There Be Ghosts Here?

It has happened to all of us.  You go to a conference and sit down in a session that has a great title and abstract only to sit through a long winded talk that has nothing to do what you were sold.  As a speaker myself I find that this is a good reminder of the questions that you need to ask yourself as you prepare your material.

Each session we put together has a limited amount of time.  Review your content to make sure that every point you make has some bearing on your stated subject.  Is each example or slide going to give the audience a better understanding of the topic?  One of the best ways to do this is to start with an outline as this gives you simple bullet points to review.

The next step is that each slide or demo should relate back to those bullet points from your outline.  As each slide is completed make sure that you review the content to make sure you haven’t strayed from this outline item it was intended to cover.

Finally, do a practice run with someone who can give you objective feedback.  This will give you a way to know how things are shaping up before people start walking out of your talk.

None of these suggestions should be new (you probably heard them in high school speech class), but reminders never hurt.  Follow these suggestions and you are one step closer to a successful talk.