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(MCT)—You’ve made it onto the short list for that big contract and the client wants you to present your proposal to the executive committee. Or the leader of your networking group has offered you a spotlight presentation at next month’s luncheon. Or you get the chance to informally pitch your new business concept to an angel investor over coffee.

What do you do next?

If it has been a while since your last business presentation, here are four steps that will have you up to speed in no time.

Get grounded: No matter whether you’re starting with a blank page or sifting through a pile of marketing collateral, begin your process by setting a solid foundation for your talk. Geni Whitehouse, author of “How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting,” advises answering the following questions:

—Why am I speaking?
—What do I know about the audience?
—What am I trying to accomplish?
—What do I want people to walk away knowing?
—What should they do after they hear my words of wisdom?
—Why does my audience care about this?

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