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Discover Why You Are Speaking

Once you know who you are as a leader-presenter (visionary, expert, coach, or transformer), it is necessary for you to determine why you are speaking.

  • Is it to explain? The most common purpose of a presentation is to convey information as a means of explanation. We see examples of the explanation presentation at press conferences as well as in corporate boardrooms.

  • Is it to overcome objections? Not everyone will believe everything you say! That may be hard to believe, but it's true. When people do not believe him or her, the presenter must shift into the "overcoming objections" mode. Sometimes the entire presentation can be structured around this idea; at other times, it may be necessary to prepare a brief in advance covering how to deal with questions.

  • Is it to sell/persuade? Are you convinced that what you are offering the audience is good for them? Then you become the pitchman. Sometimes the presenter is actually selling a product; other times, the presenter is selling a better way of doing things.

  • Is it to celebrate? Milestones are meant to be marked. When this occurs, the presenter serves as a chief celebrant. Often it is customary to thank the audience for their participation and cite specific examples of achievement.

  • Is it to entertain? Do you know someone who is about to retire? Very often friends and associates hold a dinner and invite folks close to the individual to say a few words, often in the spirit of lighthearted fun.

These are only a few of the reasons why we make presentations. Unlike presentation styles, purposes can be mixed within the same presentation. For example, you can begin with an explanation and close in a selling mode. This happens quite frequently and enables the presenter to lead the audience from one point to another.


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