As leaders we are called upon to make presentations to a wide variety of audiences: Board members, employees, community leaders and groups of customers. A lot that can be quickly gained or quickly lost from a presentation; however, a little bit of guidance goes a long way toward making a highly effective presentation.
Basic Guidelines For Designing Your Presentation
List and prioritize the top three goals that you want to accomplish with your audience. It's not enough just to talk at them. You may think you know what you want to accomplish in your presentation, but if you're not clear with yourself and others, it is very easy - too easy - for your audience to completely miss the point of your presentation. For example, your goals may be for them to appreciate the accomplishments of your organization, learn how to use your services, etc. Again, the goals should be in terms of what you want to accomplish with your audience.
Be really clear about who your audience is and about why is it important for them to be in the meeting. Members of your audience will want to know right away why they were the ones chosen to be in your presentation. Be sure that your presentation makes this clear to them quickly. This will help you clarify your invitation list and design your invitation to them.
Design a brief opening (about 5-10% of your total time presentation time) that:
a. Presents your goals for the presentation.
b. Clarifies the benefits of the presentation to the audience.
c. Explains the overall layout of your presentation.
Prepare the body of your presentation (about 70-80% of your presentation time). The body of your presentation is the key to success. In this section you outline the ideas you want to convey or use to your audience. Here you will present a case to inform, persuade, convince your audience. If you use PowerPoint slides, then allocate one slide for every 3-5 minutes of your presentation. Include 5-8 lines of bullet-ed phrases on each slide. If you plan to project your slides from a computer onto a projection screen, then be sure to check out the computer system before people come into the meeting room, if at all possible.
Use a consistent layout, or organization of colors and images, on your materials.
Design a brief closing (about 5-10% of your presentation time) that summarizes the key points from your presentation.
If you provide the supplemental information during your presentation, then your audience will very likely read that information during your presentation, rather than listen to you. Therefore, hand out this information after you have completed your presentation.
| Basic Guidelines About Your Delivery
1. If you're speaking to a small group (for example, 2-15 people), then try to accomplish eye contact with each person for a few seconds throughout your delivery.
2. Look up from your materials, or notes, every 5-10 seconds, to look into the audience.
3. Speak a little bit louder and a little bit slower than you normally would do with a friend. A good way to practice these guidelines is to speak along with a news anchor when you're watching television.
4. Vary the volume and rate of your speech. A monotone voice is absolutely toxic to keeping the attention of an audience.
5. Stand with your feet at shoulder-length apart.
6. Keep your hands relatively still.
| Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
You need to rehearse - grab colleagues, a friend,
your spouse, or go in a room yourself. You need to rehearse out loud.
Saying it and reading it are very different - especially around timing. Think about what people will be writing down during your presentation - and if you can't think of anything - it isn't a good presentation.
| Be Aware
If you rehearsed your presentation on your spouse or friends and was told it was boring, it probably is.
If you have something on a chart that you can't explain or don't understand, don't do the presentation.
Don't agree to do somebody else's presentation at the last minute, you won't be prepared.
The first minute is critical, you need to grab audience and hang on to them.
Don't start off with jokes - either they laugh, and you have established yourself as a comedian, if they don't laugh - you have failed
Pro Way offers Presentation Skills Programs and more
Pro Way Development works with businesses to create and implement plans to ensure people have the skills for success and that business is poised for growth. We do this by aligning human resources and training and development practices with the plans, goals and strategies of business.
We office customized training & development to increase staff skills including training on:
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- Time management and more.
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|About Laura Jacob|
Laura works with companies to ensure that their business plan includes a plan give employees and leaders the skills to communicate, manage and lead the organization to drive business growth.
In addition to holding degrees in Psychology and Industrial Relations, Laura is certified as a Professional
in Human Resources and a 6 Sigma Greenbelt.
She is a requested speaker on time management, management fundamentals and working across generations.
Laura's teaching and facilitation style is highly interactive and ensures engagement of participants and the transmission of learning. Participants describe her as "keeps things fun, interesting, stays on task and is very learned and knowledgeable about the subject matter," and "able to engage even those hesitant to participate."
She is also adjunct faculty at the University of Bridgeport and Manhattanville colleges where she teaches adult undergraduates and graduates on a variety of management topics.