Presenting Yourself and more . . .

The Presentation Begins When You Book the Date

The preparation for any successful meeting or presentation starts the moment the date gets marked on the calendar. That’s when the real work begins.

Determine Your Goal

First, establish your goal for the presentation. What are you trying to achieve? You are most likely making a presentation to persuade your audience to take some sort of action. For an internal audience, it could be to approve a product launch or next year’s budget. For an external audience, you might want them to sample or buy your services.

Audience Analysis

Determine the profile and information needs of your audience. Be sure to discuss this with your conference organizer. Armed with this information, you will highlight the long-term and short-term benefits early in your presentation. Anticipate objections and be ready with the solutions that will turn a no into a yes.

Ask Questions

It always amazing when speakers don’t ask the meeting organizer questions about the audience in advance of writing their presentations. Let’s start with the most obvious one:

Time, Date and Place

This sounds almost too obvious to mention. But be sure you have marked the correct time, date and place on your calendar. Find out who else is speaking that day and their topics. You don’t want to duplicate their content. We’ve all been at conferences where the unlucky last speaker began his presentation with, “Well, Mr. Jones just gave my speech!”

Ask who will introduce you. Then, ask if you can write your introduction, keeping it short and highlighting your benefits to build positive feelings about you before you even start to speak.

Find out how much time you have and don’t exceed it. Nothing will alienate an internal client or conference organizer more than that – except not delivering on the topic you promised!

In our next post, we will discuss how to inform, persuade and entertain your audience during the presentation.

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