Here is the process I undergo with every speaking engagement:
- Begin with the end in mind - What is my final point or goal? What is the point of getting on stage in the first place, and what is the expectation of the audience?
- What are the steps needed to get from beginning to end? Knowing where I want to finish helps me put together the entire course from beginning to end.
- Pull together and organize content.
- Develop visual aids and learning tools as needed. The key phrase is "as needed". There may be a device that I really want to use because it's the coolest and latest thing, but the reality may be that it isn't necessary or helpful to reinforce the end goal.
- Rehearse, revise, rehearse, and repeat. There may be a story or joke I really want to use, but rehearsals may help me realize it needs to be cut. You may have noticed a theme of needing to remove something that isn't necessary.
Sometimes, there is missing content that needs to be added however.
I'm nervous no matter what I do, but I'd rather be nervous and prepared rather than nervous and unprepared. Oftentimes, the more nervous I am before a presentation the more prepared I actually am. It is when I am not nervous, even on "routine presentations", when I need to take a moment to think about what I am missing.
Leave a comment below. How do you prepare for a presentation? Do you find yourself using PowerPoint as a visual aid, or as a crutch?
RELATED LINKS:"TEDx Corpus Christi, November 8, 2013!" blog post
Buy tickets for TEDx Corpus Christi here.
Olivia's Dream Comes True (my first speaking engagement at a Christian Men's Conference)
6 Steps to Overcome My Fear of Success (happening right now actually)