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Mastering Your Presentation: Prepare, Plan, Present ‰ÛÒ Positively! Highlights from June 28th Coachi

Tuesday, August 16, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesus Diaz
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Highlights from June 28th Coaching SIG: Mastering Your Presentation:  Prepare, Plan, Present ‰ÛÒ Positively!

Presented by Karen Schadow, President, The Voice of Success

With five minutes left to go, have you covered all your key presentation points?  Have you connected with the audience in a meaningful and memorable way?  Or, is the audience left waiting for critical information, knowing that you ... ran out of time?

Planning and organizing your presentation is critical to your success as a public speaker aiming to motivate your audience to action within a limited time frame.  Below Karen Schadow, President, The Voice of Success, shares the valuable presentations tips she discussed at the June Coaching SIG meeting.  


  1. Prepare!  Preparation is the most important step in giving a good presentation and in feeling confident in speaking.  NEVER go into a presentation or a speech thinking that you can "wing" it.  (Panic is sure to follow if you do!)
  2. Ask yourself, what does the audience want to know?  When planning your presentation, describe your speech in one complete sentence.  Then build your speech around that idea.  This will help to keep your speech focused and concise.
  3. Be aware of the Time Frame for the speech.  Less is More!  Edit for time ‰ÛÒ You can cover fewer points effectively in a 15-minute speech than in a 45 minute speech.  Plan ahead! 
  4. If Questions will be asked, put yourself in the audience's shoes.  Think ahead about what they might ask, so that you can Prepare your answers and not be caught by surprise.
  5.  In preparing, Define your speech: Do you want to Inform or Persuade?  Then, organize!  Use the Motivated Sequence:  Five steps which correspond to the natural thought processes of the audience:            Attention - Get favorable attention from the audience

    Need - Describe the problem         
    Satisfaction - Present the solution 
    Visualization - Visualize the results, either positively or negatively
    Action - Request that the audience take action or change their beliefs

  6. If you are reading your speech, type it in LARGE type, double-spaced.  Space out sentences on the page so that when you look down, you can find your place easily.  Complete the last sentence at the bottom of the page - so you don't turn a page mid-sentence.  And always Number your pages!


  1. Consider WHAT you are saying and HOW you are saying it.  Work on your APB ahead of time for maximum effectiveness.  Note and practice:  Articulation, Projection, Breathing.
  2. Again, Less is More!  Read and re-read your speech beforehand, and EDIT it often!  Plan for the time period that you are allotted.  DON'T RUN LONG!    
  3. For Power Point presentations:  "Less is More" is even MORE important.  Use the fewest words possible on screen.  Power Point should add to and enhance your presentation, not distract from it.  The audience should listen to YOU!
  4. Arrive early!  Give yourself time to relax and focus before the speech.  DON'T ever rush in at the last minute.  Check out the room, the microphone, the podium, the Power Point, etc.  Don't walk into any surprises.


  1. If you feel nervous, remember:  You are only responsible for Yourself.  You are responsible for giving Your Best Possible Presentation.  The audience is responsible for receiving it.  (Don't "picture the audience naked," as the old adage went.)
  2. To really feel confident, always use Positive Thinking.  Tell yourself: 
    • The audience is here because they want to learn about what I have to say, and they are happy to receive my knowledge and information.
    • I am happy to share my knowledge with this audience.
    • I am confident that my presentation will be important and helpful to this audience.
  3. START ON TIME.  Don't leave the audience waiting.  Check the time throughout your speech, so that you can FINISH on time, covering all the points that you had planned on.
  4. When presenting the speech, center yourself before you begin.  Take a breath, and make eye contact.  Stay in the Moment, thinking only of the speech at hand.      
  5. Be aware of yourself and your voice.  Listen to yourself.  Keep your Energy UP by breathing after each phrase.  Don't drop off at sentence ends.  Articulate!
  6. Your Voice reflects you, your personality, and your emotions.  If you feel confident and sincere, your voice will sound that way.  Believe in what you are saying.
  7. Remember ‰ÛÒ You are in charge of your presentation!  Don't let audience members interrupt with questions, if you prefer that they wait till you are finished.  Keep your presentation on track.  You control the time and the information flow!  This will keep  confidence up ‰ÛÒ both for you and the audience!
  8. Don't apologize - either verbally or non-verbally.  Nobody knows that you are nervous, tired, worried, or upset - but you!  No "nervous tics."  And Smile often! 
  9. Don't ramble on.  Know where you are going with your speech, and have a precise closing.   When you are finished, Stop! 

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