Planning, Organizing and Practicing Your Presentatioin


I assume you’ve been to, listened to or at least heard of TED talks. Last week at TEDxMileHigh I was exposed to 26 speakers; that’s 26 different styles and topics presented in 15 or fewer minutes,  in one and a half days!

What I noticed:

  1. Everyone was extremely organized and prepared – they have to be.
  2. Non-verbal communication wasn’t at the top of their list; that was a disappointment.
  3. Humor was scattered in almost everyone’s topic from airplane travel to community activism.
  4. The speakers incited interest at some level; educated and enlightened me.
  5. Each person had a story to convey.

Not everyone is a TED talk candidate, and yet the lessons learned impact your next presentation.

  1. Plan, organize and practice.
  2. Move; animation is good energy at the lectern or other, no matter how big your “platform.”
  3.  Laughter is good for the soul. When you get people to laugh you have them in the palm of your hand; you don’t have to be a comedian to convey humor; non-verbal humor creates a great visual.
  4. Why does your topic interest me, the listener? What benefits or excitement do I get from your information?
  5. Tell me a story. We grew up on stories; we relate to them in various ways – directly or indirectly.
  6. Too many facts and not enough flavor make for a dull presentation; mix up stats with story, story with humor, and humor with data.

Planning, organizing and practicing are three paramount activities before every presentation. Plan your message: what’s the point? Why does your audience want to listen? What’s its benefit and value? Organize it: a strong opening and closing cement attention,  with stories and major points in the body. Practice it: It doesn’t matter if you’re a  15 minute TED talk presenter or an hour-long policy and procedure presenter: Practice, practice, practice.


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