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Let me share four great tips for organizing your presentations and speeches. Instead of visualizing yourself getting up and making a big, important speech, think about whether you could be cool and confident just introducing someone else who is going to speak. My guess is that you would not find that intimidating, because it’s not such a big deal.
Four Key Components
With that in mind, I want to show you how to break down your speech into four smaller, more bite-sized portions. This approach helps you organize your thoughts and outline, and that makes the speech more clear and concise. Accomplish that and you’ve won half the battle.
1) A Compelling Hook and Opener
Identify the main point you want to drill home or the most important theme and message, and state that right out of the gate. Be bold and confident and speak loudly and energetically, which will also help you overcome stage fright.
“I have some exciting and powerful ideas to share with you today that you are going to be eager to implement.”
2) Make it Relevant and Strong
Frame the intro with relevance to your audience – and clue them in on the bottom line messages, to ensure that you capture their attention right away.
“The initiative you are about to hear about will increase our margins by 10% this quarter, boost revenues, and also help us take some pressure off of our budget.”
3) Offer Real Solutions
Too often presentations are structured as a way to sell something – an idea, a product, or your image as a leader. But a much more effective way to persuade and convince is to think about what your audience’s problem is, and how you can be their success partner by solving it.
When writing your speech or organizing your presentation, know the solution you are bringing to the table. Then outline it in clear, concise language.
Illustrate it with real data or examples that relate to the issues your audience is dealing with in their own roles and responsibilities.
4) Close the Sale
Now close out your presentation by looping back around to your intro. Restate the promise you made, the idea you said you were going to share that was so exciting.
Then issue a specific call to action, letting the audience know precisely what they need to do next to move forward and take advantage of the solutions you have mapped out before them.
Leave time for questions, prepare yourself with confident well-scripted answers, and you’ll have a winning presentation or speech every time.
Pick one of your role models or icons of industry, and find one of their presentations online. If it’s Steve Jobs, for example, look up a YouTube clip of him doing a product launch.
Watch it while paying attention to the steps the speech takes, and identify each of the 4 key components you just learned. Doing so will strengthen your own grasp of these ideas.
Then listen to speeches that bore you to tears or leave you glazed-over and confused. How did the speaker fail to follow the four keys steps? How would you rework their failed presentation to make it successful?
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified image master (CIM) and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2015, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS 1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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