Most professionals believe that delivery is more vital than the content itself. This is because they know how a certain action or behavior might be interpreted by different people. Others assert that content is most important, implying that it’s what informs listeners the most.
Sometimes, we tend to focus more on someone’s delivery when we aren’t convinced with what’s being said. Audiences don’t only perceive verbal messages, they also interpret how you project and behave on stage.
But which is more important: content or delivery?
According to public speaking coach Georgina Kirk, both are important pillars of your presentation. Should one fall, the other goes with it. Here’s how to sharpen both your content and delivery for a winning pitch:
Before crafting your pitch, you must first consider your audience. Presentation trainer Garr Reynolds suggests that one of the best ways to an effective pitch is by knowing your specific audience before you present. This allows you to come up with ideas and the appropriate approach to best engage them.
Are you presenting in front of your colleagues, business partners, or clients? Do you want to inspire, encourage, or persuade them to take actions after you perform? Knowing this beforehand lets you narrow down what you need to say (content) and how you should say it (delivery).
Spicing Up Your Content
This involves gathering facts about your subject matter and including visuals emphasizing your main points. Consider what your audience needs to recall after you deliver your message. Removing all the irrelevant information improves your speech. It can also prevent you from confusing and misleading your audience.
Aside from the verbal content, your visuals can also give life to your presentation. You can hire a PowerPoint expert to design your deck, or ask a colleague to check what you’ve already come up with. This will help you craft a more interactive and stunning slide deck.
Improving Your Delivery
Connecting with your audience doesn’t just depend on your speech’s content. It also relies on how your delivery complements and emphasizes your message. Think about theater actors who use their body movements to engross the crowd with their performance.
Speech coach Craig Valentine gives a few tips on improving speech delivery. These involve eye contact, gestures, postures, and facial expressions, all of which can contribute to a successful communication more than the content itself. They add impact and emphasis to spoken words, making it more comprehensible for audiences. In a way, they are their own unspoken form of language.
While many presenters prioritize delivery, you shouldn’t neglect how much your audience will learn from your main content. You may have the most interesting topic of all time, but an uninteresting speech will bore your audience.
An entertaining presentation style may enthrall listeners, but will achieve nothing if your content lacks concrete and valuable information. This only proves that content and delivery are both vital to a successful performance. While the former can help you educate your audience, the latter can highlight your message and generate audience interest.
So when you plan and prepare for your next pitch, do it with outstanding content and delivery to achieve your desired outcome. To help you out with your presentation, SlideGenius’ PowerPoint professionals can offer you a free quote!
Valentine, Craig. “10 Ways to Improve Your Speech Delivery.” Craig Valentine. March 7, 2010. Accessed August 10, 2015.
“Content vs Delivery.” Learn Public Speaking Skills. October 13, 2012. Accessed August 10, 2015.
“10 Tips for Improving Your Presentations & Speeches.” Presentation Zen. Accessed August 10, 2015.