Entire Topic Comprehensive path through the entire topic

Get Started o Topic Objectives o Site Map o 20-Minute Path o Download Audio o Print Topic o About the Mentor Learn o Presentation Overview  The purpose of presentations  Different types of presentations o Laying the Foundation for Your Presentation  Key Idea: Define your objective  Key Idea: Know your audience  Understand your presentation's context  Personal Insight: Prepare thoroughly o Deciding What to Say  Stages of preparation  Review and refine your ideas  Personal Insight: Keep it simple o Organizing Your Presentation  Opening  Activity: Hook your audience  Problem statement  Solution  Key Idea: Call to action  Duration o Using Visuals  The power of visuals  Choose your media  Effective visuals  Activity: Create an effective visual o Rehearsing  Key Idea: Rehearse until prepared  Prepare mentally and physically  Overcome your fear of presenting o Presenting Effectively  Manage your delivery  Personal Insight: Choose words carefully  Use your voice  Project a positive image  Keep the audience engaged  Activity: Evaluate a presentation

Handling Questions  Anticipate questions  When should you answer questions?  Key Idea: How should you handle questions? o Making Group Presentations  Assign presenters  Structure the flow  Coordinate visuals o Evaluating Your Presentation  Before the presentation  During the presentation  After the presentation Practice o Scenario o Check Your Knowledge Apply o Steps  Steps for setting up a presentation  Steps for creating a presentation  Steps for practicing and evaluating o Tips  Tips for setting up a presentation  Tips for organizing a presentation  Tips for creating visuals  Tips for presenting effectively o Tools  Preliminary planning worksheet  Audience characteristics worksheet  Presentation context worksheet  Presentation outline worksheet  Logistics worksheet  Objections worksheet Explore Further o Online Articles o Articles o Books o Source Notes
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Key Ideas Multimedia clips that underscore the topic's important takeaways
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Key Idea: Define your objective Key Idea: Know your audience Key Idea: Call to action Key Idea: Rehearse until prepared Key Idea: How should you handle questions?

Activities Interactive exercises that reinforce the topic's main ideas

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Activity: Hook your audience Activity: Create an effective visual Activity: Evaluate a presentation

Personal Insights Video clips of managers sharing insights about business challenges
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Personal Insight: Prepare thoroughly Personal Insight: Keep it simple Personal Insight: Choose words carefully

Tools Forms and worksheets to help you apply what you've learned
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Preliminary planning worksheet Audience characteristics worksheet Presentation context worksheet Presentation outline worksheet Logistics worksheet Objections worksheet

Presentation Skills
Get Started
What Would You Do? Barbara watched the videotape of her speech and shook her head in frustration. How could her presentation have been so dull? She had studied her audience, researched her subject, and worked for hours to develop a talk that was clear and concise. As she was watching the videotape, she noticed some trouble spots: Her head was buried in her notes, the audience seemed lost, and she came off as—well, not particularly charismatic. She wondered how she could inject her own witty and outgoing personality into a presentation so she could better engage her audience. What would you do? In hindsight, Barbara realized that it was not enough to have strong content. She needed to give an award-winning performance to capture the audience's attention. For starters, she could have made more eye contact with the audience, used a conversational tone, and referred to her notes only when she needed to. Next, she could have prepared a few visuals to illustrate the key points of her talk. Visuals would have helped the audience stay focused. Finally, she could have incorporated relevant stories or examples that supported her material, yet didn't distract from her overall message. In this topic, you'll learn how to prepare, practice, and present information to achieve the results you want. Have you ever felt disappointed after giving a carefully planned presentation? What went wrong? What could you have done to improve the audience's response?

Topic Objectives
This topic contains relevant information on how to:
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Prepare an effective presentation customized for your audience and setting Deliver an effective presentation that produces action Address questions and keep people focused during your presentation

About the Mentor
Nick Morgan

Nick Morgan is a communications expert who has worked as a speechwriter, a public relations director, and a communications professor. Through his company Public Words, he coaches executives and runs seminars on a range of communication issues. He has been editor of Harvard Management Communication Letter, has written hundreds of articles, and is the author of Working the Room: How to Motivate People to Action Through Audience-Centered Speaking (HBS Press).

Managers use presentations to: • • • • • • • Persuade the audience to take a particular course of action Convey something you want the audience to know Tailor information to meet the needs of a particular audience Provide a forum for discussion of controversial or challenging ideas Find out how people are reacting to a situation or an idea Gain commitment and alignment Engage people in generating solutions to problems Different types of presentations We rule the world by our words. a task force. Audiences will not remember detail. features. or articulates the company's goals Sharing detailed information is not a good use of a presentation.Learn Presentation Overview The purpose of presentations Presentations are a powerful way to communicate your message to a group. and reasons to buy a product or service Persuasion: Provides the reasons or support to pursue a particular idea or path Status report: Details the progress of a project. or product sales Product demonstration: Shows how something works Business plan or strategy: Sketches out what an organization plans to do next. You can use a presentation to inform an audience about a major change or initiative. These are some examples: • • • • • Sales: Outlines the benefits. —Napoleon Bonaparte There are many different types of presentations that meet specific needs. They are an opportunity to gather your audience together to engage in a two-way dialogue. but use written forms of .

Key Idea A presentation is an interactive dialogue between you and your audience. or interfering. your purpose drives the type of presentation you choose. Make sure that you can answer these questions: . Make sure you have answers to these vital questions. Laying the Foundation for Your Presentation Define your objective Your objective drives how you develop your presentation. persuade. buy-in. learn. persuasion. distracting.communication for the detail. or sell? Do I want the audience to understand. the more you can customize your presentation. It drives the development of your presentation. Your objective also helps you determine the following: • • • • • Whether to give the presentation at all Whether to give it to this particular audience under these particular circumstances What to say and how to say it What the follow-up needs to be Possible objections Know your audience Maximize the impact of your presentation by learning more about your audience. Omit anything extraneous. or a sale. feedback. Do I want commitment from the audience? Include examples and details that help you achieve your objective. or take action? Note the difference between presenting a budget so your audience understands it and presenting a budget so your audience votes on it. The better you understand your listeners. What are the essential questions you should ask yourself? How can you make sure you are headed in the right direction? Key Idea The objective of your presentation is the outcome that you want— discussion. Thus. Begin by asking yourself these questions: "What is the purpose of this presentation?" and "What do I want my audience to do as a result?" More specifically: • • • Do I want to inform.

history. will the audience have just finished eating. The context of your presentation plays a major role in how it will be received. or new—or a combination to this audience? Who are they and what is their relationship to your topic? How well informed are they about the subject? What do they need to know about it? What do they expect from the event? From your presentation? Are they accustomed to a certain type of presentation? What do they know about you? What more do they need to know? How do they feel about you? Why are they present? Are they there by choice or by requirement? Are they likely to be enthusiastic? Polite? Apathetic? Hostile? Are there any other obstacles. or doing something active? Will they be tired or alert? When was the last break? Who will speak before you? Who comes after you? How might this affect audience reaction? Are you the first or last speaker of the program? The day? The morning or afternoon? Are you expected to take questions or leave copies of your presentation? How much time do you have for the presentation? Can your message be delivered in that time? Will the physical setting of the presentation require you to adapt your talk? What control do you have over the physical environment? Personal Insights Prepare thoroughly See Also Steps for setting up a presentation Tips for setting up a presentation Understand your presentation's context Prepare thoroughly . familiar. You need to be aware of the following issues: • • • • • • • • Is the situation formal or informal? When you present. working.• • • • • • • • • Is the subject controversial. drinking. or expectations that you need to take into account? See Also Audience characteristics worksheet Related Topic Persuading Others Understand your presentation's context You are not presenting in a vacuum.

