When it comes to a presentation, there are so many ways that things can go other than you planned. In light of that fact, the importance of planning becomes a major focus for presenters. Why is it important to plan? Keep reading and find out. You may already have some ideas about the answers.
When You Fail to Plan…
This is the beginning of an old adage. It holds true for giving any type of presentation as well. No one starts out planning to fail. But, when you don’t take the necessary time and precautions not to, that is often what you get in some sense. Anyway, the results of the presentation are less than what you expected for yourself.
Planning involves a systematic approach to a project that brings about the desired results. For instance, if you want a more visual presentation, you learn how to create slides that people can view, or create a slideshow of images they can relate to. Nothing happens automatically. There is some action involved. Without a plan, you find yourself quickly out of your depth.
Benefits of Planning
Here are some rewards of a presentation that is well thought out.
- A flow to your words – Rehearsing is a part of the planning process. You decide how you will present the information and then practice running through the entire thing as many times as necessary to get the feel that you want. Most presenters strive for a conversational feel instead of a scripted performance.
Staying on topic – Planning allows you to hone in on the topic, select a few pertinent bullet points and discuss them. Tangents are a thing of the past when you set guidelines for your talks.
Plan B – Suppose that your laptop crashes or your slides don’t load properly? What will you do now? Thinking about this ahead of time means formulating a backup plan just in case of emergency. Devise a strategy for what you will do in the event of equipment failure, technology failure, power failure and the like.
Getting to know your audience – Planning gives you time to ask questions of the person or organization inviting you to speak. Find out what they expect as well as the likes and dislikes of the group. Now you can center your topic on their interests.
Anticipation – What types of questions would you ask if you were in the audience? How would you respond? Questions like this prepare you for just about anything that the audience throws your way without getting flustered. It also increases your knowledge of the subject matter.
Correcting mistakes – When you rehearse your presentation, ask a trusted friend or colleague to watch you. They can point out mistakes being made so they can be corrected in advance of the big day.
There are several advantages to planning, not the least of which is knowing what you will say to your audience.