Preparation is critical to my success, whether I’m delivering a workshop or speaking to a roomful of my ideal clients. And whenever I get ready to speak in those situations, I like to take a step back and plan my dance moves… I like to call it my ‘choreography’.
This week I’m delivering two Audit Report Writing workshops to a new client. Because it’s the first time I’m delivering a full workshop(s) to them, it’s important that I get it right.
I’ve invested time getting to know the client and their staff, I’ve tailored the training material to their audit methodology, and I’ve gotten the stamp of approval from the Head of Internal Audit to deliver the workshops.
There’s one thing left to do before I go ‘on stage’: make sure I am ready to seamlessly move from one key message to the next, change from one slide to the next, and transition from topic to topic.
Here are 7 of the strategies I use to prepare myself for any presentation or speech, which I share in more detail in my Preparing Powerful Content workshop:
- Plan the first section of your presentation carefully. I still do it for my Audit Report Writing workshop, even though I’ve delivered it well over 50 times.
- Identify the relevant aspects of your experience and qualifications to resonate with that particular audience. This will create instant credibility during your self-introduction.
- Plan the key messages for every slide. Include supporting anecdote/example/comparison, and timing.
- Identify the ‘Ah-a moment’ of each slide in the body of your presentation. If there isn’t one, don’t show the slide.
- Plan the transitions between slides and topics. Use signposting language to take your audience by the hand with you.
- Know what you can cut out per slide and overall. Flexibility is key, and the audience shouldn’t feel that you are cutting anything out even if you are.
- Plan your conclusion. Skip the ‘Thank you for your attention’ slide and instead, focus on your main messages and call to action.
Why choreograph your next presentation?
When you are clear on these things, you can deliver with confidence and authenticity. Planning may take you 5 minutes, 50 minutes or 5 hours. Regardless, you will be far more successful, and your audience is much more likely to benefit from your messages if your choreography is mapped out before you put on your dancing shoes and step onto the stage.
Wishing you much success in your next presentation, speech or workshop!
All the best,
Quality Assurance Communication