I was fortunate to recently act as moderator for a panel discussion with the HPCA and although that is a challenging task, it made me think about the greater challenge of being a presenter. I tried to imagine myself in the audience and what I’d want and expect from the person at the front of the room. Here are some tips that might help the next time you're called upon to do a presentation:
I did a little reading and discovered that it takes about six to nine months to truly prepare a presentation (this is on the TED Talk level, so adapt accordingly if you’re doing a small presentation to your local church group). But what you must do regardless of venue is be prepared. Research your topic, write a script, rehearse like crazy, edit and fine-tune your message.
Every small business needs to understand its market – both customers and competitors – in order to be successful. Whatever sector you’re in, you need to know the economics of your target, who your competition is, what people will pay for your service and when they are likely to buy. Do this market research early on so that you focus on the right sector and services to fill a demand.
Competition is no longer restricted to local companies because we live in a global economy. No matter what product or service you offer competition can come from anywhere and your customer could be located across the globe.
In order to create content that your audience wants to read, first you’ll need to identify who your audience is. This means you need to create a profile or persona of someone who would typically buy your product or service. You aren’t restricted to one profile and many companies cater to a variety of buyer types. Consider these characteristics when determining your buyer profile (thank to Peter Sandeen for the list):
1) Age – This influences how they view the world and make decisions.
2) Gender – This may not always apply but should be considered.
How many technical devices do you use in a day? If I’m not checking email or text messages on my phone, I’m sitting at a computer or in front of a screen doing work or being entertained. This was taking an unbalanced portion of every day and it was starting to feel like an addiction. Eventually, I recognized the need to unplug.
Is it easier said than done? In many cases, I think if the temptation is simply removed the withdrawal is not what you thought it would be. What was getting to me before our vacation this summer was how dependent my kids seemed to be on their technology. (When I call them on it, they think I’m crazy) I wondered how they would react to a completely unplugged holiday. Turns out they barely noticed.