November 7, 2007

What is your objective?

There's one simple step to ensure that your presentation stays focused and clear. Unfortunately, many speakers neglect this step, which is why their presentations drift, roam and seem to follow no logical path.

Determine your objective

What is the purpose of the presentation? Do you want to inform, educate, entertain, enlighten, inspire, motivate, or all of the above? What do you want the audience to do as a result of your talk?

I've noticed that the lack of objective is frequently seen in shorter, 10-15 minute presentations, perhaps because the speaker has chosen the path of information overload rather than cutting out the extraneous and focusing on the critical.

Start from the clock and work backward

Say you are giving a ten minute presentation. If your opening is 1-2 minutes long and your closing is 1-2 minutes long, that gives you between six and eight minutes for the body of your presentation. Not much, right?

If you have three main points you want to make in that time, each point will be between two and 2 1/2 minutes long, assuming you give them equal time.

When you break it down like this, you can see how critical it is to have an objective before you begin crafting your presentation - whether it's short or long.

Determine your main points

Once you have your objective in mind, determine your main points that serve that objective and meet the needs of your audience. In a ten-minute presentation, you will not be able to cover everything you know. So decide what's important to share right now.

What's new in your industry? What's new in your business? What are the top three things people should know about buying comfortable footwear, riding a mountain bike, getting a good workout, choosing a vacation destination or finding a financial advisor? Pick three and leave the rest for another time.

Get your objective in place and the rest will follow.

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

BlogTrump said...


I just found your post here through the Blog Rush on my site and wanted to say hi. Also I enjoyed your post.

Sharing Visions,
Phyllis, cherbizzz

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for stopping by, Phyllis! It's nice to hear that BlogRush is working. :-)

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