Giving a Presentation

PREPARATION

A successful presentation starts with preparation. Every experienced presenter or public speaker is nervous just before he speaks. However, that nervousness disappears once they start speaking because they are prepared and know their material. And, the more you speak, the more your confidence increases and your audience becomes confident in you and what you are saying. Preparation gives you control.

KNOW YOUR OBJECTIVE

Why are you giving the presentation? What do you want to accomplish? Your objective must be clear and is your first task. If your objective is not clear to you, it will not be clear to your audience.

Audience

Know you audience, their level of education and the level at which they operate in the organization.

Upper management requires a different level of detail and a different type of conversation than lower management of sales people. Upper management wants everything summarized. They want the purpose of the meeting to be clear, the problem clearly outlined and options and recommendations clearly presented. Upper Management does not like long meetings.

Sales and technical people require more detail and a different kind of detail. Technical people want detail while sales people want to know how to sell a product or service. Salespeople want to know what is in it for them and their customers and how they can make a sale. Help sales people understand how they can sell the product and how much money they can make. Technical people want to know how things work, how to support it and how it stacks up against the best of breed (best products in its class).

Location

Know your location and how to get there. Make sure that the room has a projector, a white board, flip chart, etc.. Are there enough chairs and tables? Is there ample parking? When sending out your meeting request, make sure you communicate some key information about the location along with the agenda.

Time and Length

Stay on time. Do not go over. Never promise that they will leave early and not carry through, or they will keep watching the clock and stop listening.

Avoid booking your presentation at first thing in the morning, at the end of the day and never go into lunch time unless you are bringing in lunch.

Presentation Type

Decide if your presentation will be formal or informal. What about the use of visual aids? Visual aides greatly improve the communication and retention of your message by the audience.

Consider using ice breakers to start off the meeting. What is your method How should I make this presentation?" What approach should you use?

Dos and Don'ts

Never read the presentation and do not talk from notes. People who read their presentation have a harder time of convincing the audience. The audience does not truly think that you believe what you are saying. However, if you deliver your presentation from memory and only rely on the presentation to highlight key points, you will have a much easier time of convincing them the attendees to buy your product, take your recommendation or improve your training comprehension rate.

Rehearsal

Rehearsal your presentation until your have all the main points memorized. Doing so will allow you to:

  •  become more familiar with what you want to say
  • identify weaknesses in your presentation
  • be able to practise difficult pronunciations
  • be able to check the time that your presentation takes and make any necessary modifications
  • Starting the Presentation

    The Introduction  
  • Welcome your audience
  • Introduce your subject and the objective of the presentation
  • Have everyone introduce themselves
  • Perform an Ice breaker
  • Explain the structure of your presentation

  • The Main Body of the Presentation
  • Clearly articulate supporting evidence to your central theme
  • Each point must tie back to the central theme
  • At the end of your presentation, your message should be clear, your options make sense and your recommendation seem to be the obvious plan to action.
  • Open the floor for discussion if this is applicable to your presentation. Some presentation discuss project issues that require discussion after the options and recommendations have been put forward.

  • Concluding Your Presentation
  • Provide a short conclusion
  • Thank your audience
  • Invite questions