Effective Presentations

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Public-speaking is an art; and engaging and influencing the public is a skill. It’s important for a presenter to not only be clear of what they are saying, but also to include and evolve the audience with the content.

In my last post, Setting the Context, I highlighted the importance of including and evolving the audience at the very first step of presentation, i.e. by sharing the objectives of the session. Here’s more to it…

One of the rules of brilliant presentations says that your presentation should consist of – 10% demonstration, 25% discussion and 60% practice! On the contrary, what most we see in presentations is at least 90% of demonstration and rest 10% may be a discussion. (‘Demonstration’ refers to focus on slides, scripts etc. )

Q – Why this rule?

A – You want your presentation to be effective enough so that the audience not only carries back what you said but also practices it for his/her development.

Let’s look at some common phrases that facilitators use:

1 ‘Is that clear?’

2 ‘Are you getting me?’

3 ‘Right?’

The more a presenter uses questions such as above, the more it narrates his/her focus towards ‘demonstration’ and not ‘group-discussion’/ ‘practice.’

Here’s what you can do to make your presentation effective and to inspire your audience:

1 Check their expectations before you start. This will mobilize the brain-cells and it’ll be easier now to share your set of objectives.

2 Expose some facts and ask their opinions; make them discuss what they can do to improve stats etc.

3 Include activities such as role-plays, case-study discussions, debates etc.

4 Welcome questions and instead of answering them yourself, first check the take of other participants and then conclude.

5 At the end of the presentation, check or better make them write their action-steps and share this with all.