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January 22, 2020

The Ultimate Way to Prepare For Any Presentation

The ultimate way to prepare for a presentation

We’ve all been faced with this situation: you planned a presentation for thirty minutes and are now told, “We’re running late—can you do it in ten minutes?” It’s a common (and often dreaded) situation but doesn’t need to be. The next time you have a presentation, practice in the three ways (note: the first step is to actually plan your presentation and then rehearse) listed here:

1. Present in the allotted time given

2. Give the same presentation in half the time

3. Present it in five minutes.

Presenting in less time is more challenging, because you need to maximize every second. You have to be crystal clear on the outcome you seek and what facts you need to share to drive to that outcome. If you can do it in five minutes, how might you create the right opportunities for dialogue if you have fifteen or thirty minutes? Brevity breeds clarity when you plan and rehearse. And the skills you master, once internalized, will get you noticed.

If you’re attached to the exact order and plans, you don’t allow yourself to respond to the needs of the audience, which is the ultimate goal for any presentation.

Can you think of a time this happened to you? How could knowing these tips help you for next time?

—David Grossman

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