You can sometimes find yourself on a speaking agenda without warning! But in most cases, even in the most demanding of roles, you will receive a request to give a presentation. So, you should be prepared to get some answers to a few questions before the presentation. So here are ten questions to ask before you give a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation.
Who wants you to give a presentation?
You might know the person asking you to present. But equally they might have contacted you through a third party. Therefore it makes sense to put the contact into context. So, establish who they work for, whether they are independent or who they represent.
What are their contact details?
You should confirm the best contact details. Check whether their phone number has changed or whether email is preferred. Contact details are, of course, reciprocal.
What is the planned event?
Establish what event is being planned. Is it a sales conference or an annual Association meeting? Is it a meeting of technical partners or a product launch? Because you can prepare better when you know some simple details of the event.
When and where will the event take place?
You must know where the event is. If the event is local that might make it easier to participate. Perhaps, if the event involves travel, it might be possible to combine your participation with some other activity. Whatever you do, you don’t want to copy the example of this Baroness Scotland speech, and arrive late.
How many presenters will speak at the event?
It’s rare for any speaker to be the sole presenter on the podium. Because in most instances you will share the platform with several speakers with a budgeted time allowance of some 45 minutes. Perhaps even longer.
What is the theme of the event?
Using a theme such as, “Being Best”, allows a range of speakers to explore all the essential attributes of customer care, quality management, production quality or people management. So, do remember to find out if there’s a theme.
What sort of presentation do they expect?
This has to be asked. For instance there might be an expectation that you will make a presentation and then answer questions later. All require different preparation.
Why do they want me to present?
If they plan the event for next week, you might already suspect the answer! If they have asked you to present because you are a respected expert in your field, then it’s very likely that you can craft your presentation subject along the same lines.
Can I use multimedia and will they broadcast the event?
We take it for granted that every speaking event supports multimedia content. However, you must check.
Can I call you back to confirm?
You will need to check your schedule. Perhaps you might need to check with your partner. Once you have agreed a timeline in which to call, then call back.
Get answers to these questions to ask before a presentation and you are on course for presentation success.
You can pick up other presentation skills tips and techniques on a PresentPerfectTM presentation skills training course. We run courses, seminars and one to one coaching sessions at more than 40 off-site training centres. In addition, we can organise tailored training at your own offices. So, when the time is right, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
“If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”
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