Preparation is Key!

public speaking Apr 25, 2021

Preparation. It's a simple term. Sometimes we do it well. Sometimes we do not. Have you ever run a marathon? I have not, nor is it a bucket list item. However, for the purposes of this conversation, let's stick with the marathon theme.

If you were thinking about running a marathon, you would not wake up the morning of the race and say, “You know what? Today is the day I’m putting on my shorts. I’m putting on a pair of tennis shoes I’ve never worn before, and I’m going to get out there and run 26 miles!” This would not be a good idea. You’re going to need to prepare for a while in anticipation of running a marathon. The same rules apply to public speaking. No, we’re not running a marathon but our body sometimes responds the same, especially if you have a fear of public speaking. Your body has to be ready. Your mind has to be ready to give a presentation.

How do you get ready?

1) You want to research your audience. This is necessary whether you are in corporate America, speaking to the PTA or at church, you want to understand your audience. Understanding the audience is also going to help you with the next step.

 2) Develop your objective. Determine the purpose of your presentation. You want to determine at the very beginning what you want the audience to say, do, feel when it’s all said and done. It is important to be really clear on your objective. Once your objective is clear, the other preparation becomes easier. You will now know exactly what chart or graph you need to include in your presentation. You will know what visual aids, demonstrations, or props you need to bring the content to life.

 These first two steps are critical in the preparation process and will dictate the remainder of your presentation's content and delivery.