February 27, 2007

How do you prepare?



Each speaker has her/his own way of preparing for a presentation. I thought it would be fun to hear how some of you prepare. I'll go first:

If it's a speech/keynote, I write out the whole presentation word for word. I work on it a couple of times over a week or so until I get sick of it. If it's an educational workshop, I start with an outline format.

Then about two weeks later, usually about two weeks before the event, I look at it again. More editing, then I take the thing down to an outline/bullet points. I refine some more, then forget about it again until right before the event. During this time, I also collect any props or visual aids I'll need. (This is not a PowerPoint presentation - that's a whole different process.)

About two days before the event, I rehearse the whole thing. I rehearse it three or four times in the last two days, then I'm done. Because the bullet points are there to trigger what's already in my head, it's not necessary to memorize it all.

I prepare the opening and closing carefully and practice those sections for maximum impact, but in order to keep things fresh and spontaneous, I don't practice the outlined sections too much.

How about you? You know I love comments, so come out of hiding and share your preparation ritual!

____________________________________________________
Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

4 comments. Please add yours! :

Robert said...

For me my method of prep depends on the audience and subject

1. Technical Presentation
I start with an outline of what I need to cover, bullet point it on slides and insert relevant equations/photos/diagrams. I try to use lots of flow diagrams (useful in science/tech) and then I simply practice it 4-5 times. In general I know the subject well enough that I do not need anything more than a copy of the slides to look at. Depending on how technical the audience are I will go into more/less detail. I always make sure that there is the same amount of time for a Q&A session as the actual presentation

2. Everything else: These take a bit more time to prep, but can have a lot more visual impact. I tend to use a lot less slides and instead talk most of it through, with pictures/photos/diagrams to enhance what I am saying. Less technical means that there will be people there for the sake of it (technical presentations tend to get people who want to be there to learn) so I tend to try and keep it more lively. These I have bullet points on hint sheets to work from and I tend to practice them more, perhaps 6-7 times. I also try to get feedback from someone completely unconnected from the issue.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for sharing, Robert! Anyone else want to jump in?

Matthew Cornell said...

Jeez, the process is a major strain for me. I'm completely uneducated in creating presentations, so putting one together (I'm thinking of a full-day interactive workshop I teach) was literally one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. Really. That said, it was extremely valuable to me - this one earned me ~ $25,000 last year (hey - I'm very good with that), *really* made me think about the work, and resulted in a version 1.0 that I'm quite happy with (for example, over 1/2 of it is hands-on activities).

The process took about 2-3 months and stretched every self-management skill I have, esp. around procrastination and perfectionism.

Clearly I need to hire you next time, Lisa.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Let me know when you're ready to put your next one together, Matt!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...