Magazine article Work & Family Life

Timely Tips for Getting Your Message Across

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Timely Tips for Getting Your Message Across

Article excerpt

Public speaking is still high on many people's list of fears. And though most of us will never be expected to deliver a speech in front of a large audience, from time to time we all need to make a conference presentation, state our case internally, propose a new idea or ask for something we want in order to do our jobs better.

Your audience may be a committee, a task force, the other members of a work group or just one influential person. Whoever they are and whatever the setting, your purpose will be the same: to be clear, concise and convincing. Here are some suggestions:

THINK ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE. What do they already know about your subject? What do they care about? Is cosr the most important issue? Are they looking for a short-term solution to a problem or the long-range implications of a new policy?

* FACE THE GROUP AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. This is becoming harder, with computer-generated "visuals" a part of so many presentations. Try to position yourself so you can see the audience and also keep an eye on the screen. And if you're speaking to a large gathering, follow the advice of professionals: look directly at one person at a time, not a sea of faces.

* ANTICIPATE A TIME CRUNCH. You may have been promised 15 minutes, but many things can happen to eat up your allotted time. So make your main points early on. If you're one of several presenters, be sensitive to the time allowed for the entire group if you're an early speaker.

* BE UPBEAT AND TO THE POINT. …

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