Presentation Skills, Public Speaking

Clock’s Ticking: How To Succeed With A Last-Minute Presentation

Blog bites:

  • Know the outcome
  • Map out a CPD
  • Always add value

Have you had to present to a group with just one hour’s notice – or even less? It’s a scenario that challenges even the most skilled speakers. But it is possible to prepare a good presentation in a short time.

Perhaps your manager has dropped a presentation on your desk that they were meant to deliver, and asked you to ‘take the reins’. Or maybe the marketing manager hands you a printout of some PowerPoint slides and asks you to present them to your team after lunch.

Sure, you don’t have the luxury of a ‘crawl through, walk through, run through’. But before you hit the panic button, know that there are a few proven techniques to assist you in presenting well. When you master last-minute presentation preparation, you’ll add another level to your problem solving skills and public speaking abilities.

Here are 5 quick steps you can take:

1. Be clear on the outcome

We see this time and time again – the person who gives you the materials hasn’t considered the outcome from the audience’s perspective. They have thought, ‘these are the ideas that we want to sell’, but they haven’t used many audience-relevant frames.

Think about what you’d like your audience to KNOW, FEEL, DO and COMMIT TO as a result of the presentation.

2. Think on your audience’s feet

Think about the ‘why ’. Ask yourself, ‘Why should they listen to this/me? What’s in it for them?’ Build relevance by putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. Then flip it around and present the content in a way that adds value to your audience’s needs and expectations.

Your presentation will become more memorable, meaningful and powerful – putting you in the best position to engage and influence your audience.

3. Map it out

Chances are, you’ve been given a pile of PowerPoint slides with the typical linear, content heavy structure. Whatever the content of your presentation you can put it into a CPD map (Concept/Principle/Detail), which will make it easier to remember.

Here are three easy steps to create a CPD Map:

  1. Plan a clear headline Concept (like a book title)
  2. Support it with three or four Principles (like chapter headings)
  3. Link supporting Details/examples/stories to each principle (like the contents of each chapter)

4. Open with a bang!

Your opening lines should always be of interest to the audience. Whether it’s a startling statistic, a riveting story or some intriguing questions, they should be designed to capture the audience’s attention from the outset.

5. Always add value

If you have to use the PowerPoint presentation, always add value to the slides you present. Never just read them out; be sure to add richness and relevance.

And that’s all there is to it!

  1. Identify the outcomes that you want for the audience.
  2. Prepare a well developed ‘why frame’ to help them see the value.
  3. Chunk your CPD down so that it’s easy to digest and remember.

And you might just knock it out of the park!

You now have proven public speaking advice and the foolproof formula to develop engaging content in just one hour. But what about how you deliver it? What gestures, what voice tones, how will you use the space to create fascination, energy and engagement?

Over the course of the Mastering Communication program, Colin James and Erica Bagshaw will guide you to full presentation mastery, incorporating all of the elements of world-class communication delivery.

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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