Two invaluable tips on making an effective presentation

Wilson, WoodrowThe fundamentals were determined centuries ago:

o Know what you are talking about
o Care deeply about what you are talking about
o Establish and then sustain direct eye contact with your audience
o Limit yourself to the fewest number of words necessary…but no fewer
o Anchor your ideas in a human context

Just as Sun Tzu once asserted that every battle is won or lost before it is fought, the same is true of effective presentations: fail to prepare and you have prepared to fail.

Here is an invaluable tip from Woodrow Wilson suggests:

“If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”

Here’s another from Abraham Lincoln:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

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1 Comment

  1. Randy Mayeux on July 31, 2013 at 8:37 am

    It is always funny to me how I remember stories… The Woodrow Wilson quote I once heard as coming from Harry Truman. So, I wonder if I am remembering incorrectly, or if this is not correct… or, was Truman quoting Wilson?

    But, the counsel is very wise, regardless of who said it!

    By the way, I agree fully with this post — and would add this — “don’t forget to save time for “delivery rehearsal” – practice speaking before you speak in front of your audience “.

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