Oct 16, 2018
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking we are not creative. Or that we have nothing to say beyond the basics of our message. Or that writer's block is impenetrable. Or that we are just going to bore our audience.
That can happen because we take our own experiences for granted. We think our lives are just boring or normal. The reality is we all have a unique assortment of experiences -- some big and some small. We just forget about them or write them off as they pass, and then we forget about them when they could be helpful to us as speakers.
Back in Episode 024, I challenged you to take 5 pictures a day to flesh out your personal library of photos to use in future presentations.
This week, I say write down something interesting that you saw, did, or learned. It doesn't have to be a big deal or something anyone else would care about. Just do it daily. at the end of a year, you'll have hundreds of theses observations and tidbits that you can incorporate into a presentation as an aside, to illustrate a point, to build rapport with the audience, or any number of other rhetorical tools.
Best of all, it's a personal list. It's a list of things that you found interesting. That makes it even easier to speak with passion.
Over the past couple years, I've talked about a lot of strategies and tactics to make you a more effective presenter. Today we take a step back and look at the broader framework of how theses elements fit together.
The Six Ps of Presenting are:
In Preparation, you define your goals, figure out the messages you want to land to get there, reseach your audience, consult with subject matter experts, figure out where and what type the venue is, understand the timing, and more. Basically you get all the knowledge you'll likely need. At the end of this phase, you'll have an out line for your talk and know how you plan to work with the speaking environment.
In Production, you open up PowerPoint and build your slides. You assemble other visual aides. You get the signage and handouts together, if relevant. Basically, you are assembling all the gear and intellectual property you need for the presentation.
In Practice, you practice your presentation. try to make it as real world as possible. Stand up. Use your slides. Execute your demos, Then do it again. Fix problems you encounter with the material and practice some more.
In the Preshow Inspection, you visit the venue before you speak -- preferably the day before. you want to make sure it is setup right. Ensure you understand how to hook up the projector, if needed. Confirm any sound system you need works. Make sure you know how to work the room lights. Basically, figure out if there are any problems with the space so you can fix them before it's time to start presenting.
Then Present at the right time. start and finish on time. wow your audience. Move them to take the action you want them to take. This is what it's all been leading up to.
Finally, do your Post-Mortem. What went well? What didn't go well? What do you want to do differently next time? What action items did you commit to? Do this as soon as possible because otherwise the details will slip away. Take all that you learn and feed it back in to your next presentation.