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How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation: A Speaking Survival Guide for the Rest of Us by T. J. Walker

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Chapter 21. Get to the Point

How Do I Identify Key Points to Reinforce in a Presentation?

Ask. That's the simplest way. You don't have to ask every single person who will be in your audience or spend 100 hours calling people for two months. But you could call one future audience member and ask what he is most interested in, after you provide a menu of your possible messages.

But let's say that won't work because you are giving a presentation to two high-powered investors with whom it took plenty of work just to get the meeting. You can't very well now ask for another half-hour picking either investor's brain before the meeting. In that case, try to find a friend or colleague who has a similar financial perspective and worldview who could give you something close to the perspective of your eventual audience members.

The hard thing to do is spend hundreds of hours doing more research on the Internet and going through colleagues' written reports, and then writing a presentation. The even harder thing is to do all of that and come up with message points that your audience will actually find interesting.

Why not take the easy way out? You can do that just by asking people.

The first step is trying to list all of the important points you want to cover in your presentation. Then, find out from an audience member, or someone who represents your audience, what he is interested in regarding the subject you are addressing. Next, find out which of your messages are also on the list of things that ...

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