Friday, December 7, 2012

Effective Presentations


There are four essential steps to take to ensure that presentations in different situations are successful and effective. They are Preparation, Gaining and keeping attention, maintaining interest and closing positively.

  • Informal presentations
  1. Define the desired outcome ( check out support of key team members, if appropriate).
  2. Set the agenda ( circulate if appropriate).
  3. Gather the data.
  4. Spell out the benefits.
  5. Summarize financial justification.
Effective Presentation Techniques Help you stay ahead of competition
  • Formal presentations
  1. Check out the venue and set up (numbers attending, lay-out, equipment available etc, and so on).
  2. Check time available for your presentation and how you will be introduced.
  3. Check out who will attend and get background on them.
  4. Rehearse your presentation (and check on slides, and so on).
  5. Expect to be nervous (but remember that nerves will fade after a few minutes).
  6. Try to meet attendees before your session so that you will know them.
  • Gaining and keeping attention

  1. Informal presentations / meetings

    • Fix the best (most convenient / distraction free ) place.
    • Only start when you have the complete attention of others.
    • Agree start and finish times.
    • Ensure there are no interruptions.




  2. Formal presentations / meetings
  • Make sure the audience is ready and seated before you start.
  • Deliver your opening sentence positively to command attention.
  • Maintaining interest
a. Informal presentations / meetings
  • Don’t waffle; stick to the point.
  • Involve other people.
  • Focus on good news and benefits.
  • Mention key opportunities / results / issues
  • Convince by showing financial justification
  • Talk with conviction.
b. Formal presentations
  • Tell people why the subject is important to them.
  • Tell them the topics you will cover
  • Advise them of the decision / approval you expect, if appropriate.
  • Use flip-charts/slides/computer presentations/videos to hold audience
  • Use key words on slides.
  • Don’t read your presentation.
  • Demonstrate your own conviction and enthusiasm in words, voice and gesture.
  • Spell out benefits.
  • Present factual evidence ( not opinions).
  • Demonstrate financial justification.
  • Show that potential problems have been identified and overcome.
  • Handle questions as arranged and authoritatively.

IV. Closing positively

a. Informal presentations / meetings
i. Close with agreement to the outcome you want
ii. Agree who will do what by then
iii. If there is no agreement, try to ensure that some positive action is taken towards your goal.

b. Formal presentations / meetings
i. Ask for the approval, order or action you want to conclude your presentation.

V. General advise on presentations
a. Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse

b. Use slides or flip-charts, if possible
i. Help structure presentation.
ii. Allow audience to focus on key points.
iii. Let you look at audience while elaborating on the key points.
iv. Keep information on each slide to a minimum (20 words or fewer figures).
v. Make sure type of slides is big enough to be seen clearly.
vi. Show slides in correct order (and number them).
vii. Use visual stimulus, such as cartoons.

c. Work on your presentation style
i. Entertain your audience with anecdotes, illustrations, and examples.
ii. Vary your voice (tone and level).
iii. Use jokes sparingly if at all.
iv. Avoid bad language, risqué jokes, and so on.
v. Avoid excessive walking about or extravagant gestures.
vi. Involve your audience; let them question you, but also question them; don’t hold on to fixed ideas, listen.
vii. Let them hear, see and does; lecture, visual aids, worked examples/syndicate discussions, and so on.
viii. Don’t apologise.
ix. Relax.

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