My boss requested me to speak at a Rotary breakfast, network and present the business offerings. At the time, I worked in human resources. I didn't think much about it, and thought I could go and just present! I got there and started to get a little nervous. I remember being chosen first. It started strongly in the first 30 seconds, then went downhill. Everyone was super encouraging and friendly, but I knew I had failed. I had not prepared.
For any great communicator or leader, storytelling is an essential skill. Stories allow us to visualize, empathize, and connect in ways that statistics never could. - Simon Sinek
Focus On Core Message
You want to create interest. You will want to capture attention by using a story that piques the audience's interest. You could use a new item, your own experience or a question.
Take time to write down why you are there, what people expect you to talk about, and the problem you are solving for them. Once you have this, you can start crafting your main message.
Crafting Your Message
Your message should have an introduction, middle and conclusion. It doesn't matter if your talk is less than five minutes or half an hour. The talk should expand on what you are ‘presenting’ and can help them personally.
Developing stage presence can be intimidating at times. Here are a few tips to help you relax. Do specific research on those in the media, turn off the sound and watch their body language…what did you note? Their facial expressions? Hand placement? Body positioning? Good speakers will show open body language. At the same time, you speak, smile and make eye contact moving your head occasionally from one side of the room, then to the middle, then to the other. Hands are contained and moving with the body.
Body language is the unspoken part of communication that we use to reveal our true feelings and to give our message more impact. Communication is made up of so much more than words. Nonverbal cues such as tone of voice, gestures and posture all play their part. - Mindtools.com
Powerpoint Presentation 10-20-30 Rule.
After sitting through hundreds of pitches, Guy Kawasaki, marketing guru, entrepreneur and former Apple brand ambassador, surmised that when using PowerPoint, use the 10/20/30 Rule. What is this exactly? Use ten slides. Using more than that can overload your listener, especially if you are making a pitch. Twenty minutes should cover the display of the slides. If you give an hour’s appointment, make leeway for those that are late, need to use the restroom or make urgent calls. Your PowerPoint slides should contain a thirty-point font, so you are only typing in the main points and filling in the more minor issues while you speak.