Today's post is part of my blog series of sharing chapter four of my book, A Day of Hope: Leading Volunteers to Make a Difference in Your Community. I hope you find reading the book over the next couple weeks to be enjoyable and beneficial to you as a leader.
This is part one of a two posts about how to give presentations. Enjoy!
Giving presentations is a great way to get the word out about the work you’re doing in your community.
When you give a presentation you get to tell an audience that you’re trying to help people in your community and you can ask them to help you in your efforts. Every time you get up in front of a group to speak you’re going to encounter people who have a sincere interest in helping others. You’re going to find people who might like to volunteer to offer their knowledge, gifts, and insights to help you.
Giving presentations is what launched our program and allowed us to feed a lot of people. Our second year of doing A Day of Hope was while I was attending California State University, Stanislaus. This gave me great access to professors, clubs, and committees which I could speak to about our work. I went to each of my professors and anyone I knew who was in a leadership position within a club and asked if they would allow me to speak to their class, club, or committee for five minutes about what we do.
If you’re like most people in the world, you’re getting nervous as you read about the idea of speaking in front an audience. I know I was extremely nervous about speaking to a group like this. However, I sucked it up and did it anyway. If I remember correctly, I gave a total of 39 presentations to college classes, clubs and committees in the 45 days leading up to our A Day of Hope in 2006 (our second year). It was a lot of work, a lot of talking, and was exhausting. But it got the word out and allowed us to serve and help more people than we had done before. During those 39 presentations I met many great people, learned many things, and gained new support for A Day of Hope.
Don’t worry about being a great communicator who is charismatic and connects with everyone in the room, making them laugh and cry. All you can do as a speaker is work hard to prepare and try to deliver your presentation in a way people understand what you’re doing. Giving presentations is like anything else in life—the more you do it, the better you get. I believe you improve as a speaker by working hard to prepare for your talk, by giving the talk, and by evaluating the talk in a way that helps you learn what you did well and how you can improve.
Question: What tip(s) do you have for giving presentations?