25 simple steps to prepare yourself for any presentation or speech.
Giving a speech either it’s five or ten minutes, is the part that we all could see and judge. However, there is much preparation, hard work and dedication require behind the scenes. I have developed a checklist to help myself and share with the participants who join my training.
Below is an expanded version of that checklist that can be used by speakers to prepare for any presentations.
1. Understand the purpose: what is the primary purpose of this meeting; teaching a subject, open discussion, influencing a group of people to make decisions on buying or using a product, project information etc.
2. Preparation: whether it is a known subject or not, it is essential to spend time, research and gathers plenty of materials. So, we have enough to talk about and provide different angles to the audience.
3. Research the audience: we can customise and adapt the speech for the audience at hand.
4. Prepare and practise the speech: Once you gather the above information, you need to prepare your speech accordingly and practice several times till you feel you can deliver it smoothly and effectively.
5. Familiarise with the venue: it is essential to check the meeting room for sound acoustics, computer and projector connections, microphone hookups, seating arrangement, etc. before the speech.
Delivering the Speech
6. Introduction and grabbing attention: a strong introduction is key to grab the attention of the audience throughout the speech. It is essential to explain the main points of the speech clearly and persuasively.
7. Logical: it is imperative for display the ability to present views logically so that it makes sense to the audience.
8. Confidence and Credibility: explaining to the audience, how our education and practical experience makes us qualified to speak on that subject with confidence. Also, use citations and references to add credibility to your content.
9. Use Stories: use relevant anecdotes and teaching stories to add to the speech’s quality.
10. Understandable: use the language that is concise, clear, relevant and meaningful to the audience. Also, use well-modulated voice and clear pronunciation.
During the Speech
11. Time-keeping: keep the speech within the allocated time. If you are in control of the content, you will be able to lengthen or shorten parts of the speech to fit the time accordingly.
12. Spontaneous: make sure you memorise enough of the content so that you do not need to read from your notes or screen.
13. Body language: use natural movement, active eye contact and gestures throughout the speech.
14. Voice Control: confident in yourself is the key; you should modulate the volume, pitch, and rhythm of your voice.
15. Persuasive: they use voice, body language and logic to effectively convince and persuade.
16. Positive tone: important to maintain a positive tone throughout the speech; this minimises any frustration you might have with technology issues (A/V) or possible hostile questions from the audience or any other factors.
17. Filler words: Avoid using filler words such as “ummmm”, “wellll”, “you know”, etc.
18. Impromptu: there will be interactions during the speech and the speaker should deliver impromptu and extemporaneous remarks effectively.
19. Spontaneous: make sure you memorise enough of the content so that you do not need to read from your notes or screen.
20. Visual aids: if needed, effectively use visual aids and displays without relying on them.
Finishing the Speech
21. Transition: transition is essential during the speech between the subjects as well as at the end of the speech to let the audience know that you nearly end of your speech with using effective transition techniques.
22. Q&A: some speeches may not require Q&A session; however, where applicable, allocate enough time and prepare in advance to handle a variety of questions from the audience.
23. Impromptu: there will be interactions during the speech and the speaker should deliver impromptu and extemporaneous remarks effectively.
24. Summary: Recap the key points, arguments to remind your audience what you have covered and persuasively remind them what action you want them to take on.
25. Call to action: the summary part should cleverly lead your audience for a desire conclusion; it could be supporting a case, practise a skill, buying a product, changing some of their habits or voting for a specific candidate.