This follows on from ' Planning a Management Presentation ,' which explained how to create an outline plan based on your aim, audience, key message statement, and the key points that support this message.

' Planning a Presentation ' describes a four-stage process:

1. Identifying your aim
The first stage of the planning process is to decide on the precise aim of your presentation. This focuses your mind on what it is that you are trying to achieve.

2. Knowing your audience
It is essential to know your audience and to make sure that your presentation takes account of their existing knowledge. Audience profiling can help you with this, but you also need to use common sense and experience.

3. Defining your key message statement
You can only expect your audience to remember one key message or theme. This should be summarized in a key message statement , which forms the title of your presentation.

4. Outlining the scope
A presentation needs three to five key points to support the key message statement. The most efficient way to decide on these is to use a mind map to get all of the possible content documented and then to create your key points based on your aim, audience, and the key message statement.

Once you have completed these four steps, you will be in a position to create a presentation that is well structured, clear, and concise. This eBook describes this process in detail using the example that was introduced in ' Planning a Presentation ,' so please read that eBook before reading this one.

Preparing your presentation

At the end of the planning phase you will have an outline scope that will form the basis for writing the detailed content. You now have to decide exactly what you will say and how you will structure the key points to ensure that your audience walks away from your presentation having understood your key message.

The amount of time you allocate to this stage will depend on how important the presentation is and how much time you have available. You will usually be able to spend significant time on content preparation for high-impact presentations because of their importance to you and your department. These presentations are usually to your senior management or external groups (outside your team, reporting structure, or organization, e.g. users, suppliers) and are often repeated several times during the decision-making process. So, the better prepared your content is the more persuasive your argument will be.

Preparing presentations

Most of the presentations you give will probably be fairly low-key and will involve keeping your team up to date with progress, new working practices, and procedures. Whilst it can be difficult to justify spending much time preparing for these types of presentation, you should still follow the five-stage process described in this eBook because if information is significant enough to warrant being presented, then it should be presented in a way that is as clear and concise as possible.

Remember, the competencies you display during presentations can help your career prospects, particularly if you can show that you are a persuasive speaker.

Taking the time to prepare your content properly will ensure:
• Your argument is well structured
• Your key message statement is understood
• Your visibility is maximized
• You gain the support you need.

You may also be interested in:
Repetition and Timing | Your Presentation Aim | The Five-Stage Format | Preparing the Main Body | Key Point Guidelines | Finalizing the Main Body | Preparing Your Pre-Introduction | Preparing the Introduction | Preparing the Summary and Conclusion .


Key Points

  • This eBook follows on from 'Planning a Presentation,' which explained how to create an outline plan based on your aim, audience, key message statement, and the key points that support this message.
  • This eBook explains how to decide exactly what you are going to say and how to structure the key points.
  • The competencies you display during presentations can help your career prospects, particularly if you can show that you are a persuasive speaker.

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