When You Have To Do A Presentation
Let me state this right up front.
I hate Power Point presentations. I hate doing them – I hate viewing them.
Unfortunately, every now and then I have to do one. More often I have to view them – which is why God gave us iPods and laptops with WiFi access.
While I can’t always stick to it – I like Guy Kawasaki’s 10 – 20 – 30 rule – 10 Slides; 20 minutes; 30 point font. The rule was designed for presentations to venture capitalist. These poor souls must sit through hundreds — maybe even thousands of presentations that, for the main, say the same thing, “Our product will change the world and all you have to do is give us truck loads full of money.”
You may not be asking for “truck loads of money”, but some times you have to give a presentation. Besides keeping in mind Guy’s rule, here are five things to do before you make the presentation:
- Choose a quite, well ventilated room that will comfortably hold more than the number of people you expect. To often good presentations are destroyed by noise or an over crowded room. A room full of people generate a lot of heat. Nothing is worse than having to ‘open a door’ just to get enough air to keep everyone from falling asleep.
- Respect your audience. Assume that they all can read as well as you. The slides are there to give the audience something to remember – not to be read verbatim. Make every slide concise. This is Power Point presentation NOT Power Paragraph presentation.
- Get there early. How many presentations have you been to where everyone was waiting for the projector or screen to be setup?Things go wrong. By getting there early you can at least try to get them fixed before your audience arrives.
- Face the audience. In his blog post Really Bad Powerpoint, Seth Godin’s first point to a good Power Point presentation is:
«. . . make yourself cue cards. Don’t put them on the screen. Put them in your hand. Now, you can use the cue cards you made to make sure you’re saying what you came to say.»
- Practise – Practise – Practise.If you aren’t interested enough in your topic to prepared – no one else will be interested either.
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