There’s no denying that our current political climate is ripe with opportunities for discussion and persuasion.
Regardless of which side you’re on, it’s important to speak your mind and advocate for the change you want to see.
As part of a democracy, we have the privilege of being able to access our policymakers without having to jump through hoops to bend their ears.
That said, they don’t have all day, and you aren’t the only meeting they’ve scheduled. How can you give a presentation that sparks their interest and encourages action?
Today, we’re sharing our top tips to help you give an impactful and inspiring talk that turns heads and gets your cause the attention it deserves.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
1. Find Your Focal Point
Scientists say we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. Even if all eyes are on you, it’s likely that all minds are not.
Your listeners are checking their phone, making mental notes and wondering what’s for dinner. You have to get your point across from the onset.
That said, find out what your point is.
Rather than wax poetic about various sub-topics, narrow your focus down to a single point. For instance, it could be your stance on a current news topic, a policy you’d like to change, or a new program you want to implement.
Then, build a convincing narrative around it. Grab their attention with a personal anecdote that will stick in their mind long after your 3:30 meeting is over.
2. Develop Your Argument
You have your core idea and narrative. Now, it’s time to fill in the gaps.
As you create your presentation, pepper in arguments and examples that relate to it. Though they’re different in nature, they should all repeat a common mantra.
Before you close, be sure to give the listener a take-home solution. In this way, presentations are like mini-movies. After they’ve invested their time in watching you, your audience wants (and deserves) a neat ending rather than an open-ended one.
You may not have the solution to your issue, and that’s OK. Still, you should offer at least one action that listeners can take to further your cause. Teach them something they don’t know and encourage them to move.
3. Add Your Visuals
Wondering how to give a good presentation? Don’t count on your slides, handouts, PDF links or tri-fold to carry it. Instead, determine what you’re going to say first, and then create the surrounding visuals.
Let them serve as complements to your speech, helping your audience picture more clearly the story you’re weaving.
Keep text minimal, resist the urge to use elaborate graphics or transitions, and make sure all visuals have a consistent look and feel. Use a slideshow maker to help you organize your ideas into a sequence that fits your message.
4. Project Confidence
You’ve developed your materials and spent weeks preparing. Now, the big day is here.
Above all else, project as much confidence as possible from the second you step foot in the room. If you aren’t sure of your speech, no one else will be, either.
Make eye contact, move around (if your microphone is portable), and keep the tone serious. When you’re done, open the floor up to audience participation, if appropriate.
This can be a great opportunity to encourage interaction and build a rallying community around your cause. Listen to all viewpoints, even those that differ from yours. Remember, conversations of all kinds can spur change.
Give a Presentation That Speaks for Itself
Do you feel passionate enough about a policy issue that you’re ready to speak out?
When you put time and effort in your case, you want to make sure people are listening. That’s why it’s important to give a presentation that’s as on fire as you are. With these tips, you can get your point across, captivate your audience and spur real action.
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Now that you know how to give a presentation that delivers, you need a talking point. Check out our post on the top political issues of 2018 to get started. How will you use your voice for good?