There is a way for being prepared for giving the unexpected presentation. The method is creating a simple glance sheet with a paint color sample strip.
Being semi-prepared for the unexpected is a gift we give ourselves in many areas of our lives. When I lived in Colorado, I kept a prep-bag in my car during the winter months stuffed with gloves, hat, box of rock salt, a throw blanket and other small items in the event I was caught in a snow storm or stalled on a major road in a frozen grid lock. Living in Texas, my prep-bag held sunscreen, a roll-up hat, and water in the event of unforeseen free time for fun outdoors. Here in South Carolina, I’ve noticed my prep items in the car are a dog leash, doggie treats, and a sun hat. Over the years, each prep-item has been a life-saver at one time or another.
However, as a professional speaker, I’ve found my favorite and most reliable pre-prep item to always have handy, is a color- sample paint swatch. I call this my color-coded cheat sheet.
Often I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve been called to give an unanticipated talk with little or no time to prepare. With a sample paint strip, I can put a key word or phrase on each square and carry the unobtrusive card with me to the lectern, which will keep me focused on the objective, organized in delivery, and respectful of allotted time.
The three color-code paint strip is best for a five minute or less talk. The seven hue strip is ideal for an impromptu presentation guide sheet.
Below are two basic outlines I keep in mind as I jot down key words in each color square on the short strip.
- Open, middle, close
- Past, present, future
The long strip allows for detail reminder words. The following is my mental go-to outlines that once again cause me to write down only key words to deliver an unprepared message.
- Warm open
- Interaction activity
Being semi-prepared for unexpected events brings comfort and confidence in snow, heat, fun and impromptu surprises, like a gift we give ourselves.
In the past, I didn’t have a simple method to help me stay focused, yet deliver all the points I wanted in a surprise speech. Now, I do and it works great. Hopefully, sharing my discovery will be helpful to you too.
Grace be with you all.