In an oral presentation, setting objectives is as equally important as attaining them. This should be done at the onset of the preparation stage for your presentation. After choosing a good topic to present or after being provided a topic, define first your presentation objectives before going any further with preparing on the other elements.
The Essence of Goal-Setting
Why is it important to set goals for a particular undertaking? Goals and objectives define the purpose of any task or activity. Even in our individual lives, we each have our own set of goals to help us reach our aspirations.
In coming up with your objectives, a very important factor to consider is the choice of topic. You have to have a direction throughout the course of your presentation. Consider asking yourself what your intentions are and why you are making it. Furthermore, you must know what you wish to accomplish by the end of your presentation.
How to Set “Smart” Objectives
In the process of making the objectives for your presentation, these goals should be “smart”. According to Mr. Bob Pike who conducted the seminar “Creative Training Techniques”, “smart” objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and possible during the presentation proper.
To be specific in your objectives means to consider how the presenter wants the perspectives and actions of the audience to change after the presentation. Do you intend to alter the way your audience initially thinks of the topic and influence them on your presentation? Be particular with what you want to happen. Do not be vague as it will only make your oral presentation useless.
An objective has to be measurable, meaning it has to be more precise and is set on a certain level. If the goal is to make the audience feel delighted, how delighted would you want them to be? If the measure of its achievability is not that clear, then you may need to redefine it.
So, once your goals are measurable, it has to be achievable as well. Being more realistic and practical defines an achievable objective. If you aim for a result by the end of your presentation, make sure that you put off setting long-term goals in the meantime.
Relevance of the objectives to the topic is also an important factor. But of course, this goes back to knowing and understanding first your topic before setting your objectives. These aims should be reasonable enough and the audience should be able to relate it to their lives.
Lastly, time is an essential element in setting a “smart” objective. If the goals are achievable, consider the possible period of accomplishment.
Common Presentation Objectives
There are four major categories of presentation objectives. The goal of informing is a simple type of objective. This means providing the audience the basic knowledge of the content of the presentation. This is usually in a passive and unreceptive approach where the audience plainly listens and does not even have to be interactive about the topic. An example of this would be an information officer notifying the members about the latest update of the company website for online ordering.
If you want the members of the audience to recall and apply the key points of your presentation, your main objective is to educate them. A very common example of this type of objective is a technical or training presentation. In a training delivery, the main objective is to educate the participants and let them put the knowledge into application.
Persuasion and motivating to action are two very challenging presentation objectives. A proposal is definitely aimed at convincing and winning the approval of the audience. Both types of objectives require the presenter to have a good understanding of the audience’s level of thinking on the topic. This is because one of its ultimate aims is to modify their viewpoints and even their attitude toward the presentation content. An officer who is proposing a new company program should be able to persuade the bosses as to its impact toward the company. Then again, this can be really challenging.
Keep in mind that in making a presentation, you should first be able to define the purpose of your speech. It is not a good idea to let the audience guess it for you as they will only be confused and bewildered themselves.