The Exceptional Presenter, Time Koegel, Presentation Academy

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If You Don't Look Organized, You Won't Appear Prepared

By Tim Koegel

If you don't look organized,  you won't appear prepared. 

Use your pre-presentation presence and demeanor to help build rapport, radiate confidence and reflect a high level of preparation. By being set up and prepared, you send a strong message to your audience that you are ready to provide them with valuable and insightful information. 

Thorough presentation preparation will add to your confidence level and ease some of the nervousness that typically accompanies a presentation.

Remember that the tone of your presentation is set before the presentation begins.

In order to create the best possible atmosphere for your presentation, implement the following 3 steps:

1) As you prepare your presentation, first determine the 1, 2, or at most 3 key points. If they forget everything else you say, what must the audience remember? Plan to state those points in the first 60-90 seconds of your presentation.

2) Arrive 60 minutes early. Use the first 40 minutes to set up and prepare. Use the final 20 minutes to meet and greet the participants. Learn more about the attendees, their interests and their expectations.

3) Begin the presentation with a 3-second pause and total eye contact with your audience. DO NOT begin your presentation while you are flipping through your notes, shuffling papers or grooming yourself (straightening your tie, buttoning your jacket, tucking in your shirt). 

If you tend to get off to a slow start with your audiences, take the time to evaluate how you are conducting your pre-presentation routine. Perhaps your demeanor is radiating negative impressions. Do you appear interested in the audience? Do your interactions with audience members appear relaxed and engaging or do you seem to brush off the people you meet in order to get back to setting up?

Try to talk with the leaders of the group. Make the conversations interesting and lively. If the rest of the audience sees you interacting with the group leadership in a positive way, your rapport with the rest of the audience will be enhanced. And this is before you even begin.

What your audience sees prior to your presentation can determine how much respect and attention they give to you.

Voice Mail Messages Are Mini Presentations

Every voice mail message is a short yet important presentation. In these days of go, go, go, busy, busy, busy, voice mail has become a dreaded yet essential part of doing business. Take two minutes to organize your thoughts prior to leaving a message and the odds of connecting on that message go up dramatically.

The same organizational techniques that apply to a presentation apply to voice mail. Identify yourself. Immediately define the key points you want the person to remember. Then provide a compelling reason for the person to get back with you.

Make it a practice to check your messages before sending them. If you sound unenthused or if you have used "verbal graffiti" (ums, uhs, you knows), erase and re-record.

Keep your message concise. Be as efficient as possible. Rambling is a great way to get 3-3-7ed. In other words, it's a great way to get your message DELETED.

Raise your hand if you've ever been leaving a voice mail message only to be cut off because you ran out of recording time. My hand is up. It's embarrassing, isn't it? If it happens, don't call back to use up more time finishing your message. Instead, erase and re-record but this time deliver a more focused and concise message.

Always state your name and leave your phone number, twice. Give the listener a fighting chance to write down your name and number. It's frustrating to suffer through a longwinded message only to miss the number because the person leaving the message shifted into hyper speed when saying the number. The listener has to listen to the message two or three times in order to write down the entire number. Many people will simply not take the time to listen to the message again. 

Make your voice mail messages count. Think of them as mini presentations.

"The difference between mere management and leadership is communication."    Sir Winston Churchill




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