Whether you like it or not, you are the “face” of your organisation to all stakeholders. Therefore, in public presentations (for example a keynote address at an industry gathering) you are in a unique position to enhance the public image of your organisation. As in all things, preparation is key and the following checklist and action plan will assist you to present with impact.
- What is this event all about? Does it have a theme?
- Who is in the audience? What is their profile? What are their interests?
- Who is speaking immediately before me and after me?
- What is my core message to this audience? (If you have more than 3 messages, your presentation will be diluted and will loose impact.) What do I want my audience to take away with them after my presentation?
- Is there a Q&A session? Or is it only a presentation? What are the likely tough questions I will be asked?
- Once you know the answers to the above questions, you can start preparing the presentation.
- It is best to write out your speech in full. This will enable you to edit your speech. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this, you need to have the main messages as bullet points on note cards. Number the note cards and take them with you to the presentation.
- If you have a communications division, it is best to rehearse your speech in front of a communications professional and/or a senior trusted member of your management team.
- If you can videotape your presentation and play back, you will learn what changes to make to enhance the effectiveness of your speech / cut down distractions.