Communication Skills - Finalizing the Main Body

This stage of preparing the content is usually the most time consuming and frustrating because it can be difficult to decide whether something is necessary and if so, how much importance to attach to it.

One of the best ways to save yourself time and anxiety is simply to run through an early draft with a trusted colleague from your target audience, maybe someone who is unable to attend the presentation. They will appreciate why you are asking them to review and comment on your content. You should ask them if a point is appropriate, whether they understand it, and if they have any questions.

It does not matter that you don't yet have a proper introduction, summary, or conclusion when you are performing this exercise. These things can wait until you are certain that the main body will support your key message statement and be suitable for the audience.

The act of working through a key point with someone else can often clarify things in your own mind and give you a much better idea of exactly what is needed to support it.

This exercise is something that both parties will benefit from and almost everyone can see the value of, so you're unlikely to be refused if you ask someone to do this for you - especially if you can find someone who cannot attend the official event and you offer to go through your presentation with them. Obviously, this exercise is only appropriate for high-impact presentations when you can both justify the time and effort.

Finalizing the Main Body of Your Presentation

This can work well for you both because they do get to see your presentation, albeit delivered more as a one-to-one, and you get immediate and relevant feedback on the outline and structure. Knowing that the points you have prepared will be understood and are of interest to the audience can also go a long way to alleviating any nervousness you may be feeling before the presentation.

Once you have the main body completed you can move on to the other four stages.

You may also be interested in:
Preparing a Management Presentation | Repetition and Timing | Your Presentation Aim | The Five-Stage Format | Preparing the Main Body | Key Point Guidelines | Preparing Your Pre-Introduction | Preparing the Introduction | Preparing the Summary and Conclusion.

Key Points

  • If the presentation is an important one, then work through this draft with a trusted colleague as this can help to get the structure and emphasis right and leave you with more time to fine-tune it.
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