A presentation is a great way for you to show off what you know and build credibility for your personal brand.
While presenting sounds like a good idea, many people don’t know where to start. But it is actually easier than you think to start giving brand-building presentations and getting your name out there.
First off you need to know what you are talking about. Approaching someone saying that you would like to give a presentation is not going to go anywhere unless you have a topic in mind, this all comes back to your niche. Let’s say that your niche is marketing. You have been doing marketing for a couple years now and you have learned a lot about your field. You are most likely familiar with something much more specific like “b2b marketing for collaboration software” but you realize that a lot of the stuff that you have learned and discovered can be applied to many other fields.
So where do you start? There are a lot of marketing and marketer groups around the country; you should start by getting involved with them. After you have attended a few events then you can make the decision as to approach the head person with your proposal.
When you make the decision to give a presentation you need to be prepared. Don’t walk up fumbling over your words; you want to have a game plan. This all relates back to being well organized. This method can be applied to any specific area you might be involved in. If you are at a college or university, it gets even easier, there are usually hundreds of clubs and organizations that are looking for presenters and material. These are a great place to start.
How should you structure your presentation, you ask? To start off, make sure you are talking about a subject that you are comfortable with. If you get a question from the audience you should be able to field it. That does not mean you will know everything but it does mean that you know more than average.
You will need to practice. If you find yourself falling asleep as you give the presentation, please spare your audience. Make your material alive and vibrant. You will also need a backup plan like note cards in case your presentation decides to bite the dust the day before you get there. If you know your material well, this will not be a problem.
Your presentation from a slide perspective needs to be short. We have all sat through presentations that never see to get to the point through the hundreds of slides. If you don’t spend time trimming down your slide material, you will be another one of those. Keep your slides simple, and the text minimal. People would rather look at a picture that describes what you are talking about rather than the slide having the word for word text of your speech. Even if you are not the next best graphic design artist your slides should look like you have put time into them. Know your audience and know what is acceptable in your field, yes there is etiquette when it comes to slide presentation.
The final task in any presentation is to add value. People will be listening to you because they’ve chosen to sit through your presentation. You wouldn’t want your time to be wasted, so make sure you leave the crowd with something that they can take home with them and actually apply to their lives. Presentations are a great way to build a name for yourself. You start to get a brand for what you have said and it is not long before people are contacting you for speaking opportunities.
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