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Guidelines for Presenting Take 3

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Once you know who your audience is and the reason for the presentation, it is time to get to work gathering the information. Amass the data, specifications and information you need to create a compelling performance while keeping your audiences experience level and demographics in the forefront of your mind.

Guideline Four is research your topic and compile facts, statistics, evidence, specifications, etc. and make sure they are correct and come from a reputable source. Many careers have been interrupted by false, incorrect information, even more so if the members of the audience know you are spouting lies or half-truths. Better to do a little more research and know the data is correct and current, then lose your credibility and reputation. If in doubt, leave it out.

Now that you have gathered the critical data it is time to weave the information into a compelling outline that presents the information in a logical, flowing and organized structure. Guideline Five is to break your information down into central main points and use subpoints that support and back up your main points. You can use examples, analogies, metaphors, stories, facts, statictics, specifications and other data to further your central point and show the logical association between main point and subpoint. If you have technical information that you are giving to a group of nontechnical professionals, analogies and metaphors can work wonders to associate technical topics to familiar things the audience already understands. Use your audience analysis to cite relevant examples and vocabulary the audience can relate to and comprehend.

Arrange the outline acording to the old adage of speaking:

 [flashybox type=”speaker”]          Tell them what you will tell them

           Tell them

           Tell them what you’ve told them[/flashybox]

Repetition is key in public speaking to get the audience to hear and know the content you are presenting. The members cannot go back and rerun your presentation unless you have provided a link for them, so make your points powerful, concentrated and memorable. Build your presentation into three parts: an introduction, body and conclusion. These parts follow the adage of speaking and will work to create a logical structure for your presentation.

Put together the main points into the body of your speech and then create a compelling introduction and a memorable conclusion. The introduction is critical to engage your audience and let them know what benefits they will receive by listening to your information. Be creative in your approach to getting their attention and closing your presentation, give the audience something that stands out in their memory and they can hold onto. One way to bring the presentation full circle is to tie the conclusion beck to your attention getter in the introduction. This can help to cement the information and creatively bring the speech into a flowing and logical conclusion.

Next week we will talk about the mortar that holds the presentation together and more.

Until then….be aware of the words you speak.