Effective presentation skills are another area that helps BA’s succeed. It’s also an area where there is tons of information on the internet. Here are a few notes and resources.
- Consider the context.
- What is the goal of your presentation? Does all of your content relate to that goal?
- Audience: What are their positions? Relationship? This may affect the tone and style of your presentation.
- What is the estimated audience size? Presentation to larger or smaller groups may infer different presentation styles.
- What are the audience needs and expectations? Are you delivering?
- Familiarity with your topic? Both yours and your audiences. What level of detail is appropriate without too much distraction?
- What is the Presentation venue? How will you be presentation (remote computer sharing, projector, flip-chart, etc)?
- What is the time allotted?
- Try different methods
- Use index cards (maybe different colored cards for different types of interaction with audience)
- Use mind-maps/mind-mapping techniques
- Create an outline
- Write an article
- Jot down ideas in your presentation software (don’t create slides, use slides to map and store ideas)
- Write out presentation word for word
- Identify 3-5 Key points
- Don’t include too much info
- Support each key point with 1 or more of:
- Case Studies
- Research Finding
- Revise and Reorganize
- Rework your material
- Edit, edit, edit
- Delete everything that is no in support of your objective
- No side-bars. STAY ON TOPIC!
- Do practice presentations of your material to make sure the flow is good and you don’t need to change words or flow
Creating / Showing Slides
- Set clear expectations (what is your presentation on, what will the result be?)
- Use minimal text and animation.
- Limited fancy effects
- Less is MORE
- Appropriate color contrast (no yellow text on white background, etc)
- Show one bullet point at a time, and only bring up the next as you talk about it
- If you feel you would need to say “I know you can’t see this, but…” about something on a slide, DON’T SHOW IT!
- Have some text, don’t just use visuals. Some people take in information better when it’s in text form than when it’s only in graphical format.
- General Rule of Thumb: No more than 5 bullet points per slide, roughly 5 words per bullet point (the 5×5 rule)
- You can Google free clip art to find tons of decent clip art to use. Some you can then edit in an image editor.
- Consider changing the slide look and feel when moving between sections of your presentation that present different ideas. This makes the change readily apparent to those attending.
- Practice your presentation out loud
- Repeat #1
- Repeat #1
- Make sure you know your opening. It is when you are most likely to be nervous.
- Identify what makes you nervous and plan accordingly.
- Review your A/V requirements
- Confirm the location and how to get there.
- If presenting formally, meet all due dates (for content delivery, outlines, etc. If you can beat it, even better)
- Create a backup plan (what if your computer fails, etc. Have extra copies of your presentation on a USB stick, email, web server, etc.)
- Know your ending time. You generally have an obligation to end on time, make sure you can deliver you content in the time you have been allotted.
- Get there early
- Check out the room
- Make sure everything you need is there:
- Flip chart AND markers (is there enough paper left? Do you have appropriate color markers to show well on the paper you have)
- Enough handouts
- Know your slides. If you have to read them, you don’t know them.
- Don’t read your presentation. If you are going to read, you might as well just send the deck and stay home.
- Start strong (you will sound confident & if you sound confident you will feel confident)
- Speak in your natural voice (keep your normal tone and don’t fall into lecture mode in your speech)
- If you feel nervous, slow down and speak louder (but don’t yell)
- Use notes judiciously (but don’t become dependent on them)
- Monitor your pace (don’t rush, maybe pretend you are speaking to people for whom your language is not their native tongue)
- Make eye contact with your audience (front and back, don’t stare at one person)
- Involve the audience in your presentation (polling, activities, Q&A, activities, etc)
- Don’t dismiss, ignore, or belittle comments or feedback from the audience
- Face your audience.
- Pause when you first show an information-dense slide so that your audience has time to take it in before paying attention to you.
- Use a remote to control your slides, so that you can move around and engage with audience more
- You can check Naomi Karten’s web site.
- Blog Post – Creating and Delivering Effective Presentations by Gina Abudi.
- Study Guide – Delivering an effective presentation from the University of Leicester
- Study Guide – Planning an effective presentation from the University of Leicester
- Study Guides – Presentation Skills from the University of Leicester
- PowerPoint presentation tips from Microsoft.
- Blog Post – Five strategies for delivering effective presentations on the FlyingSolo site.
- Blog Post – Do Your Slides Pass the Glance Test, by Nancy Duarte on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network
- A large chunk of this page (originally) came from notes I took while attending Naomi Karten’s ITMPI webinar “Developing Career Enhancing Presentation Skills”.