Public Speaking: The Most Important Part of Any Presentation

Through your talk, you’ll provide information. However, you really want your audience to do something with that information. Even if it’s only that they think about what you’ve said and then smile. So many great presentations go off the rails because the speaker concentrates on what they’ll say, without having spent sufficient time on why. It’s vital that you know what you want your audience to do. Answer that question before anything else. Then build everything in your presentation from that base. For instance, you might want your audience to:

1. Know more about health and safety in the workplace, (you inform) so that they create a better environment for everyone working there (they act);

2. Understand Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) better (you inform) so that they can support their family or friend who has recently been diagnosed (they act);

3. Gain a better understanding of the wonderful work done by your charity (you inform), so that they donate to your organisation (they act);

4. Understand a film better (you inform) so that they can better answer questions about it on an exam (they act);

5. Be very clear about your political Party’s policy platform on Aged healthcare, (you inform) so that your audience of elderly people vote for you or your Party in the next election (they act).

For All Speeches and Short Talks, Answer These Questions

(1) Is your role to inform, persuade or entertain – or all three?

(2) What is the key objective of your talk? Write it out in a few words. For example, you might write: I’m giving this talk about _________ to _________ because I want them to:___________________.

In that last, very important, part of the sentence you must know what it is you want people to do. Two examples are:

1. I’m giving this talk about AIDS to the local Rotary Club because I want to raise money for a new hospice program.

2. I’m giving this talk about the new Occupational Health and Safety legislation to senior hospital administrators because I want them to develop appropriate programs to protect Nurses’ safety, state-wide.

Once you know what you want people to do, and why, it will be much easier for you to brainstorm the content of your talk. Your next step is to spell out clearly what you want the audience to do, how, and in what timeframe.

For example, if you’re keen to recruit more volunteers to help your organisation, instead of saying: “we desperately need more volunteers”, provide information about a definite task, a time and a place where they can help with that task. That can be much more motivating to your audience than a vague claim that you need volunteers. Why? People can easily see themselves cleaning up one beach on one Sunday morning with lots of other people. So spell it out.

If you want their money. Say so. Tell people about your amazing achievements, all done with minimal government help. Then spell out very clearly that the new building renovations will cost $120,800 because you’ve secured a special in-kind donation from Company X – valued at $Y. Then be even more explicit. You need to raise that amount in three months. Ideally, you and your group will have organized raffle tickets or some tangible means to raise money. If not, it might be that you’re looking for sponsors whose names will be placed on a special plaque.

If your talk has been about passing on knowledge – eg how to set up a small business – you need to be very clear and specific about how your listeners can learn more. Have some hand-out material for them as a follow up guide to more study, books (preferably yours) and multi media resources. Apply what you’ve told them in your talk: if you gave people an outline of the planning process, you could tell them to “start this very day with the first part of my plan.”

Then, because you’re a lovely person, you’ll tell them again what the first three steps were. Finally, let people know that you are available by e-mail or at a particular organisation to work with them through any point that wasn’t clear. Not everything in life is about marketing. Please don’t finish your presentation by blatantly ‘selling’ your advanced courses and your books and so on. By all means, include that sort of information as part of your introduction, and as part of hand-out material.

How a Presentation Binder Can Help Land Your Dream Job

It may be hard to imagine how something as simple as a presentation binder can make the difference between landing the job of your dreams and getting a “thanks, but no thanks” letter from a potential employer. However, in this competitive job market, you may be surprised at what a difference little details like this can make during the interview process.

Imagine the following scenario: You get invited to interview for the perfect job for you – the right company, the right location and the right level of compensation. The problem is that there are several other qualified candidates vying for the same position. Without question, you will need to distinguish yourself from your competition and the creative use of a presentation binder is a great way to accomplish this.

Here are a Couple of Unique Ways to Use a Presentation Binder During a Job Interview

Customized Brag Books. Often, you will need to demonstrate your achievements in prior positions during the interview process. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep records of any sales awards, performance reports or any other job-related accomplishments. Further, you will want to store, organize and present these materials in a clear, easy-to-read format. A sleek, high-quality presentation binder is a very professional way to share this information with the hiring manager. Not only will this show that you are a top performer in your chosen field, but it also shows that you are organized, prepared and respectful of their time. Further, the presentation binder will protect these valuable (and often irreplaceable) documents from getting lost or damaged.

Interview Projects. For many job openings, the interview process spans over a series of face-to-face meetings. In some cases, the interviewer will ask the job candidate to gather additional information related to the job or company in question. They do this to ascertain whether the candidate is serious about pursuing the position and to see the quality of work he or she will submit. Some candidates will remove themselves from the interview process by not completing the task at all, while others will take advantage of this opportunity to shine. If a hiring manager asks you to complete a task, think of ways to go above and beyond his request to really create an outstanding first impression. Organizing and presenting your findings in a spiral-bound presentation binder will show that you took the time to do a complete and thorough job.

This, in turn, is a great indicator of what kind of employee you will be should you accept the position.
In this tough economic climate, there are a lot of qualified people looking for work. Therefore, you’ll need to come up with creative ways to show potential employers that you are the ideal job candidate for the position you want. The effective use of a quality presentation binder is a great way to stand out from the crowd and show that you are professional, organized and ready to get down to business.

9 Ways In Which Presentations Are Like Meetings (And Not In A Good Way)

I spent many years in corporate life sitting through both presentations and meetings. I’ve also run a lot of courses on how to deliver effective presentations and how to organise and run successful meetings. One thing I’ve learned is that presentations and meetings tend to have a lot in common – and not in a good way.

  1. They’re often organised without any clear purpose or outcome in mind.
  2. They usually consist of one person passing on information to other people who have little interest in it.
  3. They usually take place because someone in authority decides they should happen, not because the people involved want or need them.
  4. The people who have to attend spend most of their time wishing they were somewhere else.
  5. Often, even the person delivering the presentation or chairing the meeting also wishes he or she didn’t have to do it but they had no choice in the matter.
  6. They nearly always go on longer than expected because no-one really knows how to bring them to an end.
  7. People are often expected to deliver presentations or chair meetings as part of their job but get no specific training in how to do it properly.
  8. There is technology available to help but most people have no idea how to use it effectively.
  9. Organisations develop a “culture” (which is a fancy name for “habit”) of how to run meetings or presentations and people copy what they see everyone else doing, which perpetuates the bad practice.

A cynical view? Possibly. Accurate? In my experience, definitely!

It amazes me how many organisations still allow poorly organised or badly thought-out meetings and presentations to take place, soaking up hours of people’s valuable time and costing huge amounts in terms of staff costs. They would see a great return on investment if they questioned the way they do things and just gave people some basic training to help them improve the situation.