Public speaking isn’t easy but is a necessary skill for many in the business world. Whether it is a boardroom presentation or an update to shareholders/staff members, most managers will be required to present at some point. Here is a presentation strategy to help you to up your game.

Start and finish strong: A good talk is all about bringing your audience on a journey which should have a beginning, middle and an end. Make sure you have a great opening line / anecdote and a strong point to finish on. Your opening point might be to emphasise the topic of your talk. Perhaps you want to summarise the issues that you are going to address or maybe you want to identify a particular problem. Your closing should provide a brief summary of what you have covered along with a couple of key points.

Make it personal and honest: People love hearing a story and enjoy it all the more when it is well told and they can relate to it. Make your story personal and honest. Share your view and explain how you have addressed the topics that you are talking about. For example, a management skills talk shouldn’t just be about the theory. You should share a few war stories around the challenges that you faced in your career and how you addressed them, illustrating how you utilised management theory / skills along the way. Discuss what went well, outline what you learned and give those key learning points as your closing summary.

It is not about you: Your talk is not about you. It is about them, the people who came to listen to you. When writing your talk, consider your audience. What do they want to hear about and what key points would be valuable learning points / take-aways for them?

Stick to the allotted time: Generally, presentations are built around a tight schedule. If you are asked to speak for 30 minutes, then aim for 25 or 26 minutes with time for questions at the end, if necessary. Your audience will not thank you for running over (some even consider it to be bad manners) but they will never complain if you finish slightly early. The key is to rehearse your timings which will also help your talk to flow as you will be more familiar with it. After all, practice makes (almost) perfect.

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