Smart speakers—even experienced presenters—rely on a checklist to make sure they have all their bases covered before they take to the podium. Use these guidelines as you:
Plan your presentation.
- Know your audience. Consider age, language, abilities, knowledge, etc.
- Know your purpose. Is your presentation appropriate?
- Know your venue. What facilities and amenities are available?
- Know your budget.
- Know your timeline. How much preparation and practice time will you have?
Structure your presentation.
- Identify three things your audience should understand or remember. Then make sure those things are clear and memorable.
- Check your logic. Information should be presented in a logical sequence.
- Clarify examples. Offer sufficient evidence to illustrate difficult or key points.
- Consider handouts. Do you have enough? Are they relevant and accurate?
- Examine your visuals. Do they enhance or detract from the presentation? Do you know how to work them? Do you have a backup?
Practice your presentation.
- Check the clock. Can you deliver your key points within the time limit? Did you allow for audience questions?
- Read or recite your presentation until you can speak clearly and confidently and with sufficient volume and confidence.
- Eliminate jargon, clichés and timeworn phrases.
- Anticipate likely questions and objections. Prepare answers up front and practice delivering them.
— Adapted from “Become a Natural Presenter With This Simple Oral Presentation Checklist,” Lyndsay Swinton, Management for the Rest of Us, www.mftrou.com.