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Painless Presentations: The Proven, Stress-Free Way to Successful Public Speaking by Lenny Laskowski

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Chapter 2

Gathering Information and Materials

The most difficult and also the most important part of making a presentation is determining how to actually start. Many presenters worry themselves sick trying to figure out how to get started and what exactly they want to say. My advice is to not worry about how you are going to start. Your first step in preparing your presentation is to collect and read as much information as possible about your subject. Learn as much about your topic as you can. Prepare detailed notes on some of the ideas you may want to use during your presentation. Ask yourself what information you plan on discussing during your presentation, what message you want to deliver to your audience, and where you can find additional information.

You should first select a topic that interests you and one you have some knowledge about or have an interest in becoming knowledgeable about. You should also pick a topic that will interest your audience. The first place I always like to draw from is my own personal experience. Most people have more expertise and experiences than they realize. I recommend that you sit down and brainstorm or mind map out what you already know.

One great source, which is grossly underused, is your local library. The use of the Internet (which I will talk about later) has made it easy for people to avoid going to their local library. If you do not have a library card or you have not been to your local library for some time, I suggest you get back ...

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