Monday, July 6, 2009

The Foundation for Your Wow Message

Before you make your presentation, you want to be ultra laser clear about why you are doing this. Like with a lot of things, if you're sure about the why, the how will more easily fall into place.

If what you need to say can be passed around through a memo or email, save yourself and the other's time and trouble and whip out an effective written message. Your audience thanks you for being considerate.

Now, you may have several reasons to talk to a group, but you need to be clear about what those reasons are, and prioritize them, before you actually craft your message. Speakeasy's Sandy Linver refers to communication as a journey, and through your talk, you want to have a destination in mind about where you want to take your audience.

And do they really want to go there with you?

Before even writing your thesis statement, think in terms of creating hunger for your topic. In other words, why should they care?

This part of your message is the foundation for everything else. Before you write your thesis statement, before you decide what to wear, and what kind of visual support to use, decide what it is about your message or topic that can motivate them to actually listen.

That motivation may come from the same reason the topic is important to you. That's why I know that relating yourself to your topic usually draws your audience closer to you.

So, before you start with the Powerpoint, get clear about why you're doing this presentation in the first place.