Find the purpose of your Presentation

Do you read other blogs? I came across this post and decided to go back and find my first-ever blog post. In it I stated

“I will try to share my thoughts, achieve some wisdom, and maybe hold an occasional eBay yard sale. It’s nice to be here.”

Since that time, I have sharpened my focus, refined my focus, and defined my purpose in blogging. My purpose now is to assist you in improving your speaking and presentations. It is the litmus test by which I measure if you are reading relevant posts.

In the book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, you will find the acronym SUCCESs. Chip and Dan Heath created this acronym to convey how to create a story that will stick with your audience. This audience can be a true audience when you are speaking, a classroom of students, your target audience as an advertiser, or your child to whom you are trying to teach a lesson.

The “S” stands for simple… That is where you will find your focus. Simple does not stand for “dumb”. It stands for finding your main point. Patricia Fripp, when coaching executives, has been known to ask “If you could only say one thing to your audience, what would it be?”

This is the art of breaking down your presentation to “simple”. If you can write the one sentence that is your goal of the presentation, it will help you decide what needs to go and what needs to stay.

Now you can start writing your presentation. Work on your opening, closing, and body. Figure out your main points. Inject stories that illustrate your points. Find the humor that needs uncovering. During each of those steps, you ask yourself “Does this match my purpose?” If it does, it adds to your presentation. If not, you are just taking away focus from what your want the audience to leave with.

What is your purpose… in your presentations, in your blogging, in life?

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