What to do if you only have three hours to prepare for your presentation?

In previous posts, we’ve talked about best practices for presentation preparation.

We’ve talked about what you should do if you have one week to prepare.

We saw some useful strategies for if you have two days to prepare.

What if you don’t even have a day?

What if you only have three hours to prepare?

Here are a few strategies to bring you focus and use your time effectively.

1.       Short Presentation, Long Q&A

With this strategy, you want your audience to have enough information to churn your ideas through their mind. Think of this as “priming the pump” to get your audience’s mental engines running.

Be brief. With a brief overview, a few facts, and a quick example, you deliver enough information to your audience that they will start coming up with their own ideas and questions.

Once you move into questions, you will receive real-time feedback.

This works well because it allows your audience to guide the communication.

2.       Leave the slides behind

With only three hours of preparation, slides should be slipping off your priority list.

If you absolutely need a slide or three, go ahead; but it is rare that a presentation, prepared in three hours, “absolutely needs” a slide deck.

Practice your key points out loud.

Write out a few words on a note card to keep you on track.

Better yet, put down the note cards, put down the clicker, and use your hands, your body, your gestures and facial expressions to deliver this presentation.

A good presentation without slides is much better then a mediocre presentation with slides.

3.       Pick one thing to focus on

With only three hours to prepare, you need focus and you need it now. Bring your mind to one clear concise idea you want to get across in this presentation.

If you know what matters most to your audience, then you need to present on that idea.

Bringing your focus to one thing will make that one thing impactful, more memorable.

If you talk on 10 things, and none of them are remembered, what have you gained?

If you talk well on one thing, and it is remembered and acted upon? Everyone gains.

Practice your presentation skills

The more honed your presentation skills, the easier this type of situation will be for you. Applause offers presentation workshops to organizations of all sizes. We will help groups of growth-oriented, leaders of any level take the next step in developing their presentation skills. We also coach one on one for high potentials, leaders and for high-stakes presentations. Call or email us today and let’s get the conversation started.