How to prepare a good presentation and continuously work on becoming a better speaker?
Preparing a presentation
Having conducted training on public speaking for many years, I have come across an interesting phenomenon. Participants associate the word “presentation” with a popular computer software, which means that preparing a speech is limited to creating slides. Following this train of thought, the slides replace notes, and the role of the presenter boils down to reading the texts from the slides. One can imagine the audience’s reaction when they have to go through 50 slides or even more in a short period of time. What results from this type of presentation? Not much. Is it worth organizing a meeting in such a situation? Perhaps it would be better to send the slides to the audience to read? Does this mean that visualization doesn’t matter? Of course, it is valuable to use visualization effectively, but when preparing a presentation one should begin by asking these key questions.
- Why am I doing this? – What should be the result of my presentation?
- What do I want to say? – What information and arguments should I convey to the audience to achieve the desired result? What presentation scenario should I adopt to speak well and have the audience receive my narrative well?
- How much is enough? – How long will my presentation last?
- How am I going to do it? – And only now is it worth asking the question: “How can I reinforce my message with appropriate visualization?” “How can I engage my audience?”
Regardless of the purpose of the presentation, providing answers to these questions is the first step in preparing a good performance and progressively working towards becoming a better speaker. Often, students or training participants say that they like to improvise. I do too, but as Mark Twain said, “Good improvisation requires two weeks of preparation.”
dr Małgorzata Mitoraj-Jaroszek