Preparing to Present

October 11th, 2006 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes
  •  Visualizing your presentation going smoothly is a very effective way to ensure success!  Not only does it help to keep the presenter calm but it also creates a better rapport with an audience if you’ve visualized them giving you positive responses to your presentation.  And even if their reactions turn out to be negative, the presenter is more likely to handle it  in a positive way! :mrgreen:
  • You might enjoy reading Seth Godin’s short book on avoiding Really Bad Powerpoints (PDF, requires Acrobat or other PDF reader). I’ve found it very handy in avoiding giving my audience a fatal case of Powerpoint poisoning! )
  • Get there early and check the room and the equipment! That’s probably the best presentation tip there is, because it doesn’t matter how good your PowerPoint is or how well rehearsed you are, if the equipment isn’t working nothing else matters! Some things to check before the presentation include PC (check it can take your media CD/DVD/USB stick, check PowerPoint runs OK including any embedded objects such as videos), check projector or screen, lighting (how to switch it off/on), curtains or blinds, microphone, sound system and speakers (don’t forget audio loop system for hearing aid users if there is one), water for you to drink, seating arrangements, whiteboard pens/eraser.
  • Keep your speaking notes separate.  Don’t use the main/projector screen as an aide memoire for what you need to say.  Use the speaker’s notes option and view your notes on one screen and the presentation on the other. You can also make annotations on the slides during your presentation and rather than trying to ‘draw’ on the projector screen (as I’ve seen so many presenters struggling and twisting round to do) you can simply make the annotations via the laptop screen, without contorting yourself! Here’s an article which shows you how to set up a second monitor and how to set up your show so that your speaker’s notes will be visible on your screen.

  • One tip for anyone who is daunted by questions after their presentations: I try to include a slide in my presentation for questions and I limit this to ten or fifteen minutes. I set the slide timing to move on to the next slide (usually the ‘The End – thanks for listening’ slide) automatically after the time has elapsed. If the questions don’t fill the allotted time, I simply move to the next slide. Another tip to prevent questions from delving into the minutia is to state clearly that I want to answer as many questions as possible in the time, then (as the politicians do!) move straight to the next question after giving my answer. If that feels a little impolite then I add something like ‘I’ll gladly continue this with you afterwards or via email’.
  • Keep handouts until the end to avoid paper shuffle during the presentation as well as making the audience anxious that they should be reading along!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2006 at 10:38 am and is filed under PowerPoint. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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