SBTM October 2015 - Page 33

EDITORIAL FEATURE Public Speaking – The Power of Preparation By Pam Terry O ne of the most powerful ways to improve your public speaking and to reduce nervousness is by simply preparing beforehand. You can virtually eliminate anxiety and become a “natural” and confident speaker by being prepared. Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So true! We’ve all ‘winged’ it a few times and you can do that, but there are several things that can go wrong. Because you’re not prepared you’re likely to be nervous, ramble, lose your place, or, worse, lose your audience, and without preparing, your presentation could be too short and, worse, too long. Preparation is KEY. Here are the main elements, then, for effective preparation: Step 1 - Identify your objectives What are the objectives for you and your audience? Do you want to gain people’s trust, have them buy something at the end, get on your mailing list, etc.? What do you want the audience to gain? Usually, a public speaker wants to make people’s lives better in some way. Become crystal clear about what your objectives are and not only will they guide you, they will also build your confidence and help you in creating your introduction and close. Step 2 – Begin your outline. Your outline has 4 parts – your objectives (step 1), an introduction, the body and your close. Your introduction and close will be tied to your objectives. You should have no more than three main points. You can have as many sub points as time will allow. What are the objectives for you and your audience? Do you want to gain people’s trust, have them buy something at the end, get on your mailing list, etc.? What do you want the audience to gain? Usually, a public speaker wants to make people’s lives better in some way. Become crystal clear about what your objectives are and not only will they guide you, they will also build your confidence and help you in creating your introduction and close. Step 3 – De