Peter Urs Bender   Previous Page  |  Next Page

Selecting the Presentation Topic

Everyone loves a presenter who doesn’t go on too long.

   To be twice as powerful   
use half as many words.

     Be sure that you have enough material for the length of
your talk - but not too much! Never try to cover too many things
or you will not hold your audience’s attention. It is best if you
keep your message as simple as possible. Repeat your central
point several times and in different ways.
     After considering the interests of your listeners, decide
quickly what your topic will be and immediately start re-
searching what you will cover. Make the subject as broad as
your audience. If they consist of specialists from the same
profession, focus on precise points you know they’ll want to
hear about. If they represent a cross-section of the general
public, make it as broad as possible. Explain the basic points
that will be unfamiliar to some participants. If you are prepar-
ing your presentation to be given more than once before
different groups, be as general as possible. Then, tailor the
presentation to each specific situation as the need arises.
     If you are an expert or a quasi-expert on your topic, the
content as it relates to your audience should be obvious. Your
task is to organize and summarize the material into manage-
able bites that can be digested easily in a 30 to 60 minute talk.
If there is one rule here it’s "less is more".
     Be passionate about your topic and thoroughly know-
ledgeable. You will feel highly confident and no one will be able
to stump you with a question. Pay attention to what your
colleagues and other managers and executives are saying in

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