3 key considerations of effective presenting

Public speaking is about connecting with your audience—and making it worth their while. Consider this essential trio as you prepare and deliver your talk.

Smile, breathe, tell a story, keep your hands out of your pockets, imagine your audience naked.

These classic public speaking tips are all sound advice (except the last one), but this list is incomplete. Effective presentations require more, yet less.

The secret to giving a memorable speech lies in connecting with your audience and adding value to their lives. Your audience should understand with absolute clarity why it was so important—for them—to hear you speak.

To achieve your moment of clarity and connection, focus on three things:

1. What?

Your personal “what” must derive from the impact you will have on your listeners’ lives.

If you don’t intend to make a tangible difference in your audience’s professional or personal lives, you are wasting their time.

2. So what?

Why should the crowd care about your message?

Assume everyone in attendance is thinking:

  • How will this message affect me?
  • What do I gain if I listen and act on what you say?
  • What’s the big deal if I don’t listen and act?

· What exactly is the benefit of listening to you, and what is the penalty for not listening?

3. Now what?

What should your listeners think? What should they feel, and what should they do?

If you haven’t answered these questions throughout your presentation, it’s likely you have wasted their time and yours. If you have, then you are among the elite communicators who deliver the one thing every audience looks for—the moment of truth.

Maurice DeCastro is the founder of Mindful Presenter.

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