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Presentation tips -- By Vishal Rajemahadik 

UMESH

                                                PRESENTATION

Presentation is an Art. Proper and Logical presentation would either make or break an Orator. You need to Enjoy and not take the crowd through the presentation. Important Skills available within you are

  • Communication
  • Interesting Content
  • Preparation
  • Confidence
  • Time management
  • Understanding the Audience

 Let us prepare ourselves for presentations by concentrating on certain, easy to understand, points.

CONTENT of any presentation should always match with the type of Audience you are going to interact with.

E.g.: If you are presenting a topic on Communication Skills make sure that the audience is at least aware of Basic English.

If the topic is Sales and marketing the audience should be aware of what that is.

You should be aware of the training material you have prepared. Whatever is been said should be in a Logical Order. There shouldn’t be any disconnect in what was said Earlier and what is been said Now and what would be said Later. A proper sequence of Topics and Sub Topics should be there. If at all there is any disconnect then the audience is likely to lose interest and also this would be a major dent in your presentation.

A thorough PREPARATION will to make sure that there are less or zero errors while presentation. You need to know what your presentation consists of. You should rehearse your presentations. The best way to rehearse is to discuss the presentation with your friends or family members. You can also stand in front of the mirror and practice. Most of the speakers would record their own practice sessions and play it. This is called as Self Assessment. You need not wait for errors to happen and ruin your presentation. With the help of this recorded presentation you yourself will be able to spot the errors which could have otherwise occurred during presentation.

VENUE - The auditorium or class room or lecture room or the space used for presentation should be known to you. If not then make sure that you reach the venue minimum 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Walk through the room. Make yourself part of the room. Check the visibility of the class by standing in every corner of the room. This exercise will make sure that there is zero nervousness within you. This will also help you move freely during the presentation as you already know the room. If you are suppose to use a microphone then please get used to it and practice before the audience trickles in. Also, make sure that some basic arrangements like the Whiteboard, Markers, Duster, water, view of the projector on the screen, brightness & contrast of the view etc is all clear and personally checked by you. This would add to your confidence as absence of even one of those elements might force you to change your plans.

 

GETTING CONNECTED - While YOU are on the podium you are being looked as an Actor, a Role Model, a Teacher etc. You play more than one role. You are been considered as an important personality. Whatever you do would be an impression on the audience. You need to be perfect in your Appearance. Remember that Personality is not restricted in being an individual with a huge appearance. The way you dress, communicate, interact is also considered as a part of a good and strong presentation. You need to feel and look Relaxed, Confident, Assertive but not rude, Less of Facial Expressions. You also need to speak slow, stress on words wherever required. If the average age of the audience is more than 45 then make sure that you are Sober.

Try and understand your AUDIENCE. The presentation should be delivered the way the audience would like it rather than the way you want. Also, if you are planning to assist the audiences with some Take Away Training Material, then inform the same in advance so that they need not fluctuate their concentration by making short notes. Still, if anyone is trying to make some let them. Don’t interrupt them once you have informed the availability of the same.

Presentations can be of two types. You either present without any props or with the help of props. Most of the times, props are in use. Incase of PowerPoint presentation make sure that you are thorough with the slides and its content. Whatever is being said by you should reflect on the slides. If not a Master then at lease the basics of PowerPoint presentation must be known to the presenter (Basics in Ppt and Body Language are discussed in detail below).

It is been observed that, even you would have, most of the people stand in one corner, read the contents from the slide and explain the meaning of the same. Some of them would always have papers with them, throughout the presentation for reference. Again, that is incorrect. This would pass a message to the crowd that you are not aware of what the contents are. Referring to notes is different, which is accepted, from carrying notes throughout. Let us understand that people can also read and understand that is mentioned on the slide. Than why do we require you?

You need to rope in more examples to relate it with the topic. Enough care should be taken in the selection of the examples. More latest and examples relating to the audiences are, more effective the sessions are.

