What I learned from an outdated will that can help you prepare for your next presentation

This fall I participated in a 5-week course that Christa Ovenell, the Founder of Death’s Apprentice, led on being prepared for the unexpected.

In going through the course, I realized that my will and my husband’s will are both wildly out of date. Our wills talk about the guardians for my son, who is now in his late 20s. We created these wills when he was a baby.

Based on information I learned in Christa’s course, I signed up for legal wills, which is a fabulous resource to create basic wills anywhere in Canada at a very reasonable price (https://www.legalwills.ca/). In my case, I will have my updated will completed by the end of December 2022. If you are interested in checking out Christa’s 5 week class, go here https://deathsapprentice.ca/prep-school.

What does thinking about my outdated will have to do with presentations?
A presentation can also become outdated, just like my will is.

A client came to me with exactly that problem. She had done a presentation on communicating with one’s co-workers before COVID. She had been asked to do “the same presentation” during COVID. In this case, the audience was very similar but the external circumstances were wildly different. By working with me she was able to adjust her content and the stories I helped her craft to make sense in a COVID world.

Each time you do a presentation you should consider each of my three pre-steps below (particularly if you have done a presentation on the same topic in the past). It may be tempting to just do the same presentation over again. That may be OK. Before deciding it is, consider my three pre-steps:

Pre-step 1 – Who is your audience?
First, think about your audience. What is their background? Are they members of the public or do they have the same professional background that you have? What knowledge do they have about what you are talking about? How do they learn? Would they prefer to know just high-level information or do they want more details?

Answering these questions will help you focus your presentation on those you are presenting to. The subject matter may be the same but what and how you deliver it may be very different, depending on the audience.

For example, if you are a lawyer and you are talking about a legal subject to a group of lawyers that will be very different than talking to an audience of people who know nothing about the law.

Pre-step 2 – What is your purpose?
There are two types of purpose that you need to think about.

The first is your general purpose. Are you there to inform, to motivate to take action, to inspire, or to entertain your audience?

The second is your specific purpose. What do you want the people who are in your audience to think, do, or feel after your presentation?

Depending on your audience, the answers to these questions may be very different, even if the subject matter is the same.

Pre-step 3 – What equipment?
Before starting work on your presentation, it’s important to think about what props or videos, if any, you want to use. What props and videos are appropriate again depend on your audience and your purpose. If you are going to use props or videos, make sure you practice using them and can use them seamlessly during your presentation. There is nothing worse than fumbling around trying to find the sound for the video you are playing while your audience is watching.

Do you need help with preparing for your next presentation?
I help my clients think through these questions to help them prepare for their presentations. These Pre-Steps are part of preparation.

There are ten things that make an informative presentation memorable and engaging. Preparation is one of them. If you’d like to explore the other nine, book a free 45-minute AMP Up Session – Assessment of the Memorability of your Presenting. During this session, I will guide you through a self-Assessment of all ten things that make an informative presentation memorable and engaging. You will see what you are doing well and what might be stopping you from giving presentations that are as effective as they could be. To book a session, find a time that works for you on my Calendly page: https://calendly.com/brenda-memorablepresenter/45min-amp_up.

P.S. – Upcoming events to help you plan for the unexpected
Christa and her colleague Reena Lazar are hosting two free WillowEOL™ Workshops at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver.

The first is on the evening of Monday, November 28th from 6:30 – 8pm and the title is Conscious Health, Personal Care, and Final Wishes.  The second is all day on Saturday, January 15th and the title is Legacy Love Letters and Heart Wills.

You can find more information about the first event here

For the second event, go to

Christa is hosting an intensive (virtual) bootcamp that will cover the information I learned in 5 weeks, in one weekend. It starts on Friday, November 25 at 4pm and ends on Sunday, November 27 at 2:30pm. Learn more by going here: https://deathsapprentice.ca/prep-school