Communication Skills, Presentation Skills

How CPD Can Save Your Life

Blog bites:

  • Have a clear concept
  • Break the concept into principles
  • Add supporting details

Many of us struggle to remember our content in a business presentation – leaving us feeling fearful or uncertain about what’s about to happen. And it means our audience has little chance of understanding and recalling what we say.

Properly preparing our speech, so that we can present the most important ideas, is the secret to mastering communication skills. It’s our starting point when developing public speaking competence.

The question is – how can we design our content, so it’s easy to remember and share?

With CPD.

What is CPD?

Paramedics use CPR to save lives. And when it comes to preparing a business presentation, CPD is like CPR! Why? Because it gives us a strong structure to work from.

The CPD hierarchy allows us to profoundly improve our memory recall – and support our audience in holding onto the information we share.

So what does CPD stand for?

C is for Concept

What is the overarching concept that you will explore in your presentation? What is the central theme or topic or focus of the conversation?

Create a very clear concept and write it as a headline. Because the rest of your presentation will hang off it.

P is for Principles

Next, break that concept down into chunks. That’s what the P refers to – your principles. Think of the principles as the chapters of your speech.

Aim for around 3 to 5 (and no more than 7) principles, so your brain doesn’t spin out from information overload!

D is for Details

The last layer in the CPD hierarchy is D, which stands for details. Once you have captured your principles, you need to add some detail to each of them.

It’s about fleshing out each idea, so you can make more sense of the overarching concept.

Why do we use a CPD hierarchy?

Any time you prepare a presentation, map it using the CPD hierarchy. It will give you a very simple and straightforward, logical structure to follow. Think of it as a skeleton, to which you add the meat of your speech.

Now you can forget about scripts and remembering a full-blown speech. Just pull out your map and start navigating towards the outcome.

With a CPD hierarchy, you’ll never be lost – and neither will your audience. They’ll emerge from the room with the information welded into their minds, and you’ll know you nailed your presentation.

In the Mastering Communication program, Colin James and Erica Bagshaw will delve deeper into CPD and other proven practices, tools and techniques to properly plan and deliver a presentation to any audience.

The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.

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