Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

The SMART way to achieve your goals on stage is just an efficient preparation away! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]

October 6, 2021


―Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Time-bound. 

This term first appeared in an article published by Dr. George T. Doran for the November 1981 issue of the academic journal, “Management Review.” 

According to Doran, the main purpose of SMART is to help goal-setters create and achieve their objectives in an easier, more efficient, and more realistic manner. 

Do you know there’s also a SMART way to prepare for a speech or presentation?

In the book, “Successful Public Speaking,” author Arina Nikitina said that a SMART speech preparation formula will help you put together a great presentation. 

(Great Presentation = Being able to kickstart your talk captivatingly, deliver your message clearly, end your talk powerfully, and interact with your audience effectively.) 

This acronym stands for: 

Select your material. 

The information you present to your audience can be compared to the tip of an iceberg. 

As you can see from the photo above, only around 20% of the iceberg is visible above water. The rest is hidden below the surface. 

Similarly, your knowledge about your presentation topic must be greater and deeper than what you decide to share during your talk. This will enhance your credibility and give your audience an impression that you’ve prepared well for the event. 

Avoid making your listeners feel like they know more about the subject than you. When that happens, chances are your presentation will lose its appeal. 

To make sure that doesn’t happen, gather as much information as possible about your topic: 

  • Start with what you already know about your subject. 
  • Choose 1 to 3 major points then organize your talk around them. 
  • Find a unique angle to make your speech useful and captivating at the same time. 
  • Conduct additional research to strengthen your claims and supplement your presentation. 

Applying these tips will help you learn something new from your preparations and add to the mass of your “iceberg” knowledge. 

Map an outline of your speech or presentation. 

Planning a talk can be quite challenging, especially if you are starting with a blank sheet. 

“How do I start my presentation?” 

“What ideas should I focus on in my speech?” 

“How can I make my message work?” 

These are just a few questions that may arise in your mind as you prepare. 

If you’re having a hard time gathering and organizing pieces of information in your presentation, then creating an outline is a good starting point. This will help you highlight major points and bring together the elements of your speech in a logical order. 

Ideally, your outline should have: 

This 5-part outline is applicable for a wide range of presentations, from business briefings and conferences to fundraisers and social events. 

Add humor and personality to your talk. 

After mapping the outline of your presentation, the next thing you should do is write a draft of your speech. However… 

Make sure your script doesn’t sound like a detailed explanation of a science experiment. Whether you’re explaining a company’s profit or the latest strategic decisions of your team, let your personality, opinions, and sense of humor shine through your talk

According to Cameron Moll, a famous author, speaker, and founder of Authentic Jobs Inc., one of the ways to master the art of public speaking is to entertain and provide meaty content to your audience

Avoid corporate talk if that’s not appropriate for the context of your public speaking event. Keep in mind that your listeners should feel that you’re talking to them, not at them. 

Disclaimer: Only add humor to your talk where appropriate. If your speech or presentation is serious or formal, don’t force humor into it to avoid sounding awkward or unprofessional in your audience’s ears. 

Revise your script (if you’ve prepared one). 

Once you’re done writing the draft of your script, take a breather. After resting, check it again. Think about how you can improve it

  • Simplify complex sentences so that you have more pause-and-breathe opportunities to deliver your message. 
  • Use vivid adjectives and action verbs to make your sentences more vibrant and interesting to listen to. 
  • Add strategically placed Power Pauses for more impact. 
  • If applicable, incorporate stories into your speech or presentation. This will help demonstrate your point and make your talk more memorable. 

You may also include questions where appropriate to interact with your audience and establish a connection with them. One of the common question formulas used by speakers is, “Who has ever been/felt/did… ? Raise your hand.” 

Asking your listeners questions they can relate to will motivate them to open up to you and welcome your message. 

Tie the loose ends of your speech together. 

Make sure the ends of each part of your talk are tied together―you start and end with a strong statement, your introduction and conclusion are consistent with one another, and your visual aids are coherent. 

Be mindful of the transitions you use from one idea to another, too! Have a throughline to connect all your ideas together. This will help you deliver your message effectively on the actual day of your public speaking engagement. 

To summarize these points… 

Preparations go a long way in improving your speech or presentation. However, you shouldn’t only prepare and practice hard but also SMART. 

S – Select your material
M – Map an outline of your speech or presentation
A – Add humor and personality to your talk
R – Revise your script (if you’ve prepared one) 
T – Tie the loose ends of your speech together

At Valens, we make sure our teams’ dynamics include working hard and working SMART. This enables us to accomplish our tasks and projects efficiently and effectively. 

… and while the acronym used in business operations and the one used in public speaking are different, both boil down to this similarity: 

The importance of knowing how to work smart so that employees, staff, and public speakers alike can be efficient and effective in accomplishing their tasks and achieving their goals. 

If this formula does wonders in how we operate as a firm, then the public speaking version of the acronym will definitely give you an edge as a speaker, too! 

Apply the SMART speech preparation formula as you prepare for your next talk! 

With some creativity, intelligent planning, and consistent practice, you’re one step closer to becoming a brilliant speaker.  

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we’ll dive deeper into each letter of the SMART speech preparation formula! 

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!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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