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1) Know Your PAL (Before preparing any presentation for
one person or thousands, know your Purpose (inform, persuade, entertain),
know your Audience (demographics, attitudes, hot buttons), and know
your Logistics (Time allotment, number of people in the audience,
time of day for presentation, room arrangements).
2) Pay Attention to Timing -- A good strategy for a straight
presentation is to plan, prepare and practice for 75% of the allotted
time. If you end early, no one complains. Ending late is poor planning.
If you expect audience involvement, plan on 50% of the time and 25%
for interactive facilitated sessions.
3) All presentation material is not created equal. When preparing
your speech, consider the must know, should know, could know. Limit
material based on time or audience interest.
4) Hitting the emotional buttons will create more impact and
action than pure data. Include stories, analogies, metaphors to reinforce
the key points.
5) Create user friendly notes. As Winston Churchill said when
he was asked why he carried notes but seldom used them, "I carry
fire insurance, but I don't expect my house to burn down." Use
bulleted points instead of sentences. Make the type easy to read (use
felt tip pen or minimum 18 point type, boldface, if typed), only use
the top 2/3 of the page to avoid looking down, use highlight pens
to indicate the must/should/could know information.
6) Practice out loud saying it differently each time you say
it. Peter Drucker says, "Spontaneity is an infinite number of
rehearsed possibilities." Doesn't Tiger Woods still practice?
7) Stage fright is a negative term for excitement. No coach
tells the team to be calm. Channel the adrenaline into enthusiasm.
You can control the physical symptoms by breathing from the diaphragm,
positive visualization and self talk, plus by being prepared and practiced.
8) Deliver with passion, it's amazing how catchy enthusiasm
is. If your voice is expressive and your gestures animated you will
appear to be confident and passionate.
9) The question and answer part of the presentation may be
more important than the actual presentation. Think ahead to all possible
questions that might be asked -- particularly the ones that might
throw you. Remember to paraphrase the questions before answering them
and take into account the motivation of the questioner. When answering
the questions look at all audience members - they may have had the
same question. Avoid complementing some questions and not others.
Treat all questions and questioners with respect.
10) Remember -- speaking is an audience-centered sport. Avoid
speaking out of ego, appearing too cocky or unprepared. As long as
you stay focused on the audience -- in preparation, delivery and during
the Q and A, you should be successful as a presenter.
Brody Communications Ltd. 1999
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