Can you identify what each of these actions or activities have in common: 1. Motivate people to accept change; 2. Launch a new program; 3. Give a briefing at work; 4. Solicit donations for a charity; 5. Train people to use your product or service; 6. Unveil a new policy; 7. Give a sales presentation; 8. Introduce a speaker; 9. Calm angry employees; 10. Instill confidence in customers; 11. Honor a community leader; 12. Deliver new employee orientations; 13. Articulate your vision as a leader; 14. Review an employee’s performance; 15. Speak on behalf of your organization; 16. Call your dog by name.
The list could easily have dozens more ways that – you may have guessed – we make presentations, daily! Okay, “call your dog by name” is stretching it. But, there are many daily activities when we speak, that we present. Would you risk ineffectiveness in ANY of these situations? I’d love to share some of the best 50 tips with you from my professional speaking and training:
1- “Begin with the end in mind,” is habit number two of Stephen Covey. If you present to anyone, what is the purpose of what you are talking about? Keep your purpose in mind as you put the words together. See, hear and feel how you want people to respond to what you say.
2- Know what you are talking about! You don’t have to experience everything you want to say although it is always a powerful position to speak from. For example, if you are calming an angry customer, speak from the perspective of how you feel when you are angry. Feel, hear and see what anger means before you move to calm them.
3 – Know your audience. One of the worst presentations I sat through was as a member of a women business owners organization. The speaker was talking with us as if we were employees! Talk about missing the mark. Survey enough information about your audience to tailor your message.
4- Let the 76 trombones lead the hit parade. Both your first words and your appearance as you first speak are important in the tone you will set for the rest of what you say.
5 - Make a connection, build rapport, early on and through out with what you say. Tell a story, or use an anecdote, that has universal appeal, not just application to a few.
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