But nobody laughed and I should have understood then. now I do. I was ready. or the lack of preparation could prove costly upon arrival. Yes. I listened to the Prime Minister's speech. the event's other speakers and the context of the event beforehand. Well. Rosabeth Moss Kanter Professor of Business Administration. It was the worst speech of my life. Harvard Business School . I learned some lessons which now drive everything I do: you'd better know your audience and who else is speaking and you've got to know the context. you can fail—even if your own thing is very. As he talked. I had not spent enough time thinking about the context.Personal Insight I was particularly pleased to have an invitation to address a group of Asian CEOs in Bangkok in Thailand. about thinking through who's in the audience. I was told to talk about global competitiveness and the things that make companies world-class. I didn't quite get that I had several strikes against me." The opening speaker was going to be the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Since most of my experiences and stories were American. I simply didn't realize the effect he was having on the audience. I tried to deflect it as I began with a joke about how they were experts on Asia and I was an expert on American companies. Detailed preparation and research are fundamental to giving a successful speech. but today I look more at the context. I looked at the program and thought: "I have a wonderful position. "Isn't that wonderful? I follow a prime minister. but I did have my credentials. what the goal of the meeting is. I want to know who they are. I have never not been really well received and I was very rattled and concerned about it. That speech was nearly ten years ago and I now collect more information and work on being very prepared. If you don't know the context and you just go into a meeting prepared to do your own thing." I prepared my usual material. It is crucial to take the time to research the audience. But I was also American and I hadn't quite realized what a handicap that was going to be. very good and usually well received. I'm relentless about preparation. I mean thorough preparation. believe me. That's quite a compliment. I was female. I was always a very prepared person—I don't want to make it sound like I'm casual. That was the time when he was scoring political points by contrasting so-called Asian values with so-called Western values. he became more and more inflammatory and anti-Western. When I got up to speak. what their views are I want to know who else is speaking.

community organizations or countries. whether in business. a spin-off cartoon video. Men & Women of the Corporation. with translations into 17 languages. set a policy agenda (in 2001. Her classic prizewinning book. innovation and leadership for change. a coalition of centers created the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for the best research on that issue). Her award-winning book. describes the culture and dynamics of perpetually successful organizations compared with those in decline and how to lead turnarounds. was a source of insight to countless individuals and organizations about corporate careers and the individual and organizational factors that can load the situation for success. Confidence: How Winning Streaks & Losing Streaks Begin & End (#1 Business Week and New York Times business bestseller).Rosabeth Moss Kanter is a renowned Harvard Business School professor (holding the Ernest L. placed in the top 10 on the annual list of the "50 most influential business thinkers in the world" (Accenture and Thinkers 50). She is the author or co-author of 16 books. health care. and a related book. . is among the world's most widely-used diversity tools. Work & Family in the United States. A Tale of 'O': On Being Different. and called one of the 9 "rock stars of business" (American Way). When Giants Learn to Dance. she has been named to lists of the "50 most powerful women in the world" (Times of London). Arbuckle Chair) and best-selling author whose strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations for over 25 years. sports. The former Editor of Harvard Business Review (1989 – 1992) and a consultant to major corporations and governments worldwide on issues of strategy. Her latest bestseller. education. showed many companies worldwide the way to master the new terms of competition at the dawn of the global information age.

reactions. identify when it is important to get audience participation. the easiest way to proceed is to divide the work into stages. Usually. Consider the following: • • • Is the key message you have selected really the most critical? Does it support the objectives of the presentation? Are the arguments you have marshaled understandable to all levels of your audience? Will your content convince the audience to agree with you? . Avoid excessive detail but be sure to talk about more than just the facts. you are ready to review and refine them. agreement. Why should the audience care about it? Stage 3: Finally. or buy-in. What do you want people to remember and what action you want them to take? This message flows directly from your objective. Stage 2: Next. ideas. • • • Stage 1: Define your key message. and facts. but having trouble putting down the actual words and ideas. It is important to identify and address the emotional underpinnings of your message. —Hermann Hesse After you have generated your initial set of ideas on content. See Also Presentation context worksheet Related Topic Writing Skills Review and refine your ideas Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud. identify the arguments that support your message.Deciding What to Say Stages of preparation Many of us have experienced the paralysis of knowing what we want to accomplish. but only one key message. You can have a number of supporting arguments.

The way that normally manifests itself is through a corporate mission statement or a statement of goals. Remember: Include only those details that will persuade. credibility. the better off you're likely to be. . so keep communication concise to avoid the potential for misunderstanding. our customers and the societies in which we live. The other thing is that the same words can mean different things to different people. Your persuasiveness is largely a product of your enthusiasm. but a place where they. then those individuals need to be able to understand what it is that the organization is trying to achieve. Be aware that people can interpret the same words differently. and when I got involved with KPMG. Not just as a place to come to work and pick up a salary check at the end of the month. we turned the mission statement into a very simple statement. some people within it may interpret words differently. I've seen mission statements that can be as long as two hundred words. Personal Insights Keep it simple Related Topic Persuading Others Review and refine your ideas Keep it simple Personal Insight When you have a large and diverse international organization. and personal belief in the subject. If you are not sure about the impact of a point. in the field in Beijing or in the mid-west of the United States. as individuals in the organization. saying that KPMG is the global accounting firm that turns knowledge into value for the benefit of our people. That was it. So. Simplicity in communication is key—especially in large organizations. leave it out. So the simpler and more concise you can make it. If an organization has people working in the post room in Moscow. ask yourself what else you can do or say that may help to persuade your audience. Effective persuaders use arguments that combine logic and emotion to convince their audience. communication within it needs to be based on very short and simple statements. had something to contribute.• • • Are logical connections explicit? What arguments need to be developed? What contrary arguments do you need to neutralize? Then. It took me quite a long time to understand that although you can have an organization that speaks and understands English very well. we tried to figure out what we could say to people that would enable them to identify with the organization. and the more words you use the more capacity there is for misunderstanding.

and then three years later for operations in London and the South East. In 1997 he became Chairman of KPMG International and retired from the company in September 1999. Reed Elsevier and the BG Group. From 1991–94 he was Chairman of KPMG Management Consulting worldwide. In 1994 he was appointed a Senior Partner.Lord Sharman Chairman. From 1987 he was responsible for the group's national marketing. Additionally Lord Sharman is on the Boards of Aviva. He worked in a number of overseas offices before being appointed a Partner in the London branch in 1981. . Aegis Group Lord Sharman joined Peat Marwick Mitchell (later KPMG) as a Manager in 1966. He also served as a member of the International Executive Committee and on the European Board. He is currently Chairman of the Aegis Group and Deputy Non-executive Chairman of Group 4 Securicor.

question. Ask yourself "Which of my credentials will impress this particular audience?" and emphasize those. or example—to get your audience's interest and attention. Activity Hook your audience Opening Activity: Hook your audience You're delivering a speech about innovation to a cross-section of managers from your organization. During the opening.Organizing Your Presentation Opening Once you have the raw material for your presentation. relevant story. use a "hook"—a comment. Establish your credibility. if appropriate. Which of the following opening lines would best capture your listeners' attention at the start of your presentation? What do Post-it notes and Silly Putty have in common? They're innovations managers originally saw as colossal failures. You also use the opening to do the following: • • • • Define the purpose of the presentation. boosting the likelihood that you will accomplish your objective. Or. statement. Describe the importance of the topic for the audience: What's in it for them? Preview very briefly the main points to be covered. A well-organized presentation will make the audience's listening job as easy as possible. have another person with authority or credibility introduces your presentation. . you need to organize it.

interesting. Not the best choice. we're going to talk about creativity and innovation in organizations of all kinds. and well-known examples—as well as the surprising fact revealed about them—will immediately capture your audience's interest. These specific. the solution. A good opening can captivate your audience from the very beginning. Here you should: • • • • • Make it clear to the audience why it should care about your message Develop a clear need or problem that you and the audience will solve together Incorporate relevant arguments. Exit activity Problem statement The second part of your presentation is the need or problem statement.Correct choice. Though this opening line hints at the subject of your speech. This opening line is too broad to hook your audience's attention. makes it clear to the audience how you think the problem should be solved or the need satisfied. examples. Here you will: • • • Help the audience visualize the benefits of the solution Involve the audience in developing a path forward Phrase your solution in terms of the audience's needs . Today. it uses dry language and therefore won't capture your listeners' attention. Not the best choice. and a variety of supporting material to sustain interest without distracting from the point Involve the audience by asking for their suggestions and addressing their needs and issues Test acceptance by asking for feedback. Any company that hopes to do well in this age of increasing competition needs to be able to innovate. if appropriate Solution The third part of your presentation.

