Whether you are speaking for 10 minutes or 2 hours, a detailed outline or word-for-word script is the first step in creating a killer presentation. When you write out exactly what you plan to say, you create a tool that will allow you to flesh out your ideas, order your thoughts into logical sequence, and create the kinds of memorable phrases and imagery that make even a run-of-the-mill presentation sparkle.
Don’t, however, make the mistake of attempting to memorize your script or planning to read it during your actual presentation. Instead, use it as a foundation as you rehearse and refine your presentation.
Compose the document with your listeners’ needs in mind rather than your own. Lead with a point or thought that immediately involves your audience, such as a rhetorical question, a customer testimonial or a common misconception. Next identify the opportunity or problem your listeners are most focused on and then offer your solutions, filling in details and asking the audience to act in response to what you say.
Before you consider your script complete, put it to this test: Have you addressed the audience’s concerns in their own terms? Did you present a clear solution? If you can answer “Yes,” then you are ready to succeed.
— Adapted from “Tools and Tips for Quick, Slick Presentations,” Chuck Green, www.ideabook.com.
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