opportunities arise, many executives feel nervous about
making a public presentation. It's all about developing
content - stories and images to support a central thesis
without any jargon or vagueness. Here are 10 tips for
specific. Don't say your organization has many
resources and offers services to the community. Say
that you offer cash grants of up to $500, replace
locks free-of-charge after a break-in, and help men,
women, grandparents, kids, aunts and uncles.
stories. Often you can answer a general question
with an example, illustration, or anecdote. Don't
give the general answer and then go to your example.
Get right to it. Say, "for example" and start
telling the story.
images. People remember visuals much more easily
than facts, figures, and general information. Create
pictures in people's minds.
right to the point. When answering questions, don't
use your first two or three sentences as warm-ups or
to give background information. Get to the point.
Then, if there's time, enhance your point with an
example or illustration.
Eliminate all jargon. Use concrete, evocative and
simple words that any sixth grader could understand.
strong messages. The best messages aren't simple
factual statements: They embody a particular point
of view. Create messages that encourage the listener
or viewer to think or act differently about a
the language to the speaker. Make sure the speaker
is comfortable with both the message and phrasing.
If necessary, rewrite to suit the speaker's
temperament and beliefs.
Most speeches and presentations falter under the
weight of wordiness. Cut every word and sentence
that doesn't pull its weight or support your main
thesis. Ask yourself: Does this word need to be
here? Is this thought interesting and essential?
sentence construction simple. Subject. Verb. Object.
Starting your sentences with qualifiers and
conditionals makes it too hard for listeners to
grasp what you're saying.
sentences short. Complex ideas are best explained in
short, simple sentences. Strong material is not all
that's needed, of course. Even the most eloquent
words must be delivered with energy, commitment and