10 Steps to Your Success

Organize Everything

Rate Yourself Rate Your Employees
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Organizing everything means having any notes you need in readable type, making sure the logistics are under control and being sure your talk is geared toward your audience’s needs and interests. Let’s start with your notes.

Make notes readable

In theory if you create effective visuals, you will not need any extra notes. That is your goal. Why? It is enough to keep eye contact with your audience, talk from your slides on the screen and stay animated and enthusiastic. Try not to add the extra issue of having to read notes about your slides. If you do need a few notes, then make them in large type so you can quickly see the phrases. This is especially true if you are giving a speech and only have written notes. Make the font size large and start every sentence on the left-hand side of the page. Put exclamation points in to remind you to pause and underline words you want to emphasize.

Check and recheck the logistics

The sooner you get the room arranged the way you want and set up any equipment you need, the more relaxed you will feel.

  • Set up all your equipment and run through your presentation once make sure everything works and looks like you want. If you carry extension cords and power surge protectors you will eliminate many problems when setting up your equipment.
  • Arrange the chairs so everyone can see the screen. Decide where you will stand so everyone can see the screen.
  • Figure out how to work the lights. I just saw a presentation in which the five presenters had not figured out the lighting before getting up to talk. In order not to spend several minutes switching lights on and off they strayed with a poor lighting arrangement in which they were more in the dark than necessary.

Cut out unnecessary details

Many times you will be talking to an audience not that familiar with your subject. Review your talk with someone not familiar with your subject and have that person tell you what words, acronyms, and charts just don’t make sense to her. Also, ask yourself if you need all these details in the body of the talk. You can hide some slides and then if someone asks you a question you can answer by explaining the details using a hidden slide. Better to say and show less and have the audience wanting more. When using analogies use ones that are familiar to your audience.

As you organize a talk the most important point to keep in mind is that you organize your information around your talk’s objective. Only include that information. Resist the urge to put “everything you know” in an hour talk. By being brief and to the point your audience will be able to more easily and quickly digest your information and recommendations.

back to overview »