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Presentations

 
#1 Presentations
22/04/2014 11:53

Bushy Eyebrow Partner

What are your tips for giving a good presentation?

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#2 RE: Presentations
22/04/2014 12:31

floopy to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

Great question!

1. Absolutely do not ever under any circumstances load your slides with text and then proceed to read it to your audience. Your audience can digest information more quickly internally than you can read it aloud. If you do this it will lead to bored faces and audible yawns.

2. Pictures, images, graphs, infographics work better than text most of the time.

3. Do not try to dazzle me with 2,000,000,000 different slide transitions, fonts, and formats. Uniformity is best. And, on that note - less is more!

4. If you are not interested your audience won't be interested. Also, if you are not interested why are you presenting on this topic? Life's too short to do work that isn't interesting (at least most of the time).

5. Prepare in advance as much as possible. Get into the presentation room early and set up the tables and chairs how you would like them. Set your computer up, test the data projector and audio. Physically click through all of your slides at least once in advance of the audience arriving to make sure there is no lag and it looks as good on the big screen as it does on the small screen. Furthermore, make sure you can read the text comfortably from the position of the farthermost audience member (nothing worse than someone straining to see!). Make sure any audio is volume adjusted for size/ambiance of room.

6. Make sure you are comfortable with the material. That goes further than just knowing what's on the next slide. Do you know enough about this topic to field questions properly? If not, consider spending more time preparing before getting up.

Interested to hear some other opinions on this...

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#3 RE: Presentations
22/04/2014 13:01

marsday to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

Open any presentation with a clear statement of the intent of the presentation itself, following the rule of 3, then at the end reiterate the main points, again in rule of 3,

Eye contact with audience.

Smile.

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#4 RE: Presentations
22/04/2014 13:21

Smithy to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

Or, to flip this topic like a late-night burger, what are YOUR tips on taking a bad presentation?

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#5 RE: Presentations
22/04/2014 13:28

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Smithy (#4)

Wow, this is great guys, thank you! :)

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#6 RE: Presentations
22/04/2014 13:50

SenorMick to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#5)

I agree with those tips and think presenting is very difficult to do well! I also think it's crazy how bad most consultants are at actual presentations. Sure, we often make PowerPoint decks as a way to share detailed findings with loads of text and details - and that's fine.

But, the number of actual presentations I've attended that either lift slides from deliverable decks without adjustment or begin by apologising that "you probably can't read this" is very high!

I should confess to being guilty of it on occasion too. It's partly due to a lack of time to produce slides, confidence in yourself to remember content etc. But it's also down to the fact that when you review slides for a client presentation or internal presentation - everyone wants to add a few things to them. Also, just showing up with a few graphics and a promise that you'll make the key points doesn't always satisfy partners/directors etc.

Also, I was once taught to start a presentation with something interesting - a hook. But how many people start presentations instead with 'where we are now' or 'review of context'? Again, easily done but not very engaging in my opinion.

I'm also quite keen to strip out boring or obvious content or at least keep it to a sentence or two. Again, I find people are quite keen to state the details of the obvious like they would have to if they were making a deliverable - rather than just mentioning it briefly.

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#7 RE: Presentations
22/04/2014 14:38

Arby the Manager to SenorMick (#6)

"If you are over-using PowerPoint - you have no power and very little point"....

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#8 RE: Presentations
23/04/2014 15:56

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

One simple tip that makes all others fall into place naturally: deliver the key message of each slide just before you display the slide to the audience. Then take them through the slide, illustrating/proving your point.

1) It is amazing how simply/clearly you force yourself to deliver a message when your audience has to get it without any visual aid

2) You save the audience from the "am I supposed to be listening to him or reading his slide?" dilemma

3) As you've no slide to turn around and stare at, for a few seconds at least, you're forced to engage with the audience (eye contact)

4) It matters less now if your slide is ultimately crap or confusing, you've already had a chance to give them the message in simple terms with their undivided attention

Another better-known but also very important tip: step toward the audience when answering a question. It doesn't matter if you then have no idea how to answer, you at least seem confident/comfortable with your lack of knowledge. Even if all other body language is screaming terror, you look on top of the situation. Of course if you step up and nail the answer, double whammy!

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#9 RE: Presentations
23/04/2014 16:00

Smithy to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

I have a feeling everyone is taking this too seriously....

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#10 RE: Presentations
23/04/2014 21:14

Mr Cool to Smithy (#9)

Smithy,

I reckon you're right, so here goes.....

Years ago I was at an in house seminar on how to do presentations (oh the irony!). The aging not-quite-partner tutor decided to open the session by blowing the cobwebs off an ancient joke...

"A presentation should be like a young lady's skirt - long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to remain interesting"

A young lady next to me (a mate that I miss greatly) said very audibly...

"So if I'll know if I've done a good job if I've kept the audience awake without resorting to showing them my muff?"

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#11 RE: Presentations
23/04/2014 21:42

presidentbartlet to Mr Cool (#10)

"You have 2 years and one mouth" - I was told today when going into client orals - quite liked it!

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#12 RE: Presentations
24/04/2014 14:05

Phil to floopy (#2)

Anybody ever tried anything other than power point in client facing presentations? I am thinking the likes of Prezi etc..

Never tried anything similar myself, but would be curious to hear other views..

It might make the content less heavy, but not sure it would be regarded as professional? I kind of feel there is an inherent expectation for a presentation to be very heavy on data/charts/etc to be considered credible...

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#13 RE: Presentations
24/04/2014 14:17

Smithy to Mr Cool (#10)

So just above the ankle, but below the shin?

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