You’re making a presentation at a meeting, a pitch for work, or requesting a raise from your boss… What’s most important for success?
When I speak to groups or coach individuals, I emphasis the importance of confidence. You need to feel confident when you speak and show that confidence. Fine, you might say, but how do I feel confident when I’m really not?
The key to confidence is preparation: knowing what you want to say and planning the steps in advance to make the listener follow your line of reasoning. All good speakers (and writers) know that persuasion is the key to communication. By persuasion, I mean that the speaker’s objective should always be to bring the listener to your point of view. How does this happen?
Before you speak, think carefully about your objective and what information you need to give to the listener. If it’s unbiased information, then plan your talk so there’s a flow and logic to what you want to say. But for most people, the hidden objective is presenting your point of view. Whether you want to teach or persuade, as a speaker you bring a perspective to what you say, so don’t lose track of this as you plan your talk.
Knowing what you want to say and the outcome you hope for will lead you closer to that key ingredient: confidence.
In my next Blog post I’ll be talking more about the nitty gritty of “Preparation”. So come back next week…
And if you’d like more tips for how to make a great presentation, come to my workshop on April 25th, 7-9 PM at Watercooler, a coworking space on Main Street in Tarrytown.