How you position the talk before you deliver it will have a big impact on the audience’s level of interest.

Think through the most effective forms of communication to send out in advance: If you’re presenting to colleagues, you might e-mail them a summary of your message and a rough list of points you plan to cover, or send a meeting request with a detailed agenda. If you’re going to speak to people from outside your organization—like, conference attendees,—you may post your biography and talking points online and provide links to prereading material (like published articles, abstracts of white papers, and so on). Preparing strong supporting material may take as long as developing the presentation itself. However you choose to orient your audience members, make it clear how they will benefit from your talk.

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