Rebecca, a lawyer I coach recently wanted my thoughts on speaking engagements:

I would like to learn more about preparing for speaking engagements.  I’m starting to get some speaking opportunities, but would really like to learn the most effective and efficient way to prepare.

I think it is important to know your audience. I do research on the association or group that asked me to speak and I do research on the members of the association. I also begin my preparation by deciding on what I want the audience to take away from the presentation. 

When I can do it I like to send an email to the audience telling them the main topic and asking them the 1-3 questions they want me to answer or topics they want to make sure I cover. I call that working the room before the room is assembled. 
I prepare by outlining my presentation. I usually try to have three main points and then sub parts of those points. Joyce prepares the slides for me. We have as few words as possible on the slides. She uses websites where she buys visual images to make the points. My slides typically have a headline and the visual. I can put what I would have had as bullet points in the notes part of the slide and that will come up on my computer but not the screen.
I practice the presentation. I give the most thought and spend the most time preparing and practicing the opening and the closing because these are the two most important parts of the presentation. When possible I shoot video. I want to see my body language. I have practiced  presentations in front of my wife and daughter and I have practiced in front of a mirror. I also visualize the presentation. I can see myself giving it and can even see the audience. So I am practicing in my mind.
In my coaching session, next Friday I will share with you my tips for delivering a remarkable presentation.