Plan on what to delete if your time is cut short. you are in control of the timing. you need a strong call to action. For example. Here you will want to: • • • • • • Reiterate the presentation's key message Integrate your opening points into your closing comments Recommend action Suggest agreement Obtain commitment or buy-in Provide closure Duration How long should a presentation be? Often. If you do not have time to make a point clear or acceptable to your audience. In other instances. Ending early is better than not completing the talk or rushing through the talk at the end. plus or minus two. Learn how to structure a closing that is solid and persuasive. is the limit of most adults for recalling important messages. See Also Steps for creating a presentation . Make it only long enough to be clear and complete within the allocated time. It is better to make fewer points and make them well. Allow time at the end for questions as a basic courtesy. Key Idea To wrap up. Five. save it for another presentation. you may be granted 30 minutes to deliver a sales presentation to a buyer.• Make sure the urgency of your solution matches the need Call to action One of the most powerful ways to end your presentation is with a call to action. and you can determine the optimal length for your presentation. The following guidelines are helpful in both situations: • • • • • • • Make the presentation as long as it needs to be to convey your key message clearly and completely. you have to fit your presentation into a timetable developed by others.

and appropriateness for your presentation. Use visual aids to help your audience: • • • • Maintain attention Remember facts Understand ideas. including overheads. but most people respond better to visuals than to the spoken word alone. you need to consider flexibility. or physical layouts Recognize that you are moving on to a new topic Choose your media You have many choices for your visuals. computerbased slides. flip charts. transport clearly slides • Technology can break down. so you need to have a backup set of overhead slides . Words and pictures together are six times more effective than words alone. Pros and Cons of Types of Media Media Pros Cons Computer• Easy to create. and handouts. cost. 13% through hearing. A picture is three times more effective in conveying information than words alone.Using Visuals The power of visuals Everyone has a preferred learning style. Consider the following research findings: • • • People gain 75% of what they know visually. • Do not always project based update. relationships. When selecting from among these media. and 12% through smell.

location. yet ideal. short presentations Provide a place for note-taking and a takeaway for later reference Can contain supplemental background information Flexible Easy to create Encourage interaction Flexible Easy to create Can allow light in the room for continued eye contact Good for both formal and informal situations • • Can become the audience's focal point. icons. You are trying to convince investors to build a new theater in a costly. • Flip charts • • • • • • • Not effective for large groups Difficult to transport Can be awkward putting up and switching between overheads Old technology Overheads • • • • Effective visuals Not all visuals enhance a presentation. and symbols to reinforce or communicate a concept Use key words.Handouts • • Useful for informal. but not excessively Activity Create an effective visual See Also Tips for creating visuals Effective visuals Activity: Create an effective visual An effective visual aid can be the key to your presentation's success. . To be effective. distracting them from listening to you Can be disruptive if distributed during the presentation. See if you know the characteristics of an effective visual. Now you need to prepare an effective visual to support your presentation. visuals should: • • • • • • Be simple Use graphics. not full sentences Contain only one concept per slide or page Contain only three to six ideas on each flip chart sheet Use color where possible.

This choice uses complete sentences rather than key words. multi-image graphic is difficult to read and may be distracting. A simple bar graph showing the correlation between theater location and ticket sales. This complex. A downtown location is accessible by bus. one complex and one simple. § Promotes youth activities Not the best choice. Four bright. A complex line graph showing ticket sales statistics for several different theaters. Two charts. plus a picture of a theater Not the best choice. It's most effective to limit your slide to one key idea using key words. Not the best choice. § Location is important. Location drives ticket sales Correct choice.Select text to create your visual. Select a color palette for your visual. This graphic clearly conveys information supporting your key idea.000. § Community theaters create centers for youth activities. Correct choice. and expresses multiple key ideas. § Seating for 2. § The theater should be in the heart of downtown. Select a graphic for your visual. in different locations. neon. as the location will drive ticket sales. This photo does not communicate your key idea in a compelling way. contrasting colors . plus a theater photograph Not the best choice. This choice contains more than one key idea.

The appropriate use of color creates visual interest and highlights key points.Not the best choice. This option uses too many colors and may make your visual distracting or difficult to read. This visual contains a pleasing balance of color. one light and one dark. An effective visual aid can be the key to your presentation's success. Black and white only Not the best choice. This visual could benefit from the use of color to create visual interest and highlight key points. Two shades of the same color. See if you know the characteristics of an effective visual. Correct choice. Exit activity .

"What's the worst that can happen?" and then be prepared for that possibility. Concentrate on the subject and your desire to communicate. in front of a friend or colleague. Rehearse the entire presentation each time you practice. Rehearse out loud and. For example: • • • • Visualize yourself giving a successful presentation. practice with a tape or video recorder. caffeine. Repeat positive statements to yourself.Rehearsing Rehearse until prepared Rehearsing is the key to delivering a successful presentation. drugs. not on your notes. . See Also Logistics worksheet Prepare mentally and physically Delivering an effective presentation requires mental and physical preparation. such as "I am relaxed and ready. or alcohol prior to the presentation. Key Idea When would you like to learn about the holes. the dull spots. if possible. Ask yourself. and excessive details in your presentation? Before or after it's been delivered? Rehearse to find and repair these problems beforehand. Otherwise. Accept nervousness as natural and do not try to counteract it with food. Rehearse until the presentation does not sound memorized. To make the most of your rehearsal: • • • • • Rehearse with the equipment and visuals you will actually use at the event." Use breathing techniques and tension-relieving exercises to reduce stress.

Anticipate the questions and objections that are most likely to arise. Consider the following tactics to help you overcome your fears: • • • • Rehearse your presentation and know it well. by telephone before the presentation. The key to successful presenting is how you handle the fear. . Prepare physically and mentally.Overcome your fear of presenting Even professional speakers get nervous. Get to know audience members individually. or in person as they come into the room.

Breathe. Walk around your audience or use movement when you want control. Gesture in a relaxed. The following are some basic suggestions for effective speaking practice: • • • • • • • • Make your presentation conversational. or to become one of the group. Avoid standing behind a podium. Face your audience and make eye contact. natural way and do not jingle keys or coins in your pockets. whatever it is. and keep your audience engaged. you need to be very sensitive and . project a positive image.Presenting Effectively Manage your delivery Once you're actually in the room with your audience—you've prepared your messages. more involvement. Do not talk from a script. Avoid the use of jargon or terms that may be unfamiliar to the audience. You will achieve your best performance if you speak effectively. Watch the audience for nonverbal clues about their response. and yourself—you can focus on delivering the most engaging presentation possible. It helps you relax and reduces filler language such as "um" and "er. your materials. and people are starting to pay attention to you. if you can help it. once you reach a position of power." Personal Insights Choose words carefully Manage your delivery Choose words carefully Personal Insight If I look back on what I've learned here in terms of the impact that your words have. Talk from your notes only if you have to.

