The Writing Center
Planning Your Presentation
Nick Morgan wrote an interesting post on this in Forbes. Generally your audience will know your purpose or why you’re there but you want to be sure make it clear to them.
Step 3: Define The Objective Of The Presentation
Think of them as friends you haven’t seen in a year, whom you’re bringing up to date on your work. That eye contact is incredibly powerful, and it will do more than anything else to help your talk land. Even if you don’t have time to prepare fully and have to read from a script, looking up and making eye contact will make a huge difference. If you frame the talk as a journey, the biggest decisions are figuring out where to start and where to end. To find the right place to start, consider what people in the audience already know about your subject—and how much they care about it.
Slides may give you a checklist of points to cover, and sometimes even some worthwhile visual support. And by content, I’m not referring to PowerPoint slides. To be fair, some businesses are starting to realise this.
In a live oral presentation, the audience can’t re-read or skip ahead. The internet is of course full of examples of good speeches, but the YouTube users who vote on videos may not have much in common with the audience who will hear your oral presentation. Your opening often determines how long the audience will “tune in” to your presentation. If you bore your audience right from the start, there is little chance that your message will effectively get across.
The heart of your speech are your main points supported by evidence and your transitions should assist the movement between points and clarify how everything is linked. Since being released in 2009, this presentation has been viewed almost four million times all around the world.
So if your thinking is not there yet, he advises, decline that invitation to speak. Instead, keep working until you have an idea that’s worth sharing. Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides).
So limit the scope of your talk to that which can be explained, and brought to life with examples, in the available time. Much of the early feedback we give aims to correct the impulse to sweep too broadly. Don’t tell us about your entire field of study—tell us about your unique contribution.
Presenting information in a variety of formats will help you keep your audience’s interest. If you have more time to work with—ten minutes or half an hour—you will be able to discuss your topic in greater detail. More time also means you must devote more thought into how you will hold your audience’s interest.
Some students prefer to write out the full text of their face-to-face presentation. This can be a useful strategy when you are practicing your delivery. However, keep in mind that reading your text aloud, word for word, will not help you capture and hold your audience’s attention. Write out and read your speech if that helps you rehearse.
However, that does not mean you must fill all of that time with talk if you are giving a face-to-face presentation. Involving your audience can take some of the pressure off you while also keeping them engaged. Have them respond to a few brief questions to get them thinking. Display a relevant photograph, document, or object and ask your classmates to comment.
They are usually used to accompany an oral presentation; they should enhance the oral presentation instead of serving as speaking notes. They are often used to share information with a large group, such as at a professional conference, classroom presentations, and meetings. For those who tend to get nervous in larger audiences, picking different people in the audience to speak to can ease those nerves. Start this at the beginning of your presentation speaking to them directly.
If I was speaking for an hour, I’d design a talk that lands a broader theme than if I was speaking for fifteen minutes. For example, in an hour I might land “how to deliver a great presentation”. If I was speaking for fifteen minutes, I might land “tips for verbal presentations”.
If your presentation is longer than five minutes, introduce some variety so the audience is not bored. Incorporate multimedia, invite the audience to complete an activity, or set aside time for a question-and-answer session. Jorge completed the introduction part of his outline by listing the key points he would use to open his presentation. He also planned to show various web links early on to illustrate the popularity of the low-carbohydrate diet trend.
Dense pictures or complicated graphics will confuse more than they clarify. Choose clear images that have an immediate connection to both your content and the audience, tailored to their specific needs. After the images, consider using only key words that can be easily read to accompany your pictures. Try to keep each slide to a total word count of less than ten words. Using key words provides support for your verbal discussion, guiding you as well as your audience.
Typically these notes are either on cards or paper in outline form and contain key ideas and information. If you are using an electronic presentation tool, you may be able to include your notes in the presentation itself. The benefit of delivering a presentation from notes is that you sound natural rather than rehearsed and you can still maintain relatively good eye contact with the audience. The down side is that you might not express your key ideas and thoughts as well as you may have liked had you planned your exact words in advance.
But if used indiscriminately, it can annoy the audience to the point where they cringe in anticipation of the sound effect at the start of each slide. This danger is inherent in the tool, but you are in charge of it and can make wise choices that enhance the understanding and retention of your information. PowerPoint and similar visual representation programs can be effective tools to help audiences remember your message, but they can also be an annoying distraction to your speech. How you prepare your slides and use the tool will determine your effectiveness.
If someone asks a question in the middle of your talk, answer it. If it disrupts your train of thought momentarily, that's ok because your audience will understand. Questions show that the audience is listening with interest and, therefore, should not be regarded as an attack on you, but as a collaborative search for deeper understanding. However, don't engage in an extended conversation with an audience member or the rest of the audience will begin to feel left out. When you are talking to your friends, you naturally use your hands, your facial expression, and your body to add to your communication.
One approach that marketers can use is displaying market activity from the past yet showing how your strategies can impact that performance. As a followup to silence or as a standalone, tell a joke to elicit laughter form the audience. Even for marketing and sales representatives, this can be a way to lighten the room and become more connected with the audience.
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Be ready to get the discussion going after your presentation. Professors often want a brief discussion to take place after a presentation. Just in case nobody has anything to say or no one asks any questions, be prepared to ask your audience some provocative questions or bring up key issues for discussion.
All you have left is to figure out how do you begin presenting. A presentation needs a carefully defined structure to make the most impact. This should centre on a series of identifiable main points that are supported by appropriate detail.
Start by listing the one key point that you want to get across. Now decide on a maximum of three to six other significant section heads to support and elaborate on this.
Use notes, cue cards, or overheads as prompts that emphasis key points, and speak to your audience. Include everyone by looking at them and maintaining regular eye-contact [but don't stare or glare at people]. Limit reading text to quotes or to specific points you want to emphasize. Summarize your draft into key points to write on your presentation slides and/or note cards and/or handout.
Remember that your audience must be able to read the slides easily, whether the members sit in the front or the back of the room. The conclusion should briefly sum up your main idea and leave your audience with something to think about. As in a written paper, you are essentially revisiting your thesis. Depending on your topic, you may also ask the audience to reconsider their thinking about an issue, to take action, or to think about a related issue. If you presented an attention-getting fact or anecdote in your introduction, consider revisiting it in your conclusion.
To be effective, the example must be relevant and fairly brief. The example https://top-custom-writing.com/ isn’t the actual talk, but it sets up the presentation that will follow.