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The Sykes Group
2476-115 Nimmo Parkway
#196
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Tel: 757-427-7032
Fax: 757-427-0929

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info@thesykesgrp.com

 

Public Speaking

 

How to Prepare an Outstanding Presentation in Thirty Minutes or Less

(Seven Secrets to Giving the Impromptu Speech)
By Ed Sykes

It's 2 p.m. and your manager walks up to you with that look on his face. He announces that the company president wants you to give a presentation to him concerning the high profile project you have been working on…and he wants the presentation to start in thirty minutes. Now you have a look on your face as if you had just seen a ghost.

No problem. The following are seven secrets to preparing an outstanding presentation when you have less than thirty minutes:

  1. You Don't Need the Perfect Presentation
    Get started! Don't freeze expecting perfection. When you think you need to be perfect, this can lead to paralysis. Management realizes, because of the short time period, that you will not be perfect. The key is to work quickly, not frantically.
  1. Start With an End in Mind
    Ask yourself, "What do I want to accomplish with my presentation?" Do you want to persuade, entertain, or move the audience to action? Once you have these answers, work to develop your presentation to achieve these goals.
  1. It's About the Audience
    Ask the following questions:

     
    • "Who is my audience?
    • "What does the audience want?"
    • "What does the audience want to gain from the speech?"
    • "What is the level of expertise of the audience members?"

    Once you have the answers to these questions, you can tailor your speech to meet the audience's needs.

  1. Keep It Simple
    Don't be overwhelmed with information overhaul. Keep your presentation clear and concise by focusing on three main points. This will save you time when collecting your backup information.
  1. Make an Outline
    Create an outline of your speech. Depending on your own individual thought process, you may want to mind map, a freestyle way of putting ideas together, or outline. Outline your beginning, body with three points, and ending.
  1. Start and End Strong
    Concentrate on knowing the beginning and ending of your presentation. Feel confident in giving the beginning of your presentation, and you will become more comfortable giving the rest of your speech. End on a strong note because your speech ending will be the last thing your audience will remember about your presentation.
  1. Your Presentation Starts in the Mind
    Find five minutes before your presentation; go to a quiet place, if possible; and meditate. Think about the positive results of your presentation. Visualize your giving an outstanding presentation and how well the audience is receiving your speech. Also find a mirror; hopefully, in a private area; and look into the mirror and say any of the following affirmations:

     
    • "This presentation is a great opportunity for me."
    • "Every opportunity to speak is an opportunity for success."
    • "I am a great speaker."
    • "The audience will enjoy my presentation."
    • "I have something of valuable to share with the audience."
    • "I appreciate this opportunity to make a presentation."

    Note: Your affirmations become more powerful when you keep them short and keep them in the present state (Future state example: I will become a better speaker.).

Now that you have read these secrets, you have twenty-five minutes left. Remember, the speech will not break your career. However, being able to rise to the occasion and give an outstanding presentation can enhance your career, business, and life opportunities. Apply these seven secrets and you, too, will give an outstanding presentation in less than thirty minutes.

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Additional Presentation Resources

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How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking in Seven Powerful Steps

Coming to 0rder: Five Public Speaking Lessons Learned from Judge Judy

Presentation Skills: Seven Presentation Secrets Learned from the Academy Awards

May I Have Your Attention, Please? Five Ways to Retain Focus and Stay in the Moment

Outstanding Presentations Start in the Mind: Five Secrets for Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety

Explain Yourself! The Reason Why Excuses Sabotage Your Success

E-mail Protocol – 12 Simple Rules to Stay Connected

Common Courtesy Isn’t So Common – 10 Telephone Blunders in Everyday Business

Verbal Faux Pas – The Words You Use Can Empower or Confuse

Bite Your Tongue! 10 Ways to Be an Effective Listener

Five Secrets to “Thinking on Your Feet”

Ten Quick Tips for Outstanding Presentations

Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat" Will Help You Get Your Point Across! (Yes you can, here's the plan!)

How to Set Boundaries and Say No

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