A Checklist for your Presentation

You owe your audience and yourself a good presentation, but creating an effective presentation takes planning and practice, so some final pointers Start preparing early; don’t wait until the last few days to prepare · prepare it early, let it rest a little bit and come back to it · practice your entire presentation-including your slides · if you can practice it before a group of colleagues or friends Think about Your Audience: · who are they and why are they here; · what are their interests; · what do they know; what do they want to know; what is a worthwhile investment in their time Be clear about your purpose: · are you informing or persuading; · tell them what you are going to do, tell them, tell them what you told them; · what do you want the audience to know, feel, or believe afterwards Use an Effective Introduction: · orient the audience; explain why it is important; set the tone, · establish a relationship between the speaker and the audience; establish credibility; · avoid weak introductions such as apologies, jokes, rhetorical questions Organize your presentation clearly and simply:

  • Prioritize topics and allocate time accordingly
  • stick to only 3-5 main points;
  • have a well thought pattern (examples are problem/solution, chronological, cause and effect, topical); use transitions to move smoothly from one point to the next

Use supporting materials to flesh out main points · Use examples, statistics, expert opinions, anecdotes Compose for the Ear, not for the Eye: · use simple words, simple sentences, markers, repetition, images, personal language (“You” and “I”) Create an Effective Conclusion: · summarize, set final image, provide closure; don’t trail off, don’t use trite phrases · don’t just present data or summarized results and leave the audience to draw its own conclusions · you have had much more time to work with your information than your audience; share your insight and understanding and tell them what you’ve concluded from your work Sound spontaneous, conversational, enthusiastic- · use key phrases in your notes so you don’t have to read, use the overhead instead of notes; · vary volume, don’t be afraid of silence, don’t use fillers like “um”… · Practice, Practice, Practice Use Body Language Effectively: relaxed gestures, eye contact; don’t play with a pen or pointer, · don’t block visual aids Use Visual Aids to Enhance the Message: · you will probably need to use overhead transparencies in your presentation but to be effective, they must be designed and used properly · use visuals to reinforce and clarify, not overwhelm; · keep visual aids uncluttered; use titles to guide the audience · if you use tapes or disks, make sure the equipment is compatible Analyze the Environment: · check out size of room, placement of chairs, time of day, temperature, distractions · check out AV equipment ahead of time; have a spare bulb Cope with Stage Fright by Remembering: it’s normal; it can be helpful, everyone feels it

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