Tara’s Tips for Top-Notch Talks: The Basics


Be clear. Be concise. Be confident.

Will this alone captivate them? Is it that simple? No, of course not. Especially since a Gallup Poll found that 40% of people fear public speaking and some even more than death itself! So it’s a very real, common and profoundly big fear for many. And fear-based thinking can destroy any presentation. (A topic for future blogs!)

Not to mention…there are countlessfactors to consider when preparing for a presentation – the audience, the purpose, the content to include…just to name a few – as well as all the important things to do and not do when delivering the information.

However, don’t underestimate the importance of the basics. Including clear, concise information and exuding confidence are extremely important to engage any audience.

Be clear.

When planning what you are going to say, identify your purpose and write it at the top of your page or screen of your document. Determine what your main ideas are going to be and stick to those. Make sure the language you choose is relevant to the topic and you don’t use any jargon. And use a clear organizational pattern. A structure, such as a timeline or a vision statement, will guide your audience’s attention to where you want it to go. Be creative but not at the expense of clarity.

Be concise.

As you think about what your main points are going to be, weigh them against your purpose and make sure they truly meet that goal. It’s easy to include everything AND the kitchen sink, especially when we’re passionate about at topic, but make sure you stay focused on the topic at hand. Assuming your information is clear (yes, I know what they say about assuming but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt), you don’t have to explain it six different ways. If it’s a main idea, you will have included it in the introduction, during the body of your talk and of course during the conclusion. That will be enough for them to get it.

Be confident.

This is the kicker. A presentation can have all the right information in it but if the speaker isn’t confident in what they have to say and how they say it, their credibility is toast. And that’s what we’re talking about here – credibility. When you are confident in how you’ve strategically prepared for your talk, confident in what you’ve included in your content and confident in your ability to convey the information using all the important delivery tools, then you will show up with confidence and exude it. This earns you credibility.

And again, these are just a few basic ideas but they are critical to creating a top-notch presentation and are certainly a good place to start.

Stay tuned for more in coming posts!