unclear directions are a result of “underprepared speakers.”
This could be insulting or disrespectful for the audience. As Bruno Giussani, TED’s International Curator, puts it:
“When people sit in a room to listen to a speaker, they are offering her something extremely precious, something that isn’t recoverable once given: A few minutes of their time and of their attention. Her task is to use that time as well as possible.”
As a speaker, how can you prevent yourself from talking about irrelevant topics and going off course in your presentation?
- Begin with the end in mind.
Part of preparing for a presentation is having a clear vision of who your audience is and what you want them to think, feel, and do after listening to your talk.
Knowing this enables you to more easily align your message and talking points to your objectives. Even if you get distracted while speaking on stage, you can still steer your presentation back on track because you know your end goal.
- Have a key takeaway for your audience.
German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein once said,“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
As a speaker, if you can’t simply explain what your presentation is all about, how can you expect your audience to understand you?
If your audience can’t grasp the main message of your presentation, nothing you say will stick to their minds.
Create a memorable moment with your audience! You may either repeat a catchphrase, display a visual motif, or use a signature gesture that will make it easier for your audience to remember your presentation.
- Follow a presentation outline.
One of the ways you can prevent yourself from rambling throughout your presentation is by following this simple formula:PREP!
- Point. Start your presentation or speech by stating your main point or claim. This will enable you to capture your audience’s attention and compel them to listen to what you have to say.
- Reason. Provide reasons to explain your main point. Support your claims with evidence from research, facts, data, or statistics, as these will add to your credibility as a speaker and your presentation.
- Example. Give one or more examples or illustrations to further strengthen your main point and the reasons you mentioned. At this point, you may share different testimonies from scholars or experts to show how they share the same views as you.
- Point. Conclude your presentation by restating your main point or claim.
Simple and straightforward, right?
If you want your audience to get useful information, you have to put in the extra effort in your preparation time. Rambling during your actual presentation should not be an option.
Think about this: If 800 (or more) people are devoting more than 15 minutes of their time to your words, you really can’t just “wing it.” Show them that you value their time by delivering a great and memorable presentation.
Apply the PREP formula (along with other public speaking tips) in your next presentation!
Once you’ve mastered this way of presenting, you’ll be clearer and more concise every time you speak in front of your audience.
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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