Posted by: George E Burney | March 19, 2012

Public Speaking: How To Use Preparation To Cause Your Confidence To Soar

The key to a good presentation is good preparation. Being well-prepared convinces us that we have something worthwhile to share, and as a result, reduces anxiety and fear. This help us to be conversational in our delivery, which is one of the cornerstones of a good presentation.

The subjects we speak best about are those we know the most about…those about which we are absolutely convinced, about which we have no doubts whatsoever. We thus speak with certainty, and certainty is very convincing.

Those are usually subjects which reflect our personal experiences or deep thought, or both. Therefore, before doing any research, spend some time thinking about your subject. Mull it over.  Put your thoughts in writing as they occur to you, even if they come to you at odd times, and keep all of this written material in a folder.

Later, review and organize your thoughts on the subject. Decide on your main points, and the supporting details and documentation you need. Verify any points about which you may have even the slightest doubt.

Do research, if necessary, to learn much more than you absolutely need to know to speak intelligently on the subject. Immerse yourself in your subject until you more than master your subject matter.

This may seem like overkill, but what it actually does is provide you with a reserve fund of knowledge which, even if never used, gives your confidence a tremendous boost. Your audience will sense that confidence as you speak.

Prepare your outline. Afterwards, review the flow of ideas. Does is make sense? Is it convincing? Does it have emotional appeal? The thought you put into your presentation at this stage will determine whether it flows smoothly, from one point to the next, or not.

Anticipate objections your audience may raise, even if only in their minds, and provide the answers to those objections where they are likely to arise. You may even want to raise the objections yourself, and then answer them.

Prepare your introduction and your conclusion. Practice your presentation. Space your practice sessions out over time, to allow it to really sink into your mind. Continue to reflect on it, and make any adjustments you feel are needed for clarity or to add emotional appeal.

Time your presentation. If it takes too long, you’ve included too much information. Discard material as necessary, to keep within the time you’re allocated.

The real secret to giving a presentation which seems effortless, one which seems spontaneous and easy for you to deliver, is to put a lot of intelligent effort into your preparation.

Copyright © 2012 by George Burney and betterpublicspeaking


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