Are You Ready for Your Next Nonprofit Presentation?
I have preached for many years that nonprofit professionals master three elements to do their jobs more effectively. You should read constantly and keep up to date with changes, plus updates in our profession. You should be able to write clearly and convincingly to any audience. You should also be able to speak on a variety of topics to groups of individuals. The group size may vary from two to over 100 at times. If you can read, write and speak, you will be a leader in the field and not a follower. Of the elements I mentioned, I must state that I truly love to make presentations by speaking to others.
I was recently honored to be the keynote speaker at a recent Hamilton Southeastern School Foundation Board Retreat, located in Fishers, Ind. There were many activities shared with the board that day. Of these program presentations, three main speakers were invited to present. School system superintendent Dr. Allen Bourff presented his vision for the public schools and how the foundation would be needed to play an important part of its future success.
Progressive City of Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness provided his insight of the importance of education through interaction between government, business and nonprofits. I was particularly interested in the Mayor’s thoughts of inviting Hamilton Southeastern Schools outstanding alumni from across the country back to Fishers for input on future directions. As the keynote speaker, I was given the directive to present on a variety of board, volunteer, fundraising and nonprofit topics.
I love to make presentations. In order to make a successful nonprofit presentation, you must understand how to properly prepare in advance. I do extensive research on the topic to present. I take notes and create an outline that will involve lecturing, handout review and focused PowerPoint presentations. When my presentation is pieced together, I understand how much time I can present and literally spend that time preparing.
For example, for the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Board Retreat presentation, I was asked to speak for one hour. I spent one hour in the bathroom rehearsing in the mirror going over my presentation. I timed each section and how I was going to use materials. In truth, my actual presentation is slightly different than my preparation. When I feel the audience plus environment, I adjust my speech accordingly. What do others suggest that you should do in preparation for your presentation?
The Balance notes that speakers want their presentation to be a success.
Her tips for delivering a winning and memorable presentation that you enjoy giving are as follows:
- Take time to prepare. Think about what you are going to say and how to say it.
- Research your audience. Tailor your presentation directly to them.
- Identify your goals. Keep them in mind as you develop your presentation.
- Know your time limit. Prepare your content to match your time allotted.
- Write it down. Your will remember content if you write it down.
- Create visual aids. Keep them short and to the point.
- Memorize it. Remember key points you want to emphasize.
- Practice, practice, practice. You may consider videotaping yourself.
- Get there early. Meet the audience in advance and scope the room, etc.
- Show your passion through your delivery.
- Make it interactive. Talk and exchange with your audience.
- Use humor. It will make you and the audience more relaxed.
- Leave something behind. Leave handouts, business cards, behind.
According to Skills You Need, provide the following ideas to help you improve your future presentations.
- Show your passion and connect with your audience.
- Focus on your audience’s needs.
- Keep it simple: concentrate on your core message.
- Smile and make eye contact with your audience.
- Start strongly.
- Remember the 10-20-30 rule for slideshows (no more than 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes and use a font size of no less than 30 point).
- Tell stories.
- Use your voice effectively.
- Use your body, too.
- Relax, breathe and enjoy.
Ask yourself if you are ready for your next presentation. It is all about confidence and attitude. The more times you present to a variety of audiences, the better you will become at being a master presenter. I always ask for feedback when I present so I can improve. I view presenting as exciting and fun. Know your subject matter well, and you will enjoy providing knowledge to others that seek your expertise.
As a former president of the Lawrence Township (Indianapolis) Public School Foundation Board of Directors, I related perfectly to members of the Hamilton Southeastern School Foundation Board. I was one of them because we have both experienced volunteer board service to enhance the process of educating public school children. We also greatly appreciate the hard work teachers, principals, administration and boards provide in seeking resources to provide the best educational experience possible for those served.
I suggest that you strive to make presentations often. When you do, you will leave the podium relieved, excited and fulfilled. I truly guarantee it!
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.