There are many things to remember when you are preparing a speech and
- Peggy at Ultimate Business Expo May 2012
want to review it to be sure you’re as effective as possible. To help you focus, I’ve boiled it down to just three areas:
Prepare. You have an idea – or you’ve been given an assignment. Begin as soon as you can, to prepare yourself and gather your information. It’s easier to cut out extra information than it is to stretch when you don’t have anything else to say.
Go to the Library to check out books about your topic. Search for keywords on the Internet and read articles (beware the sources of that information). What blogs come up for those searches? Get a feel for the different blog posts from an author and read the comments. Follow the comments to read other peoples blogs about the same topic. Videos are an exciting way to receive information and for anything that’s a “how to” you can probably find a video on YouTube.com about it. Are there classes you can attend, participate in online, listen to an archived version or download from iTunes?
Now that you’ve got your information, you can group it by topic, place it in a time line, or whatever makes the most sense to you. If you need a refresher on organizing your information, go to my blog on being “Organized.” http://presentationpointersblog.com/organized
Practice. How will you be presenting the information? If you will be using any props (flipchart, electronic presentation, storyboards, etc) you must practice with them – including with any other people who will be presenting with you. Out Loud. Yes, you need to hear yourself, know how the words sound coming out of your mouth and any that are difficult for you, change them or practice to make them smooth. Will you be using a lectern? Microphone? Notes? You need to be comfortable with all these “extras” so you can continue to practice and put YOU into the message. Your gestures, humor, change of pace or tone to keep things interesting – all those things that will take you from the level of simply presenting to effectively communicating.
So how do you know if you’re doing that – communicating effectively? It takes two to communicate, so the last of the 3P’s requires another person.
Polish. The definition of “Communicate” that I especially like from Merriam-Webster is: to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood.
The way to know if you are succeeding is to have another person set to receive, and then discuss with them what they received and how well. This other person could be a co-worker, but if they already know the information they may not see what is not being communicated for some one unfamiliar with the topic; it could be a friend or significant other, but often they are clear in what you did not do well, but unclear how you could be more effective. You could do surveys or evaluations from your audience and over time you will improve. Also, check out Toastmasters clubs in your area: www.toastmasters.org
Consider hiring a presentation coach. Even if it’s just to review and polish this one presentation that you are preparing for, the suggestions will be applicable to many other presentations.
You have an important message to share. Do what it takes to ensure that it is understood.
(c) 2012, Kimmey Training and Consulting, LLC. Peggy Kimmey is a public speaking coach for business people. She shows clients how to take the “eek” out of public speaking and become more effective communicators.
Contact Peggy at www.kimmeyconsulting.com