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Imagine that you come to a restaurant and order a three course meal…
The dessert and coffee comes first..
Then – the main dish..
Finally, you get an appetizer at the end.
You’ll probably be surprised or even disappointed and definitely won’t enjoy the dinner.
We expect a certain order of things which are well known and usual for us.
The same is true for presentations. There is a classic, simple structure you can have in mind and apply. It is like a three course meal. Starting with provoking the appetite Opening, followed by the essential Body of the speech and finished by a pleasant and memorable accord – Conclusion.
That’s the order to follow: opening, body and conclusion. Do not start with main arguments and various supporting facts and stories, let’s gain the attention of our audience first. Start logically, step by step, in order to build a perfect listeners’ experience.
If we follow the best cuisine recipes, the appetizer – your opening would better be the one that gives a big flavor in one bite, catching the attention from the very beginning. Do your best to link the opening with the whole speech. Remember that although the appetizer isn’t considered to be a part of the meal, it is usually chosen specifically to compliment the following courses.
To create the main part of your speech, think about mixing the facts, stories, reasoning, statistics, etc . When cooking, your goal can be the perfect ratio of sweet, salty, spicy, bitter and sour. The same play with ingredients and emotions can work for speech. You don’t necessarily want all of these flavors in one dish, but if you can incorporate three or four of them into whatever you’re cooking, that’s a big win.Come up with 3-4 parts in the body of your speech.Combine and mix them in order to provoke thoughts, create mental images and prove your points.
How will you know the main part is ready? There is a straightforward answer to this – it tastes delicious. All the flavors – parts and used tools are balanced, none will shine too much brighter than the other.
Let’s think about the dessert or your speech conclusion as a showstopper. It’s highly probable the last words of yours would be remembered by the audience the most. That is why I suggest you plan that part thoroughly. Repeat your main point here, make an accent and come up with a clear call to action.
My dear Chefs, we do not need to reinvent the wheel again every time we prepare the speech. Prepare it like you’d cook the tasty classic diner. Arouse the appetite first, satiate with essence then and leave with memorable aftertaste at the very end.
Good luck with cooking your wonderful presentations!
If you want to improve your presentation skills – let’s schedule an appointment to discuss how I can support you with it.