Presenting at a meeting requires careful planning. Begin by ascertaining who will be in your audience and tailor your talk specifically to them. “If your task is to deliver a highly technical talk and your audience is diverse, make sure you speak to the least sophisticated person who will attend,” advised Dr. Hausfeld, who no longer practices clinical medicine, instead focusing on the business of medicine. “But do it in a way that does not lose your more technically savvy attendees.”
Lisa Ishii, MD, MHS, associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and chief quality officer at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, suggests starting your talk by presenting a vision that captures the audience’s attention and makes them want to continue to listen to understand how they will get there. “This sets the stage for a story that the speaker will then unfold over the course of the presentation,” she said.
Ken Lizotte, CMC, chief imaginative officer of Emerson Consulting Group in Concord, Mass., recommends starting with something startling. “Find a statistic or outrageous example of a main point pertaining to your topic or a scenario of something that could happen but that could have also been prevented,” he said. “This technique will immediately get your audience’s attention.”