I hear a lot of reasons for why people do not want help with their presentations:
- “I don’t feel nervous in front of an audience.”
- “I am only presenting to my peers.”
- “It is just a staff meeting.”
- “I know my subject.”
- “I took public speaking in college.”
- “I use PowerPoint.”
- “I don’t use PowerPoint.”
- “I did not have time to prepare so I will just wing it.”
After their talk, speakers often justify why they are sure they did not need help:
- “I was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be.”
- “No one threw fruit “(yes, they really say this to me!).
- “My friends said I did a good job.”
- “They laughed and clapped, they must have liked it.”
- “There were no questions.”
- “It felt pretty good – I think I did okay.”
This is all good except nervousness is not a gauge of effectiveness, people don’t really throw fruit (at least in this country), your friends tend to say you do well, and not asking questions probably means they want the fastest way out of the room.
An effective presentation is one where you meet the objectives you set before you spoke.
In sales, this may mean an increase in closed sales.
In management, this may mean changing employee behavior.
As a scientist, this may mean increasing support for your project.
As a parent, this may mean a reduction in household tension.
In non-profits, this may mean more money and volunteers to accomplish your mission.
Before you plan your next talk, write down the answer to this question:
“When I am done, what do I want my audience to do?”
Plan the talk with this answer as your target and you improve the chance you will reach your objective.
The Speakers Academy is designed for professionals serious about improving their presentation skills. This five-part workshop focuses on the key elements of effective presentations: Organization, content, delivery, and visual aids. Graduates leave with increased confidence, are viewed as more credible, have noticeably improved skill, and enjoy greater success with their speaking. Click here for more information.
© 2010 iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.