Check the acoustics when you rehearse. Use a microphone for a large group or a large space. Over the ensuing years Mr. where he was Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer until its merger with Billiton. Speak loudly enough for everyone to hear if you do not have a microphone. He then moved to BHP in 1998 until 2001. product engineering. When PanEnergy merged with Duke Power in 1997 he became President and Chief Operating Officer of Duke Energy for a year. He is also a Director of Qantas Airways. Duke Energy Mr. and two. Paul Anderson Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. Anderson returned to Duke Energy as its Chairman and CEO in November 2003. He then became Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BHP Billiton Ltd (the Australian-listed company) and BHP Billiton PLC (the UK-listed company) until his retirement from the company in July 2002. and then joined PanEnergy. following his key leadership role in the merger. what would I be hearing?' You almost need to say the words without emotion in your mind—because you're coloring it in your own mind as to whether it's humorous or casual or totally off the record— and just look at it as if it were a statement that could be on the front page of the paper tomorrow. Use your voice To use your voice to its best advantage. Avoid rapid-fire or drawn-out speech. holding various positions in marketing. . Mr. and practice beforehand to find a comfortable speaking volume. the more people will hang on their every word. would I regret that I'd ever said it?" The more powerful a leader becomes. He was Planning Manager from 1972 until 1977. leaders should be careful about what they say to avoid confusion and potential problems. Be expressive. President and Chief Executive Officer. Anderson served in various leadership roles within the company. culminating in becoming its Chairman.think through: 'if I were the listener taking everything that I heard absolutely literally. Raise and lower your voice to make your point. As a consequence. consider the following: • • • • • Keep the tone of your voice natural and conversational. Anderson started his career at Ford Motor Company. Don't speak in a monotone. Practice with a tape recorder or a colleague to get feedback. finance and manufacturing from 1969 to 1972. would I be embarrassed. You have to say: "If it were on the front page of the paper—one.

However.g. Project a positive image Your confidence in and commitment to your message are reflected by your demeanor and body language. To keep your audience's interest level high: • • • • • • • • Change what you're doing (e. Make sure your facial expressions convey interest in the audience. People in these groups will not likely hear what you have to say unless you take measures to grab their attention. If you are too nervous to look at the entire audience. and graphs. Activity Evaluate a presentation Keep the audience engaged Activity: Evaluate a presentation (Speaking in a conversational tone. the overloaded. —Dorothy Sarnoff Most speakers confront one or several difficult audience members: the tuned out. make sure to do the following: • • • Project confidence through your dress and presence. charts. focus on individuals instead. to good effect Ask a question Questions taken from the audience can both engage the listeners and provide you with opportunities to furnish greater detail in areas that matter to your audience. it is important that you be well prepared for the questions you will receive.• Enunciate and pronounce words clearly. To optimize your effectiveness.. or people so busy that they are forever thinking about other pressing issues. Make and maintain eye contact with audience members. such as illustrations. make a sudden pause or change your vocal tone) Ask for a show of hands Add humor Provide analogies and vivid examples Introduce personal stories Employ compelling statistics and expert testimony Use visuals. using engaging voice inflection) . Keep the audience engaged Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening. and hold onto it.

Personal stories make the abstract concepts in a presentation more vivid for the audience and engage their attention. My name is Marianne Chiu and I have been the head recruiter for Treaty Elm Financial for five years. you will. At this point. how many of you need to add a person to your team right away? It looks like about a third. Next. Which of the following is an effective behavior when giving a presentation? Relying on a script Not the best choice. um. will then be forwarded to a recruiter and your manager for approval. Referencing a script continually during a presentation breaks the connection between the speaker and the audience. I am here today to talk with you about our recruiting process so that. Jargon can exclude certain members of the audience from understanding a presentation and should be avoided whenever possible. you might want to email the approving manager yourself to let them know to look out for the request that is coming their way. How many of you know of a role on your team that will open up in the next six weeks? About ten of you. . Ok. the first step in the recruiting process is to identify which BI's are required of the interview candidate to do the job you are hiring for. well. Using jargon Not the best choice. Uh.Good afternoon and thank you for coming. um. as new managers. Before we get started. Using personal stories Correct choice. or you don't know what a BI is. you will be able to hire people for your teams as needed. just check the Treaty Elm recruiting section online. If you aren't sure which BI's go with each role. log on to the company intranet and enter the req. The req. Make sure to include your TKM number so we know who you are. into the system. if you don't have a need yet—trust me.

Asking questions Not the best choice. This is an effective behavior. the presenter should avoid the extremes of rapidfire or drawn-out speech. This is an effective behavior. Although varying speech rhythms is an effective presentation behavior. fidgety movements. Exit activity .Which of the following is not an effective behavior when giving a presentation? Using movement Not the best choice. Asking questions of the audience allows the presenter to engage them personally and establish the relevance of the presentation. Moving while making a presentation can help engage the audience and keep the presenter from making smaller. Varying between rapid-fire and drawn-out speech Correct choice. distracting. Watching someone else present can give you a vivid appreciation of which behaviors are effective and which are ineffective.

Rehearse your talk with someone else and ask for his or her questions. Maintain control of the Q&A session by repeating the question and giving the answer to the whole group. However. the presentation is a success. If you choose this approach: • • Make the transition to your question and answer (Q&A) session clear. When should you answer questions? Many speakers take questions at the end of their presentation. Finally. other speakers take questions at specific points during the presentation. Anticipate questions by focusing on your listeners' concerns and how your presentation might strike them. the success of your entire presentation will be judged on how well you handle the question and answer session. if you choose this approach. they most likely will have questions for you. Use this approach with caution since it may cause you to lose control of your talk. However. if your listeners are engaged and are working with you. . Such times might include when you want people's reactions or when you want their ideas.Handling Questions Anticipate questions Some people feel that if there are no questions. This allows them to complete a talk within a specified time and be sure the audience has the whole picture. be sure to identify these points ahead of time and flag them in your presentation so you do not forget to stop for questions. Some speakers also take questions during the presentation. not only to the questioner. How should you handle questions? Many times. thinking that it keeps people engaged and gives you immediately feedback about how well they understand your message.

anticipate possible questions and arguments that might arise. If you don't know the answer to a question. or ask if someone in the audience can answer the question. Keep in mind the following tips: • • • • • • • • • Before your presentation. record them on a white board or flip chart and address them at the end of the meeting. . keep it clear and brief. direct the person to another source. Avoid letting one person dominate the question and answer session." Try to take questions from people seated in all sections of the audience. "I'll take two more questions.Key Idea Many times. offer to get the answer. Always repeat the question. the success of your entire presentation will be judged on how well you handle the question and answer session. it gives you a moment to think of an answer. If questions are beginning to disrupt the flow of your presentation. Try to keep the tone positive and helpful. When you are ready to end up the question and answer session. Determine how you will respond. When questions are asked during your presentation. It shows the audience that you understand the question. Avoid appearing defensive. and then we'll wrap up our time together. When you know the answer. and it assures the audience can hear the question since you are facing them. don't deny or gloss over them. set the audience's expectations by saying.

You may be presenting the results of a group effort. . Each speaker should be prepared to answer questions in a particular area and to follow up if another speaker needs help. Coordinate visuals . They can also be most effective during difficult time slots such as before and after lunch and at the end of the day. For example. people with strong presentation skills are the best candidates for opening and closing the talk. arrange for a group rehearsal prior to the presentation so that each person is aware of what others are presenting. If possible. where persuasiveness counts most. Each subsequent speaker provides a transition to the next one with a sentence: "Now June will cover . A facilitator handles all transitions." The last speaker summarizes the whole presentation. You should allocate speakers either by their areas of expertise with the topic or by their presentation strengths and weaknesses. If possible.Making Group Presentations Assign presenters Often. you would like other people to contribute to your presentation. avoid having every speaker comment on every question. Structure the flow A typical group presentation flows as follows: • • • • The first speaker introduces the other speakers briefly and introduces the topic. . You should also plan in advance how the group will handle questions. or you may feel that their presence and experience will help you achieve your objective.

Practice to achieve synchronization if someone else is handling the visuals.Visuals can pose logistical challenges for a group presentation. Extra planning can ensure that your visuals enhance your message rather than distract your audience. If speakers are using different media. coordinate how you will make the transition smoothly. Make sure that all slides or overheads follow the same format. To make the most seamless presentation possible: • • • • Have someone other than the speaker handle the visuals during the presentation. unless the speaker prefers to do so. Related Topic Meeting Management .

