A simple way to remember the elements of an interesting presentation is SPEC.
S P E C
Spark Purpose Example Conclusion
SPARK – This is something that will grab your audience’s interest and get them engaged and listening. It can be a statement, a question, or an assertion. It should be bold, thought provoking, engaging.
- Would you like to add perhaps a $ 1 million to your lifetime earnings?
- You can change a life and perhaps the world forever!
- You have changed my life forever – Thank You!
PURPOSE – Tell your audience why you are there and what you will tell them. This is a roadmap of your presentation so you audience will know where and when they are in your talk. It helps them stay with you while you are talking.
Example – I want to tell you about my experience in Rotary Youth Exchange this year. I’ll cover the most exciting events and challenges for the year that have reshaped me and how I’m planning my new future.
EXAMPLE – This is the meat of your presentation. This will be the “stories” that illustrate each point that you told the audience you would cover. You need “at least” one story for each point and for an interesting talk, you should have at least 3 stories. For example, if you have one major point or assertion to cover, you will want two or three stories to cover or prove the assertion from two or three perspectives.
Each story will also have a framework. One model is STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result.
- What was the Situation or problem or challenge?
- What was the Task at hand or the general outcome that was needed?
- What did you or the people helping you do?
- What was the outcome and especially the outcome of the effect on you and your learning or future behavior?
Each of these could be as simple as a four sentence paragraph (for very short talks) or perhaps four more complicate paragraphs. Depending on the time available for your talk you can customize the length and number of your stories for each point.
CONCLUSION – As simply as possible, restate the points that you covered. Make sure you have proven your initial question or challenge to the audience.
Throughout your talk – MAKE IT INTERESTING. Make eye contact with the audience. Modulate your voice and show your passion – emphasize strong points with a strong voice, show emotion / passion at the appropriate points. If you loved the effort that your host family showed for you, be sure to show that in your voice. If you are proud of overcoming a big challenge – smile and make sure your voice shows that pride and confidence.
You don’t have to use any slides or visual aids to have a wonderful talk. IF you use visual aids, make them ADD to your verbal painting, don’t make the visuals the focal point. To many slides are a common failing.
Easy rule of thumb – 3 minutes per outline slide. Build slides take a little longer. 6 Slides – about a 20 minute talk. < 6 words per line. < 6 lines per slide. DON’T READ YOUR SLIDES. They are support for your verbal images and points.
Photo slides (no words) can go faster but all too often the speaker gets wrapped up in a few of the slides. Unplanned stories expand, don’t focus on the primary theme. This confuses the audience, takes time, and gets the speaker off point.