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The Intangibles of Presentation Prep


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By Pam Leinmiller

Preparing for a presentation? The first things we usually think about all have to do with deliverables around the presentation itself such as: What are the most important points? What slides do I need to support these points? Handouts? How do I start? How should I end?

There is more to providing your audience with a great experience than the mechanics of the presentation itself. While at a recent National Speaker Association meeting, I had a conversation with another professional speaker who had a lifetime of experience about the intangibles that come together to create that experience. Consider these three “intangibles.”


How are you approaching your presentation? Are you “feeling good” knowing that you have prepared well and have the information your audience is expecting? Are you planning to arrive early to set up and be mentally available to your audience? Do you have a positive outlook and expectation surrounding your presentation?


Do you believe that you are the perfect presenter for this topic and this audience at this time? Do you believe in yourself and your ability to deliver that great experience? If you have any doubts, work on the deliverables mentioned in the first paragraph to help build your belief.


It takes a dose of courage to give a presentation. It really doesn’t matter if your audience is large or small. We are still risking our reputation, rejection of our ideas, or disagreement with our point of view. In short, we are being vulnerable and opening ourselves up to less than ideal responses. And that takes courage.

Once you have the mechanics of your presentation figured out, then spend a bit of time coming up with some good self-talk about giving that presentation. You know, the little voice inside your head that is a stream of consciousness about your worthiness or unworthiness, as the case may be? Do you have a fire-it-up song you can play before you step up to present? Anything you can do to affirm yourself and put you in a positive, confident frame of mind helps.

I would love to hear how thinking about your attitude, belief and courage in addition to preparing your presentation impacts the end result.


Pam is an expert at working with highly-intelligent and technically-minded people to enable them to accurately, effectively and confidently communicate. She organizes and conducts training in both small and large groups as well as one-on-one. Reach out to Pam: Pam@PamLeinmiller.com, 888-868-0879 or tweet @PamLeinmiller