Some presentation skills training from the USPS.
"Express will guarantee delivery tomorrow, it comes with insurance and tracking so you can confirm when it is delivered. Priority is expected by Monday, still with tracking to ensure delivery. Then there's regular mail, which doesn’t come with any delivery guarantee. What would you like to do?"
Excellent question. While sending an important piece of mail, I was presented with a bunch of delivery options- whew! What would I like to do? I wanted to ensure that my message was received by its intended recipient. There were lots of choices, but I needed to choose the correct one so that my letter arrived at the right time when my audience was present. I needed to be able to follow it every step of the way. And I needed to be sure they got it. Tracking, insurance, confirmation-
Thanks to the USPS for inspiring today's quick tips to help ensure that your message is received by your audience:
1. Tracking: Giving your audience a clear structure and form when presenting will assist them (and you!) in tracking your message. We advise the use of "bookends" in presentations: outline what you're going to tell the audience, give them the information, and then restate what you've just told them. Building a road map with bookends for each key point will help everyone track your information clearly, even if they check out for a moment. And it's a great help to you as a presenter- if you know you have three points to make and you are on number two, bookends can help you find your way back if you get lost!
2. Insurance: Well, in this case it should be Ensurance. Don't forget to that to ensure that your message is received, you must be heard and understood clearly. Sometimes, it's hard to be sure if we are achieving our volume and articulation goals. Start taking stock on a daily basis to build self-awareness that will help you when presenting. Do many people have difficulty hearing you? Do you find you stumble over words a lot? If so, start working towards improving those areas one step at a time. (Having articulation issues? We've written an entire series that can help you! Check it out here.)
3. Confirmation: Unfortunately, we can't make everyone in our audience sign a form saying they've received our message after every presentation. (Wouldn't that be great?!) But what we can do is check back in frequently with our audience for overall understanding. Once you've told them what you are going to tell them, given them that information, and then briefly restated your content, ask your audience if they have any questions. This can help confirm your audience's understanding, give you the opportunity to clarify any information that was unclear, and forge a closer connection with your audience by opening up a dialogue. Easy confirmation, no signature required.