Sure, graduation and wedding speeches have a little social
pressure; but with professional speeches, you're
taking your job into your hands. Presentation
skills can make a great business idea seem lousy or vice
versa - so let's learn how to make them work for
you! Some tips:
PowerPoint - It's ubiquitous
these days; you pretty much can't give a
professional speech or presentation without a screen
behind you. First of all, for professional
purposes, it's likely that the PowerPoint file may
have to function as substitute for the speech - that
is, people who weren't able to attend, or can't
remember (or weren't paying attention) want the file
as a record of the speech. If this is the case,
make sure it works that way! However, if that's
NOT the case, don't make the PowerPoint file just a
transcript of the speech. It's not the best look
on-screen. Really. Anyway, there's a lot
more about PowerPoint use (and misuse) in the PowerPoint
section of this site - check it out!
Audience - Any professional
speech is a textbook case of needing to know your
audience. Are you presenting to engineers?
Executives? Marketing people? A potential
client? Different content and different styles
are justified for each kind of audience. Don't
overload execs with technical data, for example.
Just think about who you're talking to, and what
they're interested in.
Demeanor - Of course, this
depends on a lot of variables: the culture of
the workplace, the size and content of the audience,
the subject of the presentation, and your own
comfort level with everything. Sure, try some
humor; absolutely, do something unconventional
to make the presentation memorable and
persuasive. But also be careful - there are
plenty of stories out there about risky and tragic
choices in the business world!
I don't have any examples or samples of professional
speeches to help you out, on this site. But I'd
check out the ads that are displayed on this site - many
of them have guidelines, examples, and even PowerPoint
templates for alllll kinds of speeches. Good luck!