June 21, 2005 Present Like A Pro Newsletter
Inspiring You to Discover, Develop, & Delight in Your Strengths
Welcome fellow speaker! This weekly newsletter from Present Like A Pro is here to provide you with on-going tips and inspiration as you develop your skills as a speaker. Every issue includes practical tools that you can use in your very next presentation.

Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid. -Bernard Meltzer, 1914 American Law Professor

This edition: 995 words; 2-3 minute read

Make It Meaningful
by Sara Schaffer   How to Keep Your Presentations Relevant
Last week I heard a presentation about China. It was a little odd because I listened to it in the middle of a music rehearsal! I was in a choir practice when suddenly a woman came to the front of the room and began a lecture on Asia. As she talked, I kept wondering why is she here?

Have you ever been in a meeting when the topic abruptly changed? Sometimes even as the presenter, we can find ourselves sharing information that isn't relevant to our audience. Here are 3 considerations to make your talk meaningful and Present Like A Pro!

1. Consider your audience's interests. Perhaps you have an area of expertise that you can bring to your presentations. Before you do, decide if such information is relevant to your audience. For example, a talk on music trends in China would have been more pertinent to our choir than a description of this woman's overseas company.

2. Consider your audience's investment. Most of us give ourselves to activities that we deem worthwhile. Bringing in new or disconnected subject matter may cause your listeners to feel cheated both in time and money. Even if you're not thrilled with a topic, remember this audience has invested their resources to hear about it.

3. Consider your audience's input. It's important to always keep your eyes on your listeners. If you notice that your audience's attention is starting to drift and that you have gotten on a bit of a tangent, get back on track. Make a quick transition and return to the subject at hand.


Do you tangent when you give a presentation? Do you have trouble deciding what is most important to discuss with your audiences? Working with a Presentation Coach immediately adds more power and impact to your presentations. Contact Sara for more information at 303.439.4014 or sara@presentlikeapro.com.


I have a degree in music. Still, I rarely mention that when I'm speaking or helping people improve their presentation skills. You may have many talents. When giving a presentation, however, it's best to keep your listeners' interests ahead of your own.

The key to maintaining relevance is to consider your audience first. Think about their interests and investment of time and money to hear you. Also take note of their verbal and non-verbal feedback about your talk. When you make your presentation meaningful to those who hear it, then you Present Like A Pro!

Create Your Own Comment Cards
  The Benefits of Evaluations
I had been working with this group for almost two months. I felt like it was time to get some feedback from them on my performance. My mentor thought I was a little crazy to ask them what they thought. That was understandable; at the time I was working with the fifth and sixth graders!

I have always been interested in getting comments from those I work with. The input I received from my students that year was not only helpful, it was also affirming. I knew what I areas I needed to improve, but I also found out that overall, they enjoyed having me as their teacher.

Whenever I speak, I always ask the meeting organizer if I may bring an evaluation form with me. If the answer is yes (which it usually is), I bring a short, six question survey to hand out at the beginning of the session.

I then incorporate the evaluation into the concluding section of my talk. This insures that my listeners have time to complete it. It also guarantees that I will get evaluations back from most, if not all, the members of the audience.

There are several benefits to using evaluations. First, they obviously tell you what your audience thought of your delivery and content. Secondly, it can help you give a better talk the next time. Third, it can be a way to follow-up with individuals who may want to know more about you or your topic.

If you are interested in receiving a sample evaluation form, simply reply to this email with your request. This form, originally given to me by my coach, Elizabeth Powers, can be modified for almost any presentation or training session.

Whether you work with children or adults, I encourage you to take the time to get feedback from your listeners, co-workers, and clients. Doing so will truly help you to Present Like A Pro!

For helpful, tailored tips on your presentations, contact me today at sara@presentlikeapro.com or 303-818-2509.

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