Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Effective Presentations

If you have the opportunity to connect with people face to face on a topic, take advantage of it.  

Engage your audience and make them interact with the content and topic.  It's not about you...it is about your audience.  Know why you are there and be clear on what you want to accomplish in the time you have.  If you don't know what you are presenting, it's doubtful others will figure it out either.

What makes a presentation effective?  First, think back to the presentations you remember.  If you remember it, something about it must have been effective, right?  Too many of us have sat through boring presentations that could have been half the time or involved someone reading to us.  Don't make your audience leave thinking they could have picked up your handout.

Speaking of handouts, think of presentations in 3 parts: my presentation "script," slides/visuals, and handouts.  Don't just print your slides as a handout.  I like to include additional information or sources of information on handouts.  I also add content that I want them to take away...or they will try to scribble down so furiously that they miss what I'm saying.

Know your content.  I like to have a few notes and ideas when I speak to keep me on track and make sure I hit what is important.  However, powerful presenters know what they want to say.  Many of them can do it entirely without notes.  I find this impressive and something I need to improve upon.  Nothing can lose an audience like an awkward pause as you fumble your notes or squint to see the tiny writing on the screen to jog your memory.

I could say more but Jesse Desjardins may say it more emphatically and articulately with his presentations than I can.  If you communicate with an audience regularly, or even occasionally, you should really take a look.  (Hint:  All educators do this regularly.)

You Suck At PowerPoint!
View more presentations from @JESSEDEE.
View more presentations from @JESSEDEE.

Any tips you want to share with others?