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Tips to Prepare for Any Speaking Engagement

Most contractors and consultants understand that clients are seeking more than technical and industry expertise, with ‘soft’ skills like communication and presentation skills becoming increasingly important.  Regardless of how strong your technical skills are, not having the ability to effectively translate technical jargon into business speak, and failure to present ideas to senior level clients effectively will always be limiting to a career as an independent contractor.  Senior roles, in particular, require contractors to deal with many stakeholders and daily/weekly project update presentations to a diverse audience are often required.

It is rare to find a person who says they ‘love’ presenting.  No matter how large or small the audience is, it can be a daunting task – but more so if you are not prepared.  Failing to prepare for a presentation will often leave one wishing they had not presented and worse, leaving the audience with a poor perception — even if the presenter is a technical subject matter expert!

Many people feel that if they know a topic well enough, they do not need to rehearse the content.  Granted, if a person feels passionate about their topic, it will carry over into the presentation but being able to articulate the story that is on the presentation deck is also important. This article from Inc.comwritten bySims Wyethshares 14 tips for preparing and delivering an effective presentation.