Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library

Effectively Delivering Your Message

By Bill Knell

Whether you're preaching a sermon, trying to sell something or wanting to nail down that presentation, delivery is everything. The best way to successfully deliver any message is to keep it fresh, keep it short, keep it simple and keep it fun.

When I started developing my first slide show years ago, I paused to reflect on what was right or wrong with most presentations. Placing one slide up on the screen and talking for an hour was something I didn't want to do. I had seen that same mistake made over and over in high school and college. The only things more boring then bad slide presentations are chalk talks and object lessons.

People new to speaking often depend on gimmicks. They often feel more comfortable using chalk board, an overhead projector, audience giveaways or something they can hold in their hand or place on a lectern for people to focus on. While these kinds of things can be useful in some cases, they can also be a distraction. A professional Speaker should never create a gap between themselves and their audience. You can steer clear of that pitfall by limiting the use of gimmicks and avoiding topic saturation.

The worst classroom nightmare that can happen to a junior or senior high school student is to end up with a teacher fresh out of college. They are easy to spot because of a misplaced passion to teach everything they have ever learned in one semester and burn up more chalk then a cheap ice cream company. Saying too much about any topic is as bad as not saying enough. An overuse of presentation graphics and technology detracts from your subject.

While tools like PowerPoint are a blessing to Speakers who were once chained to cumbersome and often unreliable slide projectors, they are not a substitute for content. Content will always be king. Editing content is an art form that must be learned through experience. Like many Speakers, most of my early gigs were for community groups, service organizations and clubs. They were, needless to say, unpaid. However, those engagements were excellent proving grounds for my material and provided good opportunities for me to sharpen my speaking skills.

The best way to understand what's right or wrong with a presentation is audience reaction. No matter how much you know about any topic or how passionately you present it, the audience will decide whether or not your presentation deserves their attention. Getting that attention means editing and presenting your content to suit them.

You can grab on to your audience by focusing in on the most interesting aspects of any topic. Let's say your topic is CORN. Most people are not going to care about how many tons of it are produced by farmers each year or what it takes to get it to market. They have already seen that on the Discovery Channel ten times over. Tell them what they don't know about the crop. Focus in on unusual uses, unique growing methods and uncommon processing procedures. Inform your audience by entertaining them.

Maintaining audience interest means speaking WITH them, not AT them. An audience will judge you by the first twenty words that come out of your mouth. This doesn't mean that you have to begin with a joke or story, it just means you have to start with sincerity. Say what you feel, not what you know and NEVER reintroduce yourself. During the first five minutes of your presentation, you will either gain or lose your audience. Begin with the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY of your topic. Those old journalistic building blocks serve professional Speakers well.

If content is king, comfort rules! You cannot successfully deliver your message to a room full of uncomfortable people. Your audience should be comfortable in every way imaginable. More then a few event planners have felt my wrath when I found horrific conditions present at various Speaking venues. I learned, early on, to verify any and all essential equipment and set-ups the day before my arrival. Arriving at least two hours before my audience on the day of a presentation was also important. That allowed time for any quick fixes.

Every member of your audience must be able to clearly see you, hear you and view any screen or monitor comfortably. If seating is portable, rows should be kept short. People like the ability to come and go as needed. Chilled water must always be available. A good listener is a comfortable listener.

You cannot get your message across if no one understands what you are talking about. Speakers often justify boring presentations by claiming that listeners will not appreciate the topic if they are not given the "big picture." These are Speakers who imagine an audience filled with Intellectuals or Professionals who appreciate the highbrow approach and hang on their every word. Anyone who has ever attended an average Financial Planning or Real Estate Investment seminar knows how tragic and ineffectual this kind of presentation can be.

If some Speakers put too much into a presentation, others depend on fluff and sideshows leaving their audience with nothing but a momentary high to take home. There is a big difference between a coaching session and public speaking. Coaches put on a show and depend as much on audience participation as they do on hype to get a point across. Coaches create an event and motivate participants, while professional Speakers deliver a message and enlighten their audiences.

Most Speakers I have met live on credentials. They write their own introductions and hope to impress an audience with all kinds of educational and professional accomplishments. Few live up to their resumes. That's because the focus is on them, not their message. With the possible exception of personality cults or celebrities, most people come out to hear the MESSAGE and not the Messenger. Given that, your delivery of that MESSAGE had better be good!

Let's revisit the essentials. Keep your presentation FRESH, keep it SHORT, keep it SIMPLE and make it FUN. This is a delicate balancing act. While you never want people to feel cheated because you didn't say enough, it's no better to say so much that they end up with a headache from trying to take it all in. Likewise, you do not want them to perceive you as a novice because you over-simplified things, depended on gimmicks, told too many jokes or replaced popular material with new stuff just to keep it crisp.

Every professional Speaker must balance content, technique, technology and audience satisfaction. It's a comfort zone that you reach through trial and error. You'll know you are there when audiences accept, enjoy and appreciate your message.

About The Author
Bill Knell

Author's Email:

Author's Website:

Terms To Use Article: Permission is granted to use this article for free online or in print. Please add a link to or print my website address:


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd