Write Out a rough draft of your talk :

Giving Oral Presentations

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Write Out a rough draft of your talk :

When you give a talk, you have one chance to get the message right and to get it across effectively. It's rarely a good idea to just wing it. You owe it to your audience to do a good job - not to forget to say important thing and not to ramble. The best way to prepare even a short talk is to write out at least one full draft ahead of time. We do not recommend, however, that you then read to the audience what you've written. But the only real way to make sure you cover exactly the points you want is to write them all down ahead of time.

Writing out your talk will stimulate your thinking and may well help you come up with additional, even better points to make. Because no one but you will ever see (or hear) the exact words, sentences and paragraphs you put in this rough draft, you do not need to worry about its mechanics. Once you have a draft of the talk, ask yourself these questions:

Have you included all of the content you need?

Are all the major points covered?

Have you covered the right number of points?

Remember that in a five-minute talk, for example, you can make at the most three major points. It's better to do a good job on fewer points than to have to rush through too many points, perhaps not making any of them clearly or effectively.

Does your talk have a structure that will help people follow what you are saying? Something simple, like past-present-future or background - problem statement – analysis - solution works best.

If you were to read this talk out loud, slowly, would it fall within the established time constraints?

Keep working on your draft until it meets these criteria. Remember, this is not a script. You’re just trying to get all of the pieces of your talk together and into some kind of reasonable structure. You’ll actually be speaking from an outline described in the next section.

To continue the section on Giving Oral Presentations,

1. Size up the situation.

2. Write out a rough draft of your talk.

3. Outline your talk from your draft - start planning your visuals.

4. Decide on props and visuals.

5. Practice.

6. Deliver the talk.

7. Answer Questions Carefully.

8. Get feedback.

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