For many people, being asked their opinion at work can be awkward, or even terrifying. I often share a simple system called PREP, which is a template for presenting your opinions.
You can use PREP to present your opinions and ideas at meetings or during presentations. PREP has four steps:
- Point of view: Simply state your point of view.
- Reason: Why you think/feel the way you do.
- Examples/Explanations: These add credibility and/or emotional appeal to your reason.
- Point of view: Wrap it all up by restating your point of view.
I have several suggestions for making the most out of the PREP template. As its name indicates, you’ll be more successiful if you can do some preparation.
If you know the topic of the meeting, then think ahead of time about what questions you might be asked, and know what your answer will be. If you’ve been with the company for a while, you probably already have an idea of what to expect. If you’re new, ask around to find out what kinds of questions might come up. Ask your co-workers or manager what might be discussed at the meeting as soon as it’s scheduled, so you can do your homework.
You can also use PREP to organize an entire presentation. This model will help ensure that your presentation is as effective and persuasive as possible.
- Point of view: Write out your opening statements
- Reason: Clarify your reasons for your opinion
- Examples/Explanations: Come up with the most compelling examples and explanations you can think of that will support your opinions.
- Point of view: Plan a strong conclusion that summarizes your main point
Practice, practice, practice, until your presentation flows like a waterfall—fresh, powerful and compelling.
The key to PREP is having a well-reasoned, well-supported, and well-practiced opinion that allows you to shine.
Using PREP will keep you on target, so you don’t wander off on tangents and water down the effectiveness of your message.
If you use PREP, I’d love to hear your results! Please leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail.