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10 Little-Known, Rarely Discussed, Highly Effective Presentation Techniques
By Marjorie Brody   Printer Friendly Version

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.

Article copyright© Brody Communications Ltd. 1999

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