How to Prepare an Outstanding
Presentation in Thirty Minutes or Less
(Seven Secrets to Giving the
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:
- 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.
- Start With an End
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.
- It's About the
Ask the following questions:
- "What does the audience
- "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
- 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.
- 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.
- Start and End
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
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."
- "The audience will enjoy
- "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
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
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Keywords: Ed Sykes, Edward Sykes, The
Sykes Group, Communication, communication Skills, Speech Preparation, powerpoint presentations, Presentation Skills, Presentation Skills Training, Presentation Tips,
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