First, decide on your topic, and in general terms, what you want to cover. This would include, if possible, the angle from which you’ll approach your subject. On the other hand, your research may determine this for you.
Arrange Important Points in Order
After any necessary research, make a list of the important points you’ll cover. Then, arrange them in some logical order. You may be able to simply look at your list of points and do this by numbering them in the order you desire. Some prefer to write each point on a separate index card and then arrange the cards logically. When you have listed them in the order you want to present them in, you have your outline.
Write out your opening words verbatim. They will serve as your introduction. Start with something the audience will readily agree with and will find interesting. Add whatever will help you move quickly toward your first main point.
Write out your conclusion verbatim. It should answer questions like these: So what? What should the audience do with the information you’re shared? What actions should they take? What was the point of your presentation?
Make It Smooth
Go over all you’ve done and smooth out any wrinkles. Make sure you can easily move from one main point to the next. Ask yourself: Will a person listening to this have a clear understanding of this matter when I’ve concluded? If not, insert whatever is needed to bridge any gaps, so the discussion will flow smoothly.
Now, practice. Read or state your introduction. As you cover the main points sequentially, look at each point in your notes, and look up and cover that point thoroughly. Then, glance at the next point and talk about it. Repeat this process until you reach your conclusion, which you’ll present just as you did your introduction – you’ll read or recite it verbatim.
Easy But Effective Preparation
As you review your material, visualize the audience. See their faces as they listen to you. If time will be a factor, time your entire presentation. Cut or add material as necessary to come within a minute or two under the time you’re allowed to speak.
When you’re satisfied with the presentation and your timing, there is no need to continue practicing it in its entirety, over and over again. Simply read over it, from start to finish, many times. This locks the flow of ideas in your mind. Now, you’re ready to give it before your audience!