Be Prepared Before You Speak to a Group

Here are 10 important questions to ask before the business presentation process. These 10 questions relate to listener analysis, and therefore, your needs:

  1. Why am I speaking to these listeners?
  2. Why are they listening?
  3. What relationship do we have?
  4. What relationship do listener members have with each other?
  5. What do they know about this topic?
  6. What would they like to know?
  7. How will they use this information?
  8. What are they doing the day before I speak?
  9. What will they be doing the day after?
  10. What are the logistics of the event?

 

This last one, logistics, is often overlooked. What do you need to know about the speaking situation before you speak? Answers to the following questions will help you to gather information. Add additional items to fit your particular situation.

  1. Where will I be speaking?
  2. What time of day will I speak?
  3. How long will I be speaking?
  4. Who is speaking before and after me, and on what topics?
  5. Will there be a moderator? Will I be introduced?
  6. What is the size of the room?
  7. How will the seating be arranged?
  8. Will the setting be interactive?  Will it be formal or informal?
  9. What audiovisual equipment do I need? Will a technician be available on site?
  10. What are the lighting and temperature of the room?
  11. How far in advance may I check out the room before speaking?

 

The information you gather from all these questions will make preparing a speech much easier.  Additionally, if your listeners understand that your research has helped you tailor your preparation specifically for them, they will be more likely to respond positively.

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