How Do You Prepare for Presentations? – Ask JP #084



Hello, and welcome to an episode of Ask JP. I had a question this week, how do you prepare for your presentations in front of associations?  Thanks for the question. Frankly, I just try my best.  As you probably know, I’m not a trained speaker, but I do present information to groups quite a bit, and I’m always trying to improve that. Often times I’m speaking with folks where association business is not their job, but we’re presenting association oriented information.  So, here’s how I kind of get ready.
1. Know Your Audience
First and foremost, know the audience. Is this a committee or a board of directors that has never heard anything about this association topic?  Is it a task force or group that has been working on the project with you, and you’re providing them the outcomes of the project? Know where you are with that, I think it’s really important.
2. Set Up the Presentation 
The second thing I like to do is set up the presentation. I love to have a scene setter about association trends that are related to the topic. I’ve always found that context building helps, and it certainly builds your credibility with that audience that may not know you and lets them know that you know what you’re talking about.
Then I go into qualitative information. What have people told me in the association about the topic? Then I use a little quantitative data. What does the math look like in terms of sponsorship, membership dues, or whatever it is? So you’ve got qualitative, and then you’ve got some real empirical data that’s informing you about the topic.
Then I like to say, here’s what we see some other associations doing and their success in this area. I think that adds the component of something broader than just their association. As we all know, most associations have gone through a lot of the same issues. So that’s important to bring up.
Then the recommendations.  Based on all this information, these are the things that I might need to do, what I would recommend for you to do and the steps specifically that you could take.
Finally, practice. Don’t read the slides verbatim.  Come at this from kind of an inner peace, that I’m just trying to help you out.  That lowers my anxiety when I’m giving a presentation.  I’m just here to take all the information that I have and present it so they can be helped and they can make the best decisions for them.
Don’t forget to smile, always smile. It just kind of disarms and frankly, makes you feel better as you’re delivering the info.
I hope this is helpful. Have a great presentation when you’re up next. See ya, bye-bye.
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