Manage episode 301904282 series 2553835
Many people don't start out with a design for their talk. They launch straight into the details, especially working with the slides. The lack of design shows as the structure isn't tight enough, the points are nor clear enough and mostly the talk is totally forgettable.
Designing our presentation is a critical stage. We have identified our target audience for our key messages. We have selected the title to really engage our audience. We know the purpose of the exercise - inform, persuade, entertain, motivate to action.
Designing the conclusion is always a good place to start. The conclusion is really the summary of the key message we want to get across. Having boiled all of the various things we could say down to the one most important thing, we can now work backward and think about how we can get our audience to agree with our conclusion.
Usually three key points is easy for an audience to follow, but if the subject matter is complex or if you have been given a longer time to speak then five may be needed. There are a number of structures for how you present the individual ideas. It could be a result/problem/ solution structure or you may switch the problem to the start and then outline the solution and the consequent result. The key is that the structure flows logically to make it as easy as possible to follow.
Having derived the key points we are going to make, we go back and design two closes. One is for the very end of the speech. Having designed that close, we now design a different one to follow the Q & A session. We need this second close, so that we can keep the whole proceedings on track. We need to wrap it up in a way that the audience have our key point ringing in their ears as they leave the venue.
Finally we design the opening. The opening is the opportunity to break through all the audience noise - all their screaming monkeys running around inside their brains. This should be designed with great precision and delivered the same way. Don't digress or comment on something that has happened in the lead up, get straight into the opening and grab the audience.
Here are some ideas: Questions are very powerful for grabbing attention. Statistics are excellent because they are hard evidence and tell the audience this is going to be a fact based presentation and not just opinion. Something shocking is a good way to wake the audience up, so make a provocative statement and then explain what you mean.
We can always flag our central conclusion at the start and then spend the rest of the time justifying our interpretation.
The key point is don’t even go near the slide deck until you have done the plan of attack. Adapting a Japanese proverb, “more sweat in planning, less blood in battle”