In the word of Maria from the The Sound of Music:
“Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you begin with abc, when you sing you begin with do, re, mi…”

When you prepare a presentation you begin with an objective. It is a simple step that is overlooked constantly.

I often ask people in my workshops how they start their presentations and they tell me that they open a PowerPoint document and start typing. Before you know it, they have 40 slides of information and no objective.

Here are three steps to setting a killer objective for your next presentation.   How to write a speech.

1. Ask yourself what it is that you want?
When I ask this question a lot of people say, “I don’t know, I was just asked to give a talk.”

There should always be an objective. You may be trying to persuade the audience on a course of action, reassure them that the project is running to time or maybe you just want to get noticed in order to further your career.

2. Dig a little deeper…
Another thing I hear a lot of is: “I want to tell them or inform them of ‘x’.”

“Ok,” I say, “Why? What is it that you want the audience to do, say, think or feel?” Get specific and remember the thing that stops most of us from doing anything is how we feel. Ever found yourself saying “Hmmm I dunno, it just doesn’t feel right.” So don’t forget to address their feelings as well.

3. Create an umbrella statement
An umbrella statement is one sentence that encapsulates your talk.

What is your umbrella statement?

Here are some examples:

• ”I want them to sign off on this proposal”
• ”I want them to be confident and competent forklift operators”
• ”I want them to be able to recognise occupational risks and know what to do about them.”

This then becomes your umbrella statement and everything else can be included underneath the umbrella. This ensures your presentation stays focused and you stay on task. It’s easy then at the end of your presentation to go back to your objective and conclude with passion.  So that’s how you write a speech.

Sharon Ferrier
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All Good Presentations Start With a Confident Speaker

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