Here are some basic questions I ask myself when scripting a presentation.

My goal here is to bring personality, energy, passion, and authenticity to my public speaking.

  1. This may be for a group but more than anyone else, which individual do I want to give this presentation to? Eye to eye.
  2. Who are my 3 reviewers? Who has the skills to make this work?
  3. Why am I raising my arms about this? What frustration do I want to address?
  4. What is my intention? (Or am I just wanting to be the centre of attention?)
  5. What embarrassing fact about myself am I sharing? What part of myself am I giving away?
  6. What is my personal learning? What relevant eye opening moment have I had recently?
  7. What evidence do I want to highlight? What hard data can I share?
  8. What interpreted short story do I want to tell (characters, beginning, end, empathy)?
  9. Who do I want to thank? Who has helped me come to terms with this?
  10. How does this link to my expertise (dev, violin, life drawing)? What connects me personally to this?
  11. Who do I want to quote? What historical figure can shed light on this?
  12. Where’s my personal joy? Why does this make me happy? What part of this makes me lol?
  13. What’s my final sentence? What is my final question?

If you can get your answers to these questions concise and set in stone it’ll make it a lot easier to write the script.

Keep in mind, it doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s important that once you pick your focus you don’t budge. The only thing worse than a “bad focus” is a “moving focus”.

In regards to slides, I think it’s best to avoid them. Use beautiful photos instead, and stick a tacky quote over the top (it takes a few seconds in Paint).

The script takes a month. The slides take 1 hour.

Oh, and never compromise on passion. If it’s not from the heart, call in sick.

Perhaps the hardest question to ask is “Why bother at all?”. Or more to the point, “If your presentation is successful, what consequence will it have?”. These sorts of “get out of bed” questions are not part of the above 13. That stuff runs deep and more often than not remains elusive. I guess if you are going to put effort into a presentation you might has well take a risk.

Make it fresh, decisive and consequential.