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Strategy 2: Prepare Outstanding Content

Overview

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

—Mark Twain

Some presenters are high in energy but low in content. Other presenters have excellent content but their style of delivery puts you to sleep. Twain's lesson is clear: Great speakers prepare great content. Great speeches are the result of great preparation. Our definition of a great presentation is one that has the intellectual power to move listeners to new ways of thinking and the emotional power to move them to new ways of behaving.

Preparation of content, organizational structure, and delivery often go hand in hand. When all goes well, it can be a rewarding and creatively stimulating process. However, when you get stuck, it can be like "hitting the wall" in a marathon. Although content, organization, and delivery must work together, we will look at them separately in this and the next two chapters. One advantage of looking at these facets separately is if you get stuck in one area, you can turn to another. However, to be a Master Presenter, all three processes must eventually be integrated into one seamless whole.

No delivery skills can save a presentation that has poor content. Therefore, Master_Presenters develop masterful content. This chapter examines how you can develop masterful content:

  • Speak from a strong point of view.

  • Craft titles that the audience would crawl over glass to hear.

  • Create impactful beginnings and endings.

  • Find the perfect quote.

  • Develop the perfect illustrative story.

  • Use the Three "S" Advantage.

  • Write "the zero draft."

  • Create your content advisory board.


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