CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE OF PRESENTATION PREPARATION
1. TIME CONSTRAINT. Determine the realistic amount of time you
have for preparation and rehearsal of the speech. Dependent
upon the subject, your familiarity with it and the target
audience, give approximately 50% to preparation and 50% to
rehearsal. With more experience and familiarity, you may
cut this to 70%/30%.
2. PURPOSE. Determine the purpose of the presentation through
THESIS STATEMENT. Write out a single declarative sentence
which states the specific behavioral objective you wish to
attain and the mode of presentation by which you seek to
EXAMPLE: "I hope to persuade the Personnel Director and
Comptroller to approve, by the end of the month,
a $40,000 budget to initiate a 2 year Management
by Objectives Training Program”.
OR: "I hope to inform the key design engineers of the
background, assumptions and basic procedures of
computer-assisted design techniques, sufficient so
that they have adequate skills to supervise imple-
mentation of this technique in at least one project
3. B0DY. Sketch out the main arguments, sub-points and supporting
arguments or illustrations for the BODY of the speech.
These should be flexible and will be much revised. Do not
worry needlessly over the proper ARRANGEMENT of points at
this tine; cast main points and sub-points into some logical
and coherent order.
4. AUDIENCE ANALYSIS· First, generally analyze your audience
in terms of typical categories; e.g. size, setting, time of
presentation, professional background, job orientation,
heterogeneous-homogeneous, positive-hostile, etc. List all
group generalizations or dominant group attitudes about you
and your subject. Second, initiate more specific Negative
Objection Analysis by picking the one, two or three Key
Decision Makers and analyze each of these key individuals
Intensively in terms of their key objections or questions
with regard to your subject. List 20 objections, reservations,
or questions which are at the fore-front of their minds;
objections which they must make because their job requires it,
objections which are likely due to previous exposure to this
or similar proposals, objections which are likely because of
the kinds of persons they are or have shown themselves to
be in similar situations. NOTE: ALL INFORMATION IS VALUABLE
T0 THE EXTENT YOU CAN DEFINE THEIR INDIVIDUAL OBJECTIONS AND
MEET THEM WITHIN OR AFTER THE SPEECH; TO THAT EXTENT YOU WILL
BE SUCCESSFUL IN ATTAINING YOUR PRESENTATION PURPOSE.
5. BODY REVISION & QUESTION PREPARATION. Review your initial
arrangement of main points and supporting materials in light
of your thorough negative objection analysis and group analysis.
It may suggest complete revision of your approach.
More probably it will suggest you revise your order of presentation
by deleting some areas, modifying and expanding others.
ABOVE ALL, SELECT THE TWO OR THREE KEY NEGATIVE OBJECTIONS
WHICH DEMAND IMMEDIATE ANSWERS, PLAN (IN CONSULTATION WITH
OTHERS IF NEEDED) THE BEST, MOST APPROPRIATE ANSWER---THEN
INSERT THOSE 2-3 KEY QUESTIONS BACK INTO THE SPEECH. Ask
and answer them as negative objections.
EXAMPLE: "Before proceeding much further, I'm sure that a
key reservation a number of you have is...Why is
it necessary to initiate such a large training pro-
gram next quarter when the field needs will not be
evident until late next year?...This is surely a
Last, take the remainder of the questions and write as comprehensibly
as need be the best, most appropriate answers
to each of them. Determine the specific strategy, and gather
the necessary factual information that you will need if these
questions come up after the meeting. BE PREPARED FOR EVERY
6. INTRODUCTION. Now attend to the introduction. Your previous
analysis will provide you with many possible approaches, e.g.
opening with a question which articulates the most pressing
problem bothering one of your key decision makers. Write
out specific paragraphs for the Attention-getting Phase, the
Significance Phase, the Framework phase (if needed) and the
Specific Overview. Do not give this portion short-shrift;
in a 10 minute speech this portion should probably last 3
minutes, in some cases more. It is often helpful to extract
key claims which you make later in the speech, hyphenate them
and place them in the introduction in one of the above phases
as "grabbers", i.e., striking claims, which you will later
document, which challenge demand audience attention.
EXAMPLE: "Gentlemen, I think we are all agreed that the adoption
of a sound compensation and managerial identification
plan is one of our most basic responsibilities
...I will attempt to show that the Jacques Program
can so identify, promote and compensate future
managers that this company would, within two years,
experience at least a 30% drop in company monies
now spent in managerial selection and compensation."
7. CONCLUSION· At this point, your conclusion should virtually
write itself. Decide whether you need a simple recapitulation
summary of main points covered (Likely, if it is a
straight expository presentation) or an additional request or
appeal for specific action (likely if it is a persuasive
presentation). ABOVE ALL, BE QUITE SPECIFIC IN YOUR FINAL
REQUEST SO THAT EVERY KEY DECISION MAKER KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT
YOU WANT WHEN HE LEAVES THE CONFERENCE.
EXAMPLE: "I hope you concur with the significant need for
this project to meet competition, and with the
pressing need to move on it as soon as reasonably
possible. I would very much appreciate your approval
signatures within three weeks so that I might
hire the two necessary technicians and begin work
no later than one month from today. If there are
further questions, I'11 be happy to answer them."
8. OUTLINE & TRANSITIONS. Reduce your outline to Key Sentence
and Key Phrase Format by writing out main points of the
introduction, body and conclusion in Key Sentences, sub-points in
two or three Key Words or Phrases.
EXAMPLE: II· Body
A. I would first like to sketch the previous
research on this project·
Break-through in abrasives production
2. Three research studies in the 60's:
Then write out, word for word, your transitions
between your major points to insure that your audience
remains oriented to the development of the
9. REHEARSAL. You should have from 50 to 30% of your available
time remaining for straight rehearsal. First, sit down and
memorize the key sentence and phrases, concentrating on fairly
faithful order or sequence of ideas. (Don't be bothered about
minor sequence ordering of sub-points; few realize or care if
sub-points are slightly out of order.) Second, find a setting
safe from interruption, stand up and deliver the speech 4-5
times in a mock presentation. This means with all aids or
reasonable facsimiles you will use in the real presentation.
If you are fortunate you may recruit a "live" audience, but
there is some merit in relying upon your imagination. Go
through the speech until your thought sequence is completely
reliable. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, DELIVER FROM WORD
MEMORIZATION; deliver from your memorized thought sequence
of the sketchy outline of main and sub-points. Take one
final rehearsal to concentrate on your peculiar speaking
weaknesses, e.g., poor eye contact, insufficient volume,
poor emphasis on main points...or whatever.