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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 29. "My" Final Speaking Tip

Be Interesting

I'm often asked, "TJ, any final tips for me? I have to give a presentation tomorrow, and I still don't know exactly what to say or what I am going to do."

If you want to give a pretty good presentation, the answer is simple: just make sure you have one interesting idea in it. You may be thinking, "That's ridiculous! I have dozens and dozens of ideas, facts, and numbers in my presentation." Yes, but how many of them are interesting, significant, or memorable?

The sad fact is that most people give dreadful presentations because they didn't present a single interesting idea—not one! If you don't believe me, then try to name one interesting idea you heard from any of the last five presenters you saw.

So if you want to be a little bit lazy and still give a pretty good presentation, then I advise you to put away the complex graphs and charts, forget the complicated video inserts, and toss the three-ring binder handouts. Instead, focus what little prep time you have on making sure you have one legitimately attention-grabbing and memorable idea for the audience. Then explain it by using concrete examples and possibly a story involving a conversation you had with a real colleague, client, or friend. Make sure the point you are making is interesting and relevant, and something that might motivate your audience to take some action or at least think about something differently.

If you do this, then you will give a pretty good presentation—no matter ...

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