You can make notes on those issues immediately after the presentation while it is still fresh in your mind. ask an expert. For example. In many situations it is appropriate to directly ask the audience how it's going. "Does this make sense so far?" After the presentation There are always three speeches for every one you actually gave. Note what went well and what needs to be improved. Body language can indicate interest or boredom: Are listeners nodding their heads in agreement or sitting with their arms crossed? The questions they ask can help you identify areas of your presentation that need clarification. During the presentation During the presentation. logic. practice your presentation on test audiences and get their feedback. Test as many features of your presentation as you can: the visuals. For example. the one you gave. The one you practiced.Evaluating Your Presentation Before the presentation Evaluating your presentation is an important part of understanding its impact. and the one you wish you gave. have another person in the audience take notes on audience reaction for you. etc. Ask for feedback from credible participants. —Dale Carnegie After the presentation. If possible. look for cues that will help you gauge audience reaction. Before the presentation. Ask yourself: . Assemble people who are similar to your audience profile. if you are presenting to experts on the topic. assess its overall effectiveness.

See Also Steps for practicing and evaluating Practice .• • • • Was your objective achieved? Did you make the sale? Persuade the audience to adopt your recommendation? Did the audience seem engaged and attentive? If you're going to give the presentation again. like any other process. what changes can you make to improve it? What general lessons did you learn about presenting? Creating and delivering a presentation is a process that. can be improved. Once you identify the root causes of belowstandard performance. you can address them directly.

• • • • • • A one-page handout that lists the top 10 reasons why the Trail Hound backpack is better than any competing doggie backpack that he will hand out during his presentation.) Oscar will need to make his visuals as attention-getting as possible. (People tend to get sleepy after eating. This visual will likely prove very effective. Correct choice. A flip chart that depicts two or three easy-to-see step diagrams demonstrating how the Trail Hound's compartment feature works. and the sales reps will already have attended several other product presentations that morning. Oscar's audience consists of 150 people. Which kind of visual would be the most compelling for Oscar to use? Explore all the choices. Oscar is scheduled to deliver his presentation just after lunch. If you use handouts. Inc. To prepare the company's 150-member sales force to promote new products to retail customers. a manufacturer of pet products.Scenario Part 1 Every year. Not the best choice. A computer-based slide with an image contrasting Trail Hound's new compartment system with its top competitor's. slides should contain just one concept. In the weeks before the conference. Distributing reading materials during your presentation only detracts from it. avoid distributing them during the presentation. he can expect his audience's energy to be at its lowest. a combination of words and pictures is six times more effective than words alone. the product line managers outline new product features and benefits. Not the best choice. Oscar will need to explain this feature clearly. and those sitting in the back of the conference room probably wouldn't be able to see the information on the chart. text-only visuals aren't the most compelling. The Trail Hound has an innovative new compartment system. because it contains a single concept (how the Trail . a flip chart is not effective for large groups. Also. flip charts are notoriously difficult to transport. Also. This year Oscar and his group will announce an exciting new product: the Trail Hound—a "doggie backpack" for dogs to carry their food and water during hikes with their owners. and including a bulleted list of several advantages of the Trail Hound system. Since Oscar is giving his presentation right after lunch. Oscar and his product management group introduce new products at a national conference for BestPet. Also. To be most effective. Though diagrams and pictures are valuable in a visual.. so the sales reps can demonstrate it to customers. he begins preparing visuals that he hopes will deepen the sales reps' understanding of the new product and inspire them to sell it.

it wouldn't enable him to gather feedback about how well the reps understand his message and make any necessary adjustments in his talk. after he has completed his talk. Not the best choice. giving him a sense of how well the sales reps understand his message.Hound's compartment feature compares to the competition's corresponding feature). Oscar should ask that people hold questions until the end of the presentation. For example. He also elects to provide audience members with handouts detailing the Trail Hound's important specifications as they enter the conference room. he should avoid doing anything that might distract his focus or cause him to lose track of where he is in his talk. In choosing this approach. he practices keeping his voice natural and conversational. Then he remembers that he hasn't yet decided when to take questions. and a mix of words and pictures. as well as finding a comfortable speaking volume. given that the main purpose of Oscar's presentation is to make sure the sales reps understand the new product clearly enough to sell it. By nature. • • • • • • To ensure that his audience remains engaged. so he brushes up on various public-speaking skills. Oscar should select specific points in his presentation and flag them in his notes so that he remembers to stop for questions. This approach lets Oscar periodically gauge audience members' reactions and hear their ideas. This could be a problem. Not the best choice. . As a final step in the rehearsal process. Part 2 Oscar decides to create a computer-based presentation composed of word-and-picture slides. Oscar should take questions at specific. using a tape recorder. To make sure he provides the "big picture" first. Oscar visualizes how he will handle questions from his audience. To continually gauge his audience's reactions to his message. Although this approach would allow Oscar to complete his talk and make sure the sales reps have the full picture. Correct choice. designated points during the presentation. he rehearses his talk. Oscar also risks losing control of his presentation. Oscar is a nervous presenter. Next. this approach doesn't raise the risk that Oscar will lose control of his talk. Oscar should take questions during the presentation whenever an audience member raises a hand. Although this approach may keep people engaged and provide feedback on how well the sales reps understand his message. Yet because it is more structured. Because he finds public speaking stressful. When should Oscar take questions during his presentation? Explore all the choices.

and then provides the answer for the entire group. Oscar repeats and rephrases each question. the sales reps ignored the handouts they had received upon entering the auditorium. he should have wrapped things up with a strong call to action. perhaps by periodically asking his audience. He asks himself how he might assess possible weak spots in his presentation skills. There. Then he packs up his materials and heads back to his hotel room. "Is there anything that doesn't make sense so far?" Oscar remembers concluding his talk with a summary of the Trail Hound's key benefits. The fact that the reps asked a lot of questions would not suggest an ineffective talk. Thus. A call to action does include a reiteration of your presentation's key message. Oscar wraps up his presentation with a summary of the new product's specifications and benefits. The fact that Oscar ended his talk with a summary indicates a weak spot in his presentation skills. if the sales reps ignored the handouts. Though some people feel that the absence of questions signals a successful talk. Instead. For example. he could have obtained their buy-in by announcing a prize for the sales rep that sells the most units. • • • • Many members of Oscar's audience asked a lot of questions over the course of the presentation. they likely were fully engaged during the talk. Correct choice. questions actually indicate that listeners are engaging with you and with the material you're presenting. However. Oscar should still make sure that he's answered questions clearly. Which of the following might indicate a weak spot in Oscar's presentation skills? Explore all the choices. The fact that the sales reps ignored their handouts does not indicate a weak spot in Oscar's skills. Conclusion . Handouts can actually distract listeners if they become the audience's focal point. but it also contains recommendations for what audience members should do with the information you've just shared. Not the best choice. many sales reps ask questions. The day of the presentation arrives. When Oscar pauses at one of the designated times in his talk. Not the best choice. The sales reps pick up their handouts and file into the auditorium.Part 3 Oscar decides that he will take questions at specific points throughout his presentation. • • During the presentation. Oscar could have urged his audience to emphasize particular aspects of the Trail Hound's compartment feature to customers. he reviews his presentation and wonders whether it was a success overall. Since the audience is large. Or.