 While communicating the topics with the audience you must be a confident individual. You need to be smooth, soft but audible, intonate, act, use hand gestures. If microphone is not available for a crowd of more than 30 people, then conformation from people sitting behind is essential as this would not give them a feeling of being left out. You need to make sure that you are not mumbling. You need to sound Passionate about the topic that you are discussing. This passion will eventually convince the crowd on what you are saying. That is precisely the reason why, taking conformation from the crowd, on timely basis, will make sure that the presentation is smooth and effective.

The moment you feel that you have made an error, please correct it. You need not say Sorry time and again. At the same time make sure that you do not make more than couple of errors during the presentation.

Always keep your sessions INTERACTIVE. Ask for Questions, suggestions from the crowd. Give them more importance. Involve yourself in rapport Building. Make them feel that they are an important part of this presentation. Create a glossy picture with the help of your topics. This would actually involve the crowd in your presentation. Confirm the download of topics and sub topics, with the audience, whenever required. More Interactive your presentation is, more respect and involvement is what you get in return. Ask questions to the audiences before you begin your presentation.

E.g.

  • What brings you here? (Make sure you carry this question well enough…with a   Smile on your face…or else don’t take a chance)
  • What are your expectations?

-          From ME

-          From the Session

-          From themselves i.e. The Audience

This is also called as Ice Breaker. This is required because you can see the participation level in the crowd and accordingly launch yourself. This is also the time when you have smartly concluded your Expectation Settings.

You can also come up with any question that you would feel is intelligent or humorous enough to get the crowd chatting with you or among them and settle the air. You need to carry this interaction with the crowd throughout the presentation. You need to ask for suggestions or feedback (on one off sub topics) or questions or reactions etc. This will give an impression to the crowd that they are not being left out and are an important part of the presentation. This always creates a win –win situation.

The other reason why sessions should be interactive is because this would assist you in judging your penetration in the crowd and the acceptance of the topics. If you get a feeling that something is missing then you might as well switch on to your Plan B and do some thing different to end the presentation successfully. That is why it is said that interactive sessions are more of a compulsion that a matter of choice. As mentioned above Communication holds the key and is the only way to break all the barriers. One of the things that can be used considering you are good at it, is – taking a conformation from person B on something that Person A has said. This would give you more time to rethink on your strategy and also give you an idea as to the level of the crowd.

 

 

 

TIME – One of the crucial factors. As a speaker, the most important ART you need to posses is, TALK LESS, STILL BE EFFECTIVE. You have to actually prepare your presentation as per time allocated to you.

  • How much will you talk?
  • How much would the audience talk?
  • How many suggestions can be accepted?
  • On what slide should that be accepted?
  • How many examples to be given?

Above are few questions that have to be answered while preparing a presentation. You cannot afford to go haywire during presentation. You need to have skills like Diplomacy, Convincing others, Mediate etc as this would assist you during the presentation. Most of the time it is observed, even you would have been part of one, that the pace of the orator differs from session to session or break to break. Towards the end some of them actually RUN through the presentation and aspects like interaction, questions, suggestions etc go for a toss. Many a times the speaker even forgets or never has the time to conclude.

Along with time you also need to practice the art of PUNCTUATION AND PAUSE. Never assume the crowd to be as intelligent as you. Give them the time to fathom some facts presented by you. Give them the time to think and re-think on some points. You can, in turn, use this time to gather your thoughts and focus on the next topic.

LAUGHTER – Said to be the best medicine. Use one liner’s that would get some smiling faces in the crowd. Please, do not over do it as that might hamper your penetration on the topic. Never get personal while trying to be humorous and also avoid generalized statements.

STORY – I have experienced that use of Proverbs, Sayings at the start of the presentation and Story at the end, which is in line with your topic, always makes the crowd happy. This story or Sayings or proverbs summarize the entire presentation. As Conclusion is also an important part of presentation you need to have some strong concluding statements in the absence of story.

Once you are done with your presentations make it a point to thank the audience for patiently listening to you. If possible make sure that the last slide would always say - Thank You!!!

 

 


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