Newsletter April 07
Does your presentation hit the spot?
W. Edwards Deming said that “By focusing on the first 15% of anything, the rest will effortlessly follow.”
Using this concept, if we focus on the first part of the presentation process, we can ensure that we have a presentation targeted to meet the audience’s needs. This means focusing on what we do before we start preparing – i.e. what is our purpose?
It is fairly common for people to prepare a presentation, having focused on what they would like to tell the audience.
However there are times when it is useful to look at it the other way round, when it is useful to S.T.A.Y. (Stop Thinking About Yourself) and focus on what the audience needs from you and your presentation.
The audience is the reason you are there!
For each presentation, ask yourself “What DOES the audience want or need from me?”
It may, or may not be the same as what you want to tell them.
Then imagine your audience completing a ‘Reflective Activity Sheet’*, after your presentation.
The sheet asks them:
· What are the main things I have learnt from this?
· What might I change as a result of this?
What would you like audience members to fill in on their sheet?
Then ask yourself the question – what would I like my audience to think or feel as a result of my presentation?
The answers you get to these 3 questions will then form the basis of the content of a presentation that will hit the spot.
Copyright Successful Speaking 2007
* My thanks to Specialist Education Services, Waikato, New Zealand for the Reflective Activity Sheet concept.