Giving Presentations

Advocates are often asked to speak about their cause/issues concerning MBC at meetings, conferences etc. in order to improve services for women. Remember to adapt your speech to your audience. The following are some points to keep in mind:

  • Remember that the first 60 seconds of your presentation are vital. Make every second count
  • By using questions, you force the audience to think along with you
  • Be sure your opening remarks are along the same “wavelength” as the majority of your listeners
  • Provide a brief personal history and anecdotes, when appropriate, to gain credibility
  • Focus on those who are in agreement with you rather than those who seem disinterested
  • Get excited about your topic, but do not get angry or overly emotional
  • Involve your audience in some form of active learning, if appropriate
  • Include statistics, illustrations and examples if appropriate
  • Carefully plan your transitions from one concept to the next
  • Summarise key points before moving to the next topic
  • Learn the power of effective pauses
  • Don’t call the attention of the audience to the time
  • Never speak past the appointed cut-off time
  • Plan your concluding remarks carefully
  • When concluding, look directly into the eyes of those in your audience, and be sure your voice is strong
  • Try to prepare for eventual questions by anticipating what might be asked; give your answer clearly and, if you are asked a question you cannot immediately answer, commit to finding the answer and responding to the person later. And make sure you do!