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Giving a GREAT presentation

February 5, 2011





I’ll be giving a presentation at the Wort Hotel this coming Tuesday for the Chamber of Commerce, so I thought I would share some tips & tricks of “in-person” presentations.  For more information on the seminar I’m doing, please see this link —

Your presentation is sure to be a success if you prepare in advance. Write out the structure of your presentation from start to finish, to help keep you on topic. Timing is important as well, so be aware of the changes you’ll need if you are excessively under/over. Also, be sure to factor in formal breaks (for longer presentations) & some time for Q & A.

I find that if people go into too much detail on the topic, they tend to lose their audience. Think through everything, but keep each touch point brief (unlesss someone asks a question). If it helps, you can convert your notes to guide cards, but write only key words & phrases to help remember. Short notes will help you avoid the temptation of reading the card — which never looks good for a presenter!

Before presentation day, practice as much as possible to perfect your performance and get the timing right. Don’t be too critical of your content after reading it many times, they say it’s natural at this point to doubt yourself!

The Presentation
The perfect start is to ‘win’ the interest of the audience by using a dramatic statement, humor or a prop (video, model, poster, etc). Humor is always risky, but a good play on words can draw them in. Keep their interest during the presentation by involving them — ask questions or have them do a simple vote.

Visual aids like an over-head projector (are transparent slides now dead?) or flip chart might be appropriate. If you decide to use them, come earlier than the presentation starts so the audience doesn’t see you fiddling around with the projector. Preparing flip charts in advance is usually necessary, as I don’t suggest freehand drawing & talking because it’s quite difficult to pull off.

End your presentation with something that the audience will remember – even if it’s something simple like a visual or a closing statement. Always allow them to ask questions. In my opinion, giving out notes at the end of the presentation is better, as you don’t want your audience reading when you talk! Plus, people tend to rush ahead of your presentation if they have full notes of your content.

Tips for the Presenter
* I can’t stress enough that being prepared is essential. Think of items to bring the audience may need: name tags, pens, evaluation forms, etc.

* Speak clearly & project your voice to the back of the room. If using visual aids, make sure that they are visible to the entire audience. Avoid turning your back on the audience when writing on flip charts. However, if this isn’t possible, be sure to stop speaking when doing so.

* There may be info on the visual that you don’t want the audience to see until later. You can always cover that part with a piece of paper & remove when appropriate, or instruct your PowerPoint to give 1 sentence on the slide, instead of 5 at one time. This will stop the audience from reading ahead while you are talking about the current part.

* Always keep an eye on the time. My time is important, so why wouldn’t I extend you the same courtesy?

* When presenting, address the audience individually. Make eye contact with different people for about 2-3 seconds as if you are talking to them personally. This will keep them all involved.

* & finally, did I mention nerves? Almost everyone gets nervous when doing a presentation, so you’re not alone! Meditate & focus before the preso starts, do some deep breathing & have a glass of water nearby.

Rose Caiazzo of Rose Consulting, LLC & Rose Recordings, LLC
The Art of Voice. The Power of Social Media.

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