Public Speaking Tips Blog 1 - Preparation

If you’re a business owner or director, or if you work in business or the public sector, there’s a very high chance you’ll be called upon to present to an audience or speak up in a meeting.

That may be during a presentation to employees, department heads, or peers, to your new recruits at induction, to stakeholders, or to a room full of possible clients.

And even if you’re not formally presenting, it’s almost inevitable that during your working day you’ll need to present your case or point of view. If you attend meetings (who doesn’t!), meet new colleagues or even just chat at the water cooler, the ability to come across well through the way you speak and present yourself will stand you in good stead.

presentation preparation

Preparing for a presentation or public speaking event

First, here’s a comment from our founder and Managing Director Chris Dawes.

“Whenever you have to give a talk you should remember there are going to be three versions,” says Chris. “There is the talk you intend to give, the talk you actually give and the talk that you wish you had given. And we work with people to make sure there’s not a fourth: the talk you wish you hadn’t given!

“So as long as you are prepared, you can have confidence that you will get your message over and in the way you want to convey it, rather than worrying about the specifics, once we accept that these will change each time.”

Five public speaking tips on preparation:

  1. You know your topic, but if you need to do more research then do so – winging it is not an option!
  2. Prepare but don’t learn lines. Aim to have some bullet points that you can refer to (on cards, or a tablet). Never deliver a speech verbatim - less script means more of you. This is particularly helpful on occasions when you have little or no preparation time, as you will be adept at jotting down some bullet points to ensure you cover the key elements, plus any quotes or stats that you DO need to remember accurately.
  3. Once you have created a list of the key topics/points, make sure you have a really memorable opening and powerful close. Maybe start with “Once upon a time …” or a fact or anecdote that makes the audience sit up and take notice, and finish with a recap, call to action, and/or powerful closing statement - say last what you want remembered most.
  4. Make sure you are familiar with the venue – what is the lighting like, the acoustics, do they have the relevant IT?
  5. Pack carefully. Remember your laptop, leads, spare leads – belt and braces so you are prepared for all eventualities. You might even consider doing a dummy run to the venue so you know the route, likely traffic conditions and so on.

In our next blog we’ll look at what to do during your presentation or talk to make sure it goes well and achieves the results you hoped for.

For help, advice and training in public speaking and presenting, subscribe to receive future tips/advice articles/videos, or to discuss in more detail how we may be able to help you or your organisation, get in touch with the team here at Open Dawes Training.

We have lots more public speaking tips and we offer a range of training options including one-to-one coaching, group sessions, and in-house training on site. Our training is CPD accredited

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