But a successful presentation is well worth the extra effort. deciding when would be the best time to take questions. Finally. for example. . although he makes a mental note to wrap up next year's talk with a strong call to action. as well as rehearse their presentations ahead of time.After weighing various factors. they always evaluate their presentations. to identify areas that might need improvement. Effective presentation skills are essential to any manager. Oscar decides that his presentation was successful in many respects. Skilled presenters carefully plan the visuals and other elements of their talks. They also structure their talk in ways that enable them to best achieve their objective. Delivering a compelling presentation requires careful preparation.

such as. Examples of presentation types include sales. After selecting the appropriate presentation type. Ignore feelings of severe nervousness or consider counteracting them through muscle relaxants or a glass of wine—whichever means works best for you. The strategy that is not recommended is ignoring nervousness or counteracting it with drugs or alcohol (which won't likely help you deliver your presentation effectively). Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. • • • • • • Visualize yourself giving a successful presentation and repeat to yourself positive statements. Identify the worst that can happen and then prepare for that possibility Not the best choice. Identifying and preparing for possible problems actually is a recommended strategy for preparing yourself mentally and physically to make a presentation. The strategy that is not recommended is ignoring nervousness or counteracting it with drugs or alcohol (which won't likely help you deliver your presentation effectively). you should accept nervousness as natural." Not the best choice. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. Your purpose drives the type of presentation you choose. you should then . status report. persuasion. After you have read the feedback. visualizing a successful presentation and identifying and preparing for possible problems are both strategies that can help you prepare mentally. After you have read the feedback. Question 2 The type of presentation you choose depends on _______________. or alcohol before your presentation—won't likely help you deliver your presentation effectively. and business plan or strategy. "I am relaxed and ready. caffeine. Visualizing a successful presentation actually is a recommended strategy for preparing yourself mentally and physically to make a presentation. Correct choice. Instead. • • Your purpose Correct choice. However. Click the button next to the correct answer choice. you should accept nervousness as natural. Ignoring it—or trying to counteract it by consuming drugs.Check Your Knowledge Question 1 Which of the following is not a recommended strategy to help prepare yourself mentally and physically to make a presentation? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. explore the other choices. Instead. product demonstration. explore the other choices. You should accept nervousness as natural.

and business plan or strategy. persuasion. Actually. product demonstration. status report. status report. too many facts can overload your audience. After you have read the feedback. While it's important to provide facts to support your ideas. After selecting the appropriate presentation type. The size of your audience Not the best choice. you should then consider other factors as well—including size of your audience and formality of the setting. Question 4 ." While it's important to provide facts to support your ideas. • • • • • • Don't neutralize contrary arguments coming from your audience Not the best choice. Actually. so that you achieve the intended outcome of your presentation. Moreover. and business plan or strategy. Moreover. too many facts can overload your audience. you also need to identify the emotional underpinnings of your message by explaining why your audience should care about what you have to say. persuasion. Question 3 In deciding what to say during your presentation. you should neutralize contrary arguments coming from your audience in order to persuade listeners to accept your message." While it's important to provide facts to support your ideas. Examples of presentation types include sales. Don't talk just about facts Correct choice. you should first select the type of presentation based on your purpose. explore the other choices. you should then consider other factors as well—including size of your audience and formality of the setting. The correct choice is "Don't talk just about facts. product demonstration. you should first select the type of presentation based on your purpose. Though it's important to eventually consider the size of your audience in designing your presentation. you should explain the actions you want your audience to take. The correct choice is "Don't talk just about facts. you also need to identify the emotional underpinnings of your message by explaining why your audience should care about what you have to say. too many facts can overload your audience. Don't describe the action you want your audience to take Not the best choice.• • • • consider other factors as well—including size of your audience and formality of the setting. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. you also need to identify the emotional underpinnings of your message by explaining why your audience should care about what you have to say. The formality of the setting Not the best choice. what's an important "don't" to keep in mind? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. Though it's important to eventually consider the formality of the setting in designing your presentation. Moreover. After selecting the appropriate presentation type. Examples of presentation types include sales.

After you have read the feedback. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. Nine Not the best choice. Identify a clear problem that you and your audience will solve together Not the best choice. Ideally. you should try to limit the number of your messages and main ideas to about five. That's because five (plus or minus two) seems to be the number of messages that most adults can remember. you describe the importance of the topic to your audience. You include clear statements of your main points during the body of your presentation. your purpose should be the first thing you tell your audience. your purpose should be the first thing you tell your audience. your purpose should be the first thing you tell your audience. establish your credibility. Five Correct choice. You should try to limit the number of your messages and main ideas to about five. Question 5 During the opening of your presentation. Ideally. establishing your credibility. not the opening. After you have read the feedback. The additional step you need to take during the opening is to define the purpose of the presentation. Question 6 . and previewing your main points. • • • • • • Two Not the best choice. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. What is this generally agreed upon number? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. you also want to define the purpose of your presentation. Instead of two. The additional step you need to take during the opening is to define the purpose of the presentation. explore the other choices. Define the purpose of the presentation Correct choice. You identify a clear problem that you and your audience will solve together during the second part of your presentation—the need or problem statement—not the opening. That's because five (plus or minus two) seems to be the number of messages that most adults can remember. In addition to describing the importance of your topic to your audience. Ideally. That's because five (plus or minus two) seems to be the number of messages that most adults can remember. • • • • • • Include clear statements of the main points Not the best choice. explore the other choices. Instead of nine. and preview the main points you will cover.Most experts agree that it is important to limit the number of messages and main ideas covered in a single presentation. What else do you need to do during the opening? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. you should try to limit the number of your messages and main ideas to about five.

you may explain during your opening when you'll take questions and suggestions. Question 7 How long should a presentation be? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. such as a slide show. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. explore the other choices. it doesn't actively involve the audience. Either way. In a more formal setting. While taking notes may help audience members reflect on and comprehend your message. Either way. Either way. Asking listeners for their suggestions and questions and then responding makes your presentation truly interactive. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. After you have read the feedback. they do not actively involve the audience. you might encourage audience members to ask questions or make suggestions at any time. audience members will listen more attentively when they know that you're going to consider their input. to support your main messages Not the best choice. your presentation should be as long as it needs to be to convey at least one message clearly and completely. In an informal setting. When you ask for suggestions or questions is up to you. After you have read the feedback. you might encourage audience members to ask questions or make suggestions at any time. you need to invite listeners to make suggestions and ask questions. explore the other choices. • • • • • • Ask your audience for suggestions and questions Correct choice. • • Not more than one hour Not the best choice. Thus. Offer visual aids. For true audience involvement. you might encourage audience members to ask questions or make suggestions at any time. Pass out sheets of paper on which audience members can take notes reflecting on the content of your presentation Not the best choice. When you ask for suggestions or questions is up to you. Some presentations may require more than one hour to communicate your message effectively. you may explain during your opening when you'll take questions and suggestions.During the body of a presentation. . While visual aids may help audience members comprehend your message. you need to invite listeners to make suggestions and ask questions. you may explain during your opening when you'll take questions and suggestions. In a more formal setting. audience members will listen more attentively when they know that you're going to consider their input. audience members will listen more attentively when they know that you're going to consider their input. In an informal setting. what is an effective way to involve the audience? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. When you ask for suggestions or questions is up to you. In a more formal setting. In an informal setting. For true audience involvement.

distribute handouts either before the presentation. After you have read the feedback. distribute handouts either before the presentation. Before or after the presentation Correct choice. it's important to tell your audience up front how long your presentation will take—and then stick to the allocated time so listeners won't become restless or tired. it's important to tell your audience up front how long your presentation will take—and then stick to the allocated time so listeners won't become restless or tired. including the need or problem statement. You should usually avoid handing out materials while delivering any part of your presentation. Question 8 When is an appropriate time to distribute handouts during a presentation? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. giving people enough time to absorb the content before you start speaking. Some presentations may require more than two hours to communicate your message effectively. For the best results. two hours Not the best choice. or after the presentation. • • • • • • While making your need or problem statement Not the best choice. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. However.However. explore the other choices. so your audience has a summary of your key points to review. Thus. As long as it needs to be to convey at least one message clearly and completely Correct choice. For the best results. distribute handouts either before the presentation. your presentation should be as long as it needs to be to convey at least one message clearly and completely. because doing so can detract from what you are saying at the time. so your audience has a summary of your key points to review. • • • • In general. During the call to action Not the best choice. giving people enough time to absorb the content before you start speaking. it's important to tell your audience up front how long your presentation will take—and then stick to the allocated time so listeners won't become restless or tired. You should usually avoid handing out materials while delivering any part of your presentation. Question 9 . For the best results. A presentation should be as long as it needs to be to convey at least one message clearly and completely. giving people enough time to absorb the content before you start speaking. or after the presentation. or after the presentation. However. because doing so can detract from what you are saying at the time. including the call to action. so your audience has a summary of your key points to review.

