Friday, August 04, 2006

Giving a Great Presentation

Presentations are a vital part of business. It doesn’t matter if you are giving a presentation to 5 or 500 people, there are some basic ground rules which I am going to go through. If you apply the following to your presentations people will be impressed.

1. Choose the right style
Find out as much as possible about your audience before you give your presentation, forewarned is forearmed. What is the purpose of your speech? Is it formal or informal?

2. Check the venue
Make sure that all your equipment is working, is the projector working, does the microphone work. Go through your PowerPoint quickly to see if it all fits.
Do you have a glass of water ready?

3. Check your appearance
Appearances go a long way with your audience. If you are scruffy it will detract from the quality of your presentation. Check your tie, shoes and general dress.

4. Establish your precence
Once you have been introduced, pause. Take a deep breath, look at the audience, make eye contact, and acknowledge their presence. Relax your body and stand tall. Smile!

5. Establish who you are
Explain the reason you are there. Confirm what the audience expects of you by explaining what you are going to speak about.

6. Involve your audience
Get the audience involved immediately with a visual aid or something unexpected. Taking attention away from yourself often helps with stage fright.

7. Let your personality show
Feelings not facts convince people. Show your emotions, your audience will appreciates that.

8. Use positive body language
Stand tall, don’t slouch, don’t play with your hair, tie or jewellery. Move around naturally and use your hands for emphasis. Use ordinary facial expressions and where appropriate, smile.

9. Control your voice
Project your voice through standing straight and breathing deeply. Speak clearly and more slowly than usual. Avoid hesitation and watch your speech mannerisms, avoid over-repetition of expressions and don’t’ ‘um’ or ‘er’.

10. Build on your rapport with your audience
Keep eye contact and play to your cheerleaders, keep your audience involved all the time.

11. Introduce Humour
If you are confident, use humour to lighten the mood, but don’t abuse anyone in the crowd.

12. Face up to the unexpected
Don’t be fazed by anything unexpected that happens, take it in your stride and use it to your advantage if you can.

13. Improvise
If the presentation is coming across as too dry, change your presentation a little to suit your audience.

14. Conclude
Be brief, and end on a high in tone, energy and content.

15. Be positive when taking questions


Be yourself
Start and finish on time
Use Handouts

Try to cover too much in your speech
Use humour appropriately
Use too much technology, it detracts from the message

"Success - To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded."
Bessie A Stanley (1803) Housewife


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6:30 AM  

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