The second “P” stands for Preparation. Some presenters pride themselves on “winging it” which quickly becomes obvious to the audience. I am not advising memorization of your preparation, but I suggest knowing your topic thoroughly, having more material than you need, and creating an outline or roadmap to follow. A suggestion that works well is to have a strong opening and closing, and memorizing both of them.
The third “P” stands for Partnership. As presenters, we become most effective when we form partnerships with those who are experiencing our presentations. We can achieve this by pre-presentation contact and by caring about those in the audience. The beginning speaker is most concerned about him or herself, whereas the professional cares about the listeners.
And that takes us to the fourth “P” which stands for Professional. The effective presenter acts, looks, and talks like a professional. The professional is early to arrive and makes sure that everything is in place and that any technical equipment is in working order. The professional returns phone calls and e-mails in a timely fashion and sends requested information immediately.
The fifth “P” stands for Props. These include handouts, visuals, Power Point programming, music, and objects that serve as metaphors or examples. Not only do visuals help enhance the information that is being presented, they help the audience remember our points. The warning is to not overdo in this area and not depend upon them to do our work for us, otherwise props can detract from the message.
The sixth “P” stands for Practice. The more we practice our stories, our ideas, speaking to groups of all sizes, the more effective we will become as powerful presenters. Some presenters practice in front of a mirror. Some tape themselves and listen to the tapes. Some practice their stories on friends and family. I do a lot of my practicing while driving.
When we put all of the “Ps” together, we will not only give powerful presentations, we will enjoy doing it and our audiences, in turn, will enjoy listening to us. We will achieve Power, Persuasion, Polish, and Pizzazz!