Top 10 tips for speakers #2: Be Prepared – it’s not just for boy scouts!

In Tip #1 yesterday, we spoke about how a long, rambling presentation was boring and painful – but what’s even worse is the presentation where the speaker hasn’t prepared.

At first, the audience is embarrassed for the speaker  – and I’m pretty sure that’s not something you want your audience to feel for you.

But then, the audience reaction can turn to anger – because a rambling presentation means the speaker didn’t have enough respect for his or her listeners to even prepare something.

At a life event, it means that the speaker might claim to love / respect / honour the person being spoken about – but they couldn’t be bothered actually putting together some ideas.

At a work event, it means the presenter thinks so little of their colleagues that they haven’t done the basics.

It is almost impossible to deliver a meaningful presentation unless you at least know what you are talking about .. “Fake it ’till you make it” is not a sound strategy for a speaker – because at least one person in the audience is likely to know you are a fraud.

I know we all lead busy lives – but it is in our own interests to make sure that we are across the major issues in our industry, for example.

Because if you are called on to update colleagues or peers, it will only improve your standing (and prospects) if you’ve done the first two Ps in the oft-repeated  – PRIOR PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE.

And just because P-P-P-P-P is a cliche doesn’t mean it isn’t true .. over the years, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of successful presentations that resulted from the presenter ‘winging it.’

Yes, some speakers apparently present ‘off the cuff’ – but almost every time, they have material in their repertoire, and pull it out and modify it for the specific audience.

So when you are called on to speak, make sure you actually have something to say.

And the only way to do that is to Be Prepared!

Tolmorrow: To Memorise or Not To Memorise?

One thought on “Top 10 tips for speakers #2: Be Prepared – it’s not just for boy scouts!

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Tips for Speakers #10 – Putting it all together | Cairns Communications

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