First. Personal stories. explore the other choices. and personal belief in the subject. direct the person to another source or offer to find the answer after the presentation. If you don't know the answer to a question. Question 10 What's an effective way to handle a question from an audience member for which you don't have the answer? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. . Not the best choice. Your enthusiasm. Instead. Correct choice. statistics. Direct the person to a source or offer to find the answer after the presentation. it's best not to deny or gloss over the fact. direct the person to another source or offer to find the answer after the presentation. When you believe in what you're saying—and let your enthusiasm show—you're more likely to persuade your audience to accept your message. • • • • • • Get the individual's name. and personal belief in the subject. but your persuasiveness is largely a product of your enthusiasm. credibility. Not the best choice. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. Expert testimony. When you believe in what you're saying—and let your enthusiasm show— you're more likely to persuade your audience to accept your message. Your persuasiveness is largely a product of your enthusiasm. visual aids. Personal stories. indicate that the question is a good one. Note: Your first selection will be used in tallying your score. don't deny or gloss over the fact by avoiding admitting that you don't have the answer. visual aids. If you don't know the answer to a question. and personal belief in the subject. When you believe in what you're saying—and let your enthusiasm show— you're more likely to persuade your audience to accept your message. examples. Instead. statistics. After you have read the feedback. credibility. and analogies can make your presentation more interesting. humor. examples. explore the other choices. but your persuasiveness is largely a product of your enthusiasm. then move on to the next question.What aspects of your presentation most affect how persuasive you are? Click the button next to the correct answer choice. humor. write the question down. direct the person to another source or offer to find the answer after the presentation. and audience involvement can make your presentation more interesting. don't leave the audience member hanging by admitting that you don't have the answer and then moving on to the next question. • • • • • • Expert testimony. Instead. and analogies Not the best choice. Admit that you don't know the answer. If you don't know the answer to a question. Don't state that you don't know the answer. and personal belief in the subject Correct choice. and ask them to talk with you at the end of the presentation. credibility. and audience involvement Not the best choice. credibility. After you have read the feedback.

Turn the negative into a positive. If possible. or take action? When do you want your audience to take action and how? o Be explicit in defining your objectives. Get to know your audience. o Make sure you know what is in it for them. try to address the different perspectives explicitly to keep everyone interested. o In cases where there is a mixed audience. 4.. Omit anything extraneous. o What outcome do you want? What do you want your audience to do as a result of your presentation? Your objective determines what you say and how you say it. For example.." 2.Apply Steps Steps for setting up a presentation 1. Do you want to inform. ask the liaison for the meeting to give you some background. Keeping your presentation audience-focused is critical. o For example. o Examine your purpose.. or interfering. or hungry audience. learn. The more explicit you are. tired. o To energize an apathetic.. o If you are not familiar with the group. Steps for creating a presentation . if possible. the more likely you are to design a presentation that supports them. o For example. begin by emphasizing concerns you have in common. interest and positioning. try to contact at least one person who fits the audience profile. a presentation to a technical group of decision makers is going to contain more quantitative detail than a presentation to a group of less technical junior managers. open with a startling statement or a vivid illustration. persuade. Define your objectives. o Include whatever information helps you achieve your objective. Match your presentation to your audience. and the engineers like this. For example: "I want the audience to request that their direct reports participate in the pilot system rollout in Q1. o Determine your audience's level of knowledge. making a sale will require a persuasive bent that might include features and benefits and competitive data comparisons. distracting. Select a strategy that matches your objective. or sell? Do you want the audience to understand. "This will affect the product managers like this. and ability to act on what you present prior to the presentation." o In cases where the audience is likely to be hostile. 3.

o Recognize that you are moving on to a new topic. 2. 6. Gather feedback prior to your presentation. present your conclusions and give the audience a call to action. o Understand ideas. 3. including how you are going to stand and move. o Rehearse out loud until the presentation does not sound memorized. not on your notes. Select the number of points that will make the case to your audience within the given time. o In the body. 2. Prepare a list of possible questions and objections. Prepare your visuals and support materials. o It is better to make fewer points and make them well. Brainstorm ideas. relationships. For example. o To keep your audience on track. o If the presentation is a high-profile one to a large group. o Rehearse with the equipment and visuals you will actually use at the event. o If you do not have time to make a point clear or acceptable to your audience. Identify your message and supporting facts. o Test as many features of your presentation as you can: the visuals. o Rehearse the entire presentation each time you practice. or physical layouts. o What kind of impact do you make on this group? . note what you have already covered and where you are about to go. 4. logic. Do not bury your best ideas. visuals. Assemble people who are similar to your audience profile. o Place your strongest point first or last. and decide how you will address them if they arise. o To close. you can videotape your practice session to evaluate it more closely. Rehearse. o At appropriate intervals. o Practice your presentation on test audiences and get their feedback. o In the opening. Organize your points. state where you are headed and what you want to prove or demonstrate. analogies. get an expert. save it for another presentation. if you are presenting to experts on the topic. These materials can help your audience to: o Remember facts. and anecdotes. 5. etc. Steps for practicing and evaluating 1. and how you are going to use the visuals. or examples that can be omitted if you are running out of time. o Concentrate on the subject or message and your desire to communicate. support your main points with examples. o If you are not sure how long your talk may run. make the logic of your presentation clear at all times.1. prepare extra supporting material such as statistics.

their biases. At appropriate intervals. o Ask the audience how it's going. Tips Tips for setting up a presentation • • • • Identify the presentation objective—it will drive everything else you do. o If you are going to make the presentation again. o Ask for feedback from credible participants. and their expectations. Be selective with your words.3. what changes would you make to improve it? o What general lessons have you learned about making presentations? 5. note what you have already covered and where you are about to go. and significant ongoing events that may affect your listeners. They may point to areas of your presentation that need clarification. Summarize your main points and present your conclusions in the close. Was your objective achieved? Did the audience seem engaged and attentive? Note what went well and what needs to be improved. Place your strongest point first or last. Tips for creating visuals • • • Use a single idea with no more than six lines per slide. Learn as much as you can about your listeners. Do not bury your best ideas. Tips for organizing a presentation • • • • • Make the logic of your presentation clear at all times. . Evaluate your presentation after you have finished. o Assess the overall effectiveness of your presentation. Reflect on what you have learned and use your new knowledge to improve your next presentation. 4. o If possible. o Look for audience cues such as interest or boredom. time of day. if appropriate. o Make notes on those issues immediately after the presentation while it's still fresh in your mind. State in the opening where you are headed and what you want to prove or demonstrate. Evaluate the progress of your presentation while it is in process. Use pictures where possible. o Note questions asked. have another person in the audience take notes on audience reaction for you. Address your topic from the audience's perspective. Tailor your presentation to accommodate the context—the physical environment.

Tips for presenting effectively • • • • • • • Do not talk from a script. . Only use all uppercase for titles or acronyms. Face your audience and make eye contact. more involvement. or to become one of the group. Use your voice effectively. Use bullets. for non-sequential items. Do not jingle keys or coins in your pockets. Talk from notes. not numbers. Use gestures in a relaxed and normal way. Walk around your audience when you want control.• • • • Don't use vertical lettering. Use a maximum of two sizes of type per page. Use uppercase and lowercase letters. Keep your focus on your message and your audience.

. Topic: Requested by: Objectives If your presentation is a success.Tools Preliminary planning worksheet Harvard ManageMentor — PRESENTATION SKILLS TOOLS Preliminary Planning Worksheet Use this worksheet to help you plan the content of your presentation. 3 . 5 . 4 . what will be the immediate results? Main Messages What must the audience understand and remember from your presentation? 1 . All rights reserved. Supporting Facts What facts support your main messages? Messag e1 Messag e2 Messag e3 Messag e4 Messag e5 © 2004 Harvard Business School Publishing. 2 .

