Bottom line

Most presentations succeed or fail long before you ever stand up to deliver them.

Now let's turn to the second half of this book: giving presentations in plain English. As with writing in plain English, you should find that speaking in plain English is clearer for your audience and easier on you, too. With a few simple techniques, you can be on your way to being a more effective speaker.

But for a moment, think of yourself as a member of an audience. Have you ever sat through a presentation wondering, "What is this thing about? And when is it ever going to end?"

We've all been there, haven't we? This section of the book may not help you as a listener, but it will help you as a speaker—so you aren't the one causing the mental grumbling in your audience.

You don't need to be a "born speaker" to speak well. Very few people are. Many people who seem to be born speakers have actually gotten there through practice, more practice, and lots of experience.

But that practice isn't haphazard.

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This section of the book suggests an approach for preparing your presentations, an approach I almost always use. And this approach is practical, emphasizing how rather than why:

• how to organize your presentation

• how to remember what you plan to say

• how to design visual aids

• how to design computer presentations

• how to prepare the room for your presentation

• how to handle questions and answers And more.

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