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Monday, November 4, 2013

Guest Post: Five Essential Presentation Tips

By Peter Taylor, The Lazy Project Manager

You are already an expert on Presentation Skills – I mean, how many presentations have you suffered in your time at work? Clearly you can recognise a ‘good’ presentation and a ‘bad’ presentation. You have so much experience!

Here are my top 5 tips to improve your own Presenting Skills.
 

1. To Begin: Open on a high and finish on an equal high– start and finish your presentation with a story or example or key point, something that will both relax you and get the audience engaged, and leave them wanting to find out more at the end.

Getting the audience's attention right from the beginning is essential - remember the first 10 minutes window is the first point of opportunity to lose your audience, and having lost them they are very hard to get back.


2. The Content: If you talk about something you know well then rehearse to control your time and avoid getting ‘carried away’. If you don’t know the subject well then still rehearse and possibly invite people who know more than you do on the subject to be there to support you if needed.


Don’t try and deliver 100% in the presentation – takeaways/hand-outs/follow-ups etc are all acceptable (after the event)

3. Time: It’s not the volume but the message that counts. Don’t waste people’s time.

The average presentation is 60 mins – say an average audience is 100 people so this may be just 1 hour of your time but it is 100 hours of your audiences’ time. Wasted if I you are not ‘good’ – and this is equal to 4.2 days!


Last year I presented to around 7,000 people which is a potential of 292 days of wasted time if I got it wrong.


Better to prepare and deliver a great 30 minutes rather than a mediocre 60 minutes.
Hands up anyone who has ever complained about a presentation finishing early?
And be prepared to adapt to time constraints – time of day – organisers demands etc – be flexible


4. The Practicalities: Or the three Ps: 

  • Prepare, a well-rehearsed presentation will keep your audiences’ attention
  • Present, the smallest part time wise
  • Profit, Your audience should gain something from the experience

5. Break the Rules: There are a number of ‘rules’ that you may have been taught over the years.

  • 6:6:1 rule (6 bullets /6 words/1 idea on one slide) – not a bad rule but try and avoid it – use pictures instead of words, the slides (if you have slides) are for your audience and not for you!
  • Agenda - tell what are you going to tell, then tell and then tell what you have told them … absolutely not, entertain them, educate them and leave them wanting more and open to talking after the presentation
  • Thank the audience – well yes but to close this way is a very flat ending to a presentation, better to close out with a call to action or simple ‘next step’.

Break the rules and have fun with your next presentation!
 

You can learn a whole lot more about Presentation Skills on my Webinar that runs on 28th November 2013 - CHECK IT OUT HERE

ABOUT PETER TAYLOR


SPEAKER: AUTHOR: TRAINER: COACH: CONSULTANT
Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

In the last 3 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 200 presentations around the world in over 20 countries and with new books out including ‘The Lazy Project Manager and the Project from Hell’, ‘Strategies for Project Sponsorship’, ‘Leading Successful PMOs’, and ‘The Thirty-Six Stratagems: A Modern Interpretation of a Strategy Classic’ - with a number of other book projects currently underway.

He has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’ and he also acts as an independent consultant working with some of the major organizations in the world coaching executive sponsors, PMO leaders and project managers.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com and www.thelazywinner.com  – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

•    Keynote Presentations and Lectures
•    Master of Ceremonies
•    Inspirational Workshops
•    Coaching
•    Authoring