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  • Corinna Ng

How to give a great presentation without preparing the whole script

Your PowerPoint deck is ready, and you are presenting soon. Very soon. But you’re completely swamped with work and haven’t had time to prepare an entire script for your presentation. Sound familiar?


For sure you should set aside time to fully prepare your presentation. But the good news is this: here’s a technique that’ll ensure you deliver an excellent presentation without writing out the whole script.


So what should you spend your precious little time doing? The answer: You Top and Tail it!


First, you prepare the opening – the Top. You script out every word from the second you say ‘Good morning’. And you rehearse it. It may be only 2 or 3 lines; but you absolutely nail them with precise language.


Then you do the same for the closing of your presentation – your Tail. Write out every word. Practise aloud. Prepare exactly how you will deliver this crucial final sentence.


Being precise around your Top and Tail ensures you start with confidence and end on a strong note. Pure and simple.


What about the content in the middle, you may ask? Here’s the good news. If you open with complete control, your entire Delivery Mechanism – your mind, your posture, your entire presence – will fall in line.


Author D. A. Benton calls this the four-minute rule. If you completely control your actions for the first four minutes of an encounter, your first impression will be game, set and match. Then you just have to keep going.


Here’s an example of a tightly scripted Top:


The creation of an Asia Pacific headquarters is a significant milestone for your company. You have thought deeply about all your location needs. Today, we have four exciting properties that offer different approaches – and all match your criteria.


Now to your Tail. You want to leave them wanting more.


Remember: audiences have a really strong recall for the last words you utter. So, what’s going to send their minds in the right direction?


A good Tail for the Top example above could be:


Four properties, four unique propositions. Which one will make the right statement for your company?


So now you are armed with a simple, but highly effective, technique. Practise it every chance you have, and soon it will come naturally.

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