Share this Page URL

Lesson 1. Become an Effective Speaker > Aim for a Memorable Presentation - Pg. 3

Become an Effective Speaker Caution 3 Don't fire before you aim. A successful talk will help you stand out, but an unsuccessful one could damage you. Make sure you've thought about what you want to say before you start speaking. Aim for a Memorable Presentation A young engineer once told me that many of the meetings he was attending were becoming de- pressingly similar. Employees would sit down, listen to the speaker for a few brief moments, then begin doodling and daydreaming. It seems extremely impolite, until you remember how many meet- ings some people must attend in the course of a day and how excessively dull the speakers usually seem to be. Most of us have learned to accept a pretty low level of performance in business presentations. After all, you tell yourself, the topic is usually not very scintillating; what else can you expect? But every once in a while, you hear a speaker who is far better than average. Suddenly your expectations are raised again, and you remind yourself of what's actually possible. Once I heard a speaker deliver a presentation that he routinely gave to new salespeople who had been hired by his organization. He spoke about five different types of customers and how to convince them to buy his product. I've never forgotten that presentation because of the effective way it was delivered. I demand the same things from myself whenever I speak. Here are my six rules: 1. 2. 3. Make the message clear so no one will misunderstand what you're saying. Sound as if you mean it; so many speakers seem to have very little interest in what they're saying. Be yourself. Don't try to play a part or mimic the mannerisms of another speaker. It won't work.