Disappointed? My dinner mates were. It’s too simple. Not sexy. Needs to be an anagram or something. Use a logo maybe.
One mate even said being prepared isn’t even a secret. Sadly, it is to a lot of people. Think about how many presenters you’ve listened to, either in group setting or large auditorium, who didn’t look or sound prepared. The introduction didn’t communicate or suggest the objective of the presentation. During the pitch, the speaker went off on tangents that didn’t make sense. Their technique – the body, their gestures, eye contact – didn’t match the words. Personally, I think it’s a big insulting if the presenter isn’t 101% prepared.
Another mate said the best secret was a proper rehearsal. I disagree. If the speaker hasn’t 1) linked the presentation to both their objectives and outcomes, 2) considered the expectations and mindset of the audience to shape the conversation, nor 3) simplified the message to make it relevant and compelling … then, all the rehearsal in the world will not help. The mind must be prepared first, then the body. You can’t reverse it.
How do you prepare?
Get your mind organized, which in turn, will organise your presentation. How? Use a creative brief.
I wrote a post previously on the importance of a creative brief, but the words ‘creative brief’ relegates it to brainstorms. The basic elements of a brief, adapted slightly, can be just as invaluable for you to deliver an important presentation to an influential and demanding audience.
The six vital questions of a presentation are as follows.
1. Goal. What are you trying to do? What’s the point of the speech or presentation?
2. Issues and Context. Why can’t you achieve this goal? What’s happening which may prevent this from occurring? Or, is there a trend or opportunity to be leveraged?
3. Audience. Who’s your intended audience? Why are they there to listen to you?
4. Mindset. What do they think now? Why do they think that? Whatever they believe is true to them.
5. Messages. What are you going to say? What messages will change their minds?
6. Action. What are you going to do? What do you suggest? What action – explicit, exact – do you want the audience to take?
Once your thoughts in order, start to think about the right introduction to set up your purpose, and the right summary to bring the presentation to a close.
(Note: a year later, I wrote a longer post on this same topic in date, entitled How To Prepare a Presentation in Six Questions.)
Anything else you’d add – in terms of organising your thoughts – to be prepared?