Make Things Easy for Yourself with These 6 Pro Tips on Preparing a Talk

Thinking of presenting at Bettakultcha? Why not make things easier for yourself by following these 6 tips from past presenters.

They’ve been there, done that and got the BK badge. And, so can you when you prepare your presentation like a pro.

1. Don’t get it right, get it written

A great tip that’s not only a fav of BK presenters, but also prolific writers like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lee Child, Ray Bradbury and many, many more.

When starting a fresh talk many presenters obsess with themes, structure, or research.

It’s great to think about those things, but it’s also a great way to procrastinate.

Have an idea? Even if it’s really vague?

Just start writing. See what happens.

Once you’ve got words on a page, you will get a clearer picture of what you’re talking about. Once you start writing, you’ll be amazed by how much you know and amazed by how many ideas you have.

You can edit anything or do extra research after. But, expressing your ideas comes first.

What if you struggle to write freely?

Well, here’s another tip (a sneaky bonus tip – we’re spoiling you!)

One presenter told us that when they have an idea for a talk they record a conversation with a friend. It helps them to start expressing their ideas. Somehow while trying to explain them to a friend they figure out how to explain them to a crowd.

They simply listen back to the conversation and write it all down.

BANG. All they have to do is a bit of editing. But it was only possible after initially expressing their ideas.

2. Remember that it’s only 5 minutes

We realise this is a little patronising. Especially if you know Bettakultcha, you’ll know the 5-min-20-slide-15-second format.

But it’s always worth repeating.

Because sometimes it’s too easy to try and pack in too much into such a short amount of time. Especially if you’re passionate about your subject.  

So give yourself a break.

You don’t need to jam every single piece of information you’ve discovered into your talk.

Sometimes it’s like writing an essay when you’re over the word count.

Cut out those non-essential points (no matter how much you love them) and keep in the stuff your audience must know.

And keep hold of that passion. Because once you’ve caught the public speaking bug, you’ll want to do more.

And you can even save that extra material for your next talk.

3. Keep your slides short and sweet

Don’t overload those slides. One or two images, a handful of words is enough to get your concept across.

One of the reasons why the fast-paced BK format exists is to stop people overloading slides with information.

You’ve probably seen presentations at work or on a course, where you find that you are trying to read what’s on the slides rather than listening to the speaker.

People have come to listen to you and your ideas, not read some slides. So, think of your slides as supporting what you are talking about.

Each slide is only up for 15 seconds. So keep them simple.

Thinking about preparing your slides this way will will help you breakdown your ideas and be clearer about what you’re trying to share with your audience.

It will also save you time preparing these slides.

4. Don’t worry about learning your script

If you want, you can bring your notes up on stage with you.

The Bettakultcha crowd come to listen to passionate people who are volunteers. They’re not expecting everyone to be the most experienced speakers. The crowd know that you’ve given up your time to do this. And it takes time to prepare too.

So, there’s no pressure to learn your script off by heart, even if doing that looks really cool.

The crowd don’t mind, so you shouldn’t mind.

If you can’t remember your script, don’t worry. Plenty of people at Bettakultcha bring notes or flashcards on stage.

Some folks like to keep notes on stage for reassurance and often don’t even use them.

Some folks don’t even learn their script or bring notes. They’re so passionate about their idea they can talk about it easily for 5 minutes.

That’s the easiest thing to do. Let your passion guide you.

The hardest thing to do is learn every-single-individual-word of your script. It’s time consuming. You’re here to share your passions but you don’t have to be an actor to do it.

5. You can link to the theme or not – it’s up to you

Bettakultcha events – both evening spectaculars and lunchtime networking events (with LeedsBID) – will have a theme.

Often folks like to link to the theme. Many find it an inspiring starting point.

But while our lunchtime events often have speakers presenting on a topic, our evening events are free and easy.

That’s why we call them ‘unofficial’ themes.

So if you have an idea and it doesn’t ‘link’ with the theme, go ahead. We want to hear it anyway.

6. Nail the technical stuff and give yourself an easy life

Finally, there are a couple technical things that will make preparing for your Bettakultcha presentation a breeze. Screen ratios and transitions.

BUT – you don’t need to wory about this. We now provide everyone who speaks with a template.

Use that it will make things so much easier for you!

What are you waiting for? The people of Bettakultcha are excited to hear about your passions and interests.


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