Who are your listeners and what is their relationship to your topic? 2. What do they need to know? 4. All rights reserved. Question 1. What do they know about you? What else might they need to know? 6. Are they likely to be receptive? Enthusiastic? Polite? Hostile? Apathetic? 9.Audience characteristics worksheet Harvard ManageMentor — PRESENTATION SKILLS TOOLS Audience Characteristics Worksheet Use this worksheet as you prepare your presentation. multimedia) © 2004 Harvard Business School Publishing. What is their opinion of you or the organization you represent? 7. Are there other obstacles. How well informed are they about the subject matter? Notes 3. demonstrations. personal stories. What are their expectations of the larger event? Of your presentation? 5. What presentation techniques might best capture their attention and get your points across most effectively? (e. Are they attending by choice or by requirement? 8.g. or expectations that you need to take into account? 10. history.. .

. Will the physical setting of the room require you to adapt your presentation in any way? © 2004 Harvard Business School Publishing. Are you expected to answer questions or leave copies of your presentation? 6. working. will the audience have just finished eating. All rights reserved. When you present. Who will speak before and after you? What do they plan to say? 4. Question 1.Presentation context worksheet Harvard ManageMentor — PRESENTATION SKILLS TOOLS Presentation Context Worksheet Use this worksheet to better understand the context of your presentation. or doing something active? 3. Is the presentation formal or informal? Notes 2. can it be adapted and still be effective? 7. Are you the first or last speaker of the program? The day? The morning or afternoon? 5. How much time do you have for the presentation? Can your message be delivered in that time? If not. drinking.

You may have to revise your content if it appears to exceed your time limitations. identify any visuals or support materials that will enhance your presentation. • Challenge the audience to take action. Your Content Opening • State your purpose. All rights reserved. and estimate the time you will need. Conclusion • Summarize your content. Visuals/Support Materials Tim e Body • Get across the main points of your presentation.Presentation outline worksheet Harvard ManageMentor —PRESENTATION SKILLS TOOLS Presentation Outline Worksheet Use this worksheet to help you organize your content most effectively. . • Preview your main points. • Make your audience want to listen. © 2004 Harvard Business School Publishing.

Logistics worksheet Harvard ManageMentor —PRESENTATION SKILLS TOOLS Logistics Worksheet Complete this worksheet prior to your presentation to confirm that you haven’t forgotten any of the logistical details. Side or Back Podium Stage Equipment and Supplies Computer(s) Extension Cord(s) Video equipment/VCR player and monitors Phone Line(s) Microphone Overhead Projector/Spare Bulbs Projection Table Other: Flip Chart/Tape/Markers LCD Projector Other © 2004 Harvard Business School Publishing. All rights reserved. . Presentation Topic: Date: Presenter(s): Presentation Location: Meeting Coordinator and Phone Number: Site Contact Person and Phone Number: Number of People Attending: Handouts: Room Setup Auditorium Classroom Conference Other: Horseshoe Breakout Sessions Tables: Front.

. and Resolve) © 2004 Harvard Business School Publishing. All rights reserved. Address. Audience Member/Group Public Issues or Objections Potential Responses (Acknowledge.Objections worksheet Harvard ManageMentor —PRESENTATION SKILLS TOOLS Objections Worksheet Complete this worksheet prior to your presentation to identify possible objections or issues that may be raised and prepare appropriate responses.

" Harvard Management Communication Letter. Harvard Managementor Web Site Visit the Harvard ManageMentor Web site to explore additional online resources available to you from Harvard Business School Publishing. anecdotal is bad. This article looks at his recently published book. The Leader's Guide to Storytelling (John Wiley & Sons. where you can browse or purchase products. and neither does your audience. Learn how to give a successful presentation that doesn't feel like a presentation." Harvard Management Communication Letter. One exception was John F. (4) . Cynthia M. Your Harvard ManageMentor program will remain open while you are at the site. "Leading Words: How to Use Stories to Change Minds and Ignite Action. October 2004. (2) keep it simple and true. "Are Your Presentations Inspiring?" Harvard Management Communication Letter. So how do you create a presentation that makes people feel as though they're part of a dialogue instead? Using a conversational style is key: You need to engage listeners. Kennedy's speech to the citizens of West Berlin in June 1963. providing a framework that can enhance the impact of presentations. January 2001. Harvard Business School Publishing. to offer targeted advice to leaders who want their words to work powerfully on their behalf. right? Not so fast. Few presentations manage to say the right thing succinctly. Articles Click on a link below to go to Harvard Business Online. and inspire trust during a presentation--whether it's to a large group or a small meeting. "Why the Best Presentations Are Good Conversations. This analysis of that speech reveals six lessons for any manager who wants to make an impact on his or her audience: (1) Write the speech yourself. Analytical is good. Read more about an approach to presentations that builds on the speaker's unique conversational style as well as on certain characteristics of conversation that are common to all of us. argues that effective leadership requires the ability to choose the right story at the right time and tell it well. convey credibility. You don't like to be talked at. now a knowledge management and organizational storytelling consultant. May 2006. (3) meet your audience's needs. the Web site of Harvard Business School Publishing. says business storytelling expert Steve Denning. 2005). Denning.Explore Further Online Articles Roly Grimshaw. Phoel.

Wiles." Harvard Management Communication Letter. the Web site of Harvard Business School Publishing. including the way people take in visual information and the role and influence of PowerPoint in today's business. Working the Room: How to Move People to Action Through Audience-Centered Speaking." Harvard Management Communication Letter. Sandberg.appeal to something larger than self-interest. Harvard Management Communication Letter Collection. Harvard Business School Publishing. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing. The Manager's Guide to Effective Presentations II. and (6) repeat memorable phrases often. much in the way actors do. the pressure is always on. "Opening Options: How to Grab Your Audience's Attention. In fact. you'll improve your ability to speak before a crowd. Nick Morgan. and you'll soon be able to command more attention. 2003. In addition to sketching out best practices for creating charts and presentation graphics. Suffer from stage fright when giving a presentation? If you begin to think of communication as an art. August 2002." Harvard Management Communication Letter. Books Click on a link below to go to Harvard Business Online. Nick Morgan. where you can browse or purchase products. studies show that audiences remember only 10% to 30% of speech or presentation content. Do you remember the topic of the last speech you heard? If not. Audiences make up their minds about you within the first minute or two. The beginning moments of any presentation are the most difficult to create and to deliver. In this lively Q&A. July 2003. Kirsten. "Take Your Speech Cues from the Actor's Trade. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing. "Easy on the Eyes. Cheryl. says communications expert Nick . you're not alone. Given those bleak statistics. Study the techniques actors use to enhance speaking skills. (5) identify with your audience early on. renowned graphic designer Nigel Holmes offers his views on how graphics are used to convey information. 2000. he ruminates on a variety of related themes. why do we give speeches at all? We give them. August 2003. This collection from the pages of the Harvard Management Communication Letter offers time-tested tips for maximizing your presentations' impact. So how do you get started? Read these six interesting ways to get your presentation started on the right foot. Your Harvard ManageMentor program will remain open while you are at the site.

1. Warman. All rights reserved. Source Notes Learn Lin Kroeger. Warman. 1997. MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. Morgan offers an audience-centered approach to public speaking. rehearsal. Reading.9999 .0. because they remain the most powerful way of connecting with audiences. In addition to guidelines and advice. Through insightful examples. Morrisey. Thomas Sechrest. and Wendy B. In this book. Reading. Thomas Sechrest. Steps George L. George L.0 . the book contains a number of useful forms to help presenters get organized. Warman. Thomas Sechrest. Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations. and Wendy B. MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.030608 . Business Communication. Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations. Morrisey. and delivery that will enable readers of all experience levels to give more effective. Version 1. Harvard Business School Publishing. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Successful Business Presentations. Javascript must be enabled! .5 . 1997. 1997.Morgan. MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. George L. Morgan illustrates a three part process -focusing on content development. Morrisey. passion-filled speeches. 2003. This book is a concise guide to all aspects of preparing and delivering a typical business presentation. and Wendy B. 1997.5/15/2007 3:35:15 PM © 2007 Harvard Business School Publishing. New York: Alpha Books. Reading. Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations.

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