Setting the stage, setting expectations
I know when you’re presenting - whether the presentation was written for you or you scripted it yourself - you have an agenda, so you don’t want to go off on a tangent and run out of time. Nor do you want an audience member to hijack your 15 minutes with a random, never-ending question.
One of the best things I can tell you is to control any damage - bulldozers, rambling topics (by you) or rambling questions (from the audience) - up top. I call this “Setting Your Stage.”
When you are the speaker, you’re “on stage” in a sense. And it’s your stage, so take it! And when you do, establish boundaries and expectations up front. This will prevent problems later on.
So, here’s some “scripting” for you. Please feel free to rip this off and use as much or as little as you want; many a great training was ripped off from someone else before. I should know. I’m the one that did the stealing. :)
“Before we get started, I’d like to lay out some of the logistics for today. This [training/meeting/talk/knitting circle] will run from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. We’ll take breaks [or not] and I’ve allotted time at the end for questions, so if you think of a question you’d like to ask, please write it down and we’ll tackle it during Q+A time.”
“There are 4 components to [this thing I’m talking about]. They are Q, X, Y, and Z. In the interest of time, I’ll be discussing Q and X today; if you would like more information on Y and Z, I will provide resources at the end of this talk.”
“I have handouts with a list of further reading. Everyone will receive one at the end of the presentation. For now, please look up here as I walk us through [whatever it is].”
Adults need to know what’s expected of them, and what to do (or not). Establish all of this up top, and you’ll be in a better position to control the presentation and the room.