The difference between a mediocre presentation and a great one comes down to how you organize the information, communication coach Brenda Barbosa writes in Inc.
Many speakers pack too many different themes and topics into their presentations, with no overarching idea to explain how the points relate to each other, she argues.
The solution is to identify the one, succinct message you hope your audience takes away, and then organize your presentation around that, Barbosa writes. She shares an insight from Chris Anderson, who wrote in his book TED Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking that "the only thing that truly matters in public speaking is not confidence, stage presence, or smooth talking. It's having something worth saying."
Barbosa recommends working through these three steps before you start working on your presentation:
1: Choose your topic. Reflect on your field of expertise and some of the most common assumptions or practices in that field. In one popular TED Talk, Ariana Huffington discussed the pervasive myth that successful people must sacrifice sleep and wellbeing.
2: Take a side. Brainstorm what you find most inspiring—or irritating—in your field, Barbosa recommends.
3: Make a statement. Finally, distill your message about that topic into one sentence. While building your presentation, avoid including any data or anecdotes that don't support your core message, Barbosa writes. (Barbosa, Inc., 11/22).
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