Preparing for presentations

    Preparing for presentations is an important step. Giving presentations is very common in business settings. Presentations can have a diverse range of audience, from small department meetings to international conferences and seminars. There are many reasons to giving one. At times, information must be shared and explained to members of one or more departments. In board meetings, it become a must rather than an option. In business meetings with clients or potential clients, presentations project an image of what the organization stands for and what it is capable of as a business. A good presentation can improve the image of the organization and its people, while a poor one could result in a misguided understanding of both. When planning to give one, you should consider the topic, the speaker, the presentation, the audience, and the venue.

Getting ready

Creating Outlines

     Every presentation has a specific topic. It is important to keep that in mind when preparing for presentation. The topic is central to the speech. Therefore, it is helpful to make an outline of the points that need to be addressed. From these simple words or phrases, sentences and finally the speech is formed. This helps you create a map of where you want to start and finish. It also becomes a small note to keep with you in case you forget where you are within the speech. It also helps you not to drift off from the main points, therefore, avoiding time loss and facilitating time management. At this point, two different approaches are possible when giving presentations. 

    The first approach is used by people who need to have a complete speech in front of them, practice, and memorize the transcript, so that they can feel comfortable during presentation. In this case, more time is needed to prepare for the presentation, so make sure you have enough time to do so. Accomplishing this task provides an estimate as to how long the presentation will take.

The second approach involves using an outline. The outline allows the presenter to address all the points and avoid missing items on the list. At the same time, it helps them follow the structure while giving presentations. It is possible to lose track of time, focus on one item for too long, or forget important points due to stress. But an outline can help avoid these issues.

Outlines are enough for innate speakers

    Another approach belongs to those who are innate speakers and find it extremely hard to preplan their speech. These people choose their words and therefore form their speech in real-time. The cannot be told how to say something. They only need to know what should be addressed. They create the speech themselves. In this case, only the topic and the points outlined in the beginning will be enough. These type of people manage their time as they give their speech, but it is still important to make sure they don’t miss points by focusing too long on others. They can decide on the presentation time or ask to be given one. The next step is to decide on the visual aids and equipment to be used.

Using audio-visual aids and equipment

    After the content of the speech is prepared, slides or other means of aids are in order. Preparing for presentations requires complementary materials for further engagement. It is important to keep audio-visual information short and memorable. Slides full of texts written in paragraphs are hard to read and require too much time and focus. This could shift the attention of the audience from the speaker to the slides, and therefore defeating the purpose. The purpose of the slides is to increase audience attraction through various means, but not to distract them from the speaker. Short phrases, sentences, or lists are enough in this case. Different kinds of charts, figures, and tables are also helpful in providing the audience with more detail.


    Sometimes the presentation is a short version of a much lengthier body of information. Therefore, they become complements to one another. In this case, the miscellaneous become the central point of the presentations. Preparing for a presentation that is based on predetermined information is usually a formal report.

    The audience may not have the time to go through every single point of the related documents, or they need to be convinced to do so. In such cases, handouts need to prepared before the presentation. They also determine the presentation structure, and help prioritize information.

    The best time to dispense these complementary information is before the presentation begins. The audience are already in the venue and they have a chance to look through the information, ask possible upcoming questions, and provide useful feedback. Thus, there is an opportunity for more clarification if needed. It might even encourage you to address an issue not included in the presentation before. Gathering information before the presentation gives more insight into the points that have to made. preparing the audience is a clever step to take in preparation for presentations.

The topic

    preparing for presentations requires more than having the information. It involves making a connection with the audience. A speaker has to make their point while simultaneously evaluate how the audience react. Sometimes they might even have to change their approach in how they are addressing them. Therefore, the speaker needs to be able to quickly respond to the situation in an appropriate manner. A speaker who has the ability to manage the pressure of the situation and the audience reaction is an ideal one. And having the knowledge and the information required to make the presentation, the speaker is ready to take the stage.

It is beneficial and at times essential to preplan presentations. The presenter can determine the topics, outlines, and different types of presentation aids. Handouts should also be taken care of prior to the presentation. Every action you take at this stage helps deliver a smoother presentation.

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