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Presentation Skills: How to Prepare an Outstanding Presentation in Thirty Minutes or Less

By: Ed Sykes

It's 2 p.m. and your manager walks up to you with that look on his face. He announces that the company president wants you to give a presentation to him concerning the high profile project you have been working on…and he wants the presentation to start in thirty minutes. Now you have a look on your face as if you had just seen a ghost.

No problem. The following are seven secrets to preparing an outstanding presentation when you have less than thirty minutes:

1. You Don't Need the Perfect Presentation
Get started! Don't freeze expecting perfection. When you think you need to be perfect, this can lead to paralysis. Management realizes, because of the short time period, that you will not be perfect. The key is to work quickly, not frantically.

2. Start With an End in Mind
Ask yourself, "What do I want to accomplish with my presentation?" Do you want to persuade, entertain, or move the audience to action? Once you have these answers, work to develop your presentation to achieve these goals.

3. It's About the Audience
Ask the following questions:

* "Who is my audience?
* "What does the audience want?"
* "What does the audience want to gain from the speech?"
* "What is the level of expertise of the audience members?"

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can tailor your speech to meet the audience's needs.

4. Keep It Simple
Don't be overwhelmed with information overhaul. Keep your presentation clear and concise by focusing on three main points. This will save you time when collecting your backup information.

5. Make an Outline
Create an outline of your speech. Depending on your own individual thought process, you may want to mind map, a freestyle way of putting ideas together, or outline. Outline your beginning, body with three points, and ending.

6. Start and End Strong
Concentrate on knowing the beginning and ending of your presentation. Feel confident in giving the beginning of your presentation, and you will become more comfortable giving the rest of your speech. End on a strong note because your speech ending will be the last thing your audience will remember about your presentation.

7. Your Presentation Starts in the Mind
Find five minutes before your presentation; go to a quiet place, if possible; and meditate. Think about the positive results of your presentation. Visualize your giving an outstanding presentation and how well the audience is receiving your speech. Also find a mirror; hopefully, in a private area; and look into the mirror and say any of the following affirmations:

* "This presentation is a great opportunity for me."
* "Every opportunity to speak is an opportunity for success."
* "I am a great speaker."
* "The audience will enjoy my presentation."
* "I have something of valuable to share with the audience."
* "I appreciate this opportunity to make a presentation."

Note: Your affirmations become more powerful when you keep them short and keep them in the present state (Future state example: I will become a better speaker.).

Now that you have read these secrets, you have twenty-five minutes left. Remember, the speech will not break your career. However, being able to rise to the occasion and give an outstanding presentation can enhance your career, business, and life opportunities. Apply these seven secrets and you, too, will give an outstanding presentation in less than thirty minutes.

It's 2 p.m. and your manager walks up to you with that look on his face. He announces that the company president wants you to give a presentation to him concerning the high profile project you have been working on…and he wants the presentation to start in thirty minutes. Now you have a look on your face as if you had just seen a ghost.

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