Preparing to Master the Stage
Start With the Goal and Work
In the previous point, we
discussed the importance of having an objective for your
presentation. Even though the objective is reached at
the end of the presentation, it should be the first
thing you think of. Your entire presentation will be
designed to get to that objective.
What are some possible objectives
to a speech or presentation? Are you there to inform,
inspire or influence? What do you want your audience to
do, to be or to have as a result of your presentation?
How will you let them know your intention, and how will
you get them to take action?
Once you have clearly defined
your goal, a logical next step is to prepare your
closing. How you close your presentation or speech will
determine what your audience does with the information
Prepare your closing statement,
or your “call to action,” and then consider what your
audience needs to know and feel in order for them to
take the course of action you recommend. Most audiences
are going to require more than personal influence to
make changes, to make decisions or to take action,
therefore, your presentation must contain compelling
arguments to sway them to your way of thinking.
After your goal is clearly
defined, and you’ve worked out your call to action, then
it’s time to decide what content will best convince your
audience to adopt your ideas.
Designing your presentation from
the end first is a good way to make sure you include
only the relevant information in your presentation,
because at each point you can ask yourself, “Does this
point help me reach my goal?” It’s difficult to answer
that question if you don’t know what the goal is.
So, what’s the lesson? Start from
the end and work backward to make sure your presentation
supports your goal.