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Guidelines for Presenting Take 4

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You know you have to give the presentation and time is running short. In the past blogs I have discussed: knowing who you’re audience is, gathering the data and statistics, and putting all the content together in a cohesive outline. Now that you have the basic data assembled in an outline it is time to add the finishing touches and add transition statements with Guideline #6. These simple statements are like adding the icing on the cake, they make the cake more enticing as well as a lot tastier, and provide that magical component to satisfy the taste buds.

Where do you add these tasty transition statements? In between all the components of your outline such as between the introduction and first main point, between first and second main point, between all the remaining main points and from the last main point to the conclusion. These statements help to bridge the gap from one point to another to create a logical flow to your presentation. If you leave them out the audience will not have a clear understanding of how the information is related and how all the puzzle pieces fit together neatly.

Here are some examples of transition statements:

  • Now that I have given you a brief synopsis of what will be discussed, let’s get into what leading factors have contributed to the current state of affairs. (From intro to 1st main point)
  • We have looked at how the current system does not fulfill all the necessary requirements, so now let us consider another possibility that will restore and extend the system capabilities. (From a 1st to 2nd main point)
  • In looking at these key requirements and how the solution to satisfy and enhance the needs of the users can easily be obtained without going over budget, let’s review the following facts…..(From last main point to conclusion)

Transitions are the like the mortar in between the bricks when you are building a wall, they keep the wall in one piece, each supporting the other to stand strong and resilient.

Now once you have added the transition statements the outline is complete and you are ready to start practicing. Guideline #7 is practice, practice, practice! I am sure you have heard the old adage “Practice makes perfect” and this is definitely true for giving a presentation. When I teach public speaking at the college the students actually go to a lab and video themselves in front of a camera and then watch the recording so they can adjust before they ever get in front of the audience. If you have that opportunity I would highly advise trying it out as seeing yourself on camera is quite eye opening ( a service I provide if you live within 50 miles of Santa Barbara, CA). Many people can’t stand watching themselves and have no clue what they really are doing when they are in front of a group speaking…the camera does not lie though and reveals all. If you can’t practice in front of a camera, then the next best thing is assemblying a small audience of your cohorts or team members to pilot the info with them.

Confidence is boosted tremendously when you are comfortable with the words you need to present and feel prepared and familiar with the content. Practice is the way to make condfidence present. Practice your speech with the full outline a few times so you know the order of your information and are familiar with your data and research. You want it to flow easily and provide a logical sequence so your audience can engage fully and not find fault with your logic. Keep practicing the information until you are comfortable and confident with the information. This will pay off in big dividends the day of your presentation and will help lessen the anxiety and boost your confidence.

Next week we will discuss how to deal with anxiety and putting it all together. Until then remember your words fill and create your world!

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