Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them, then TEST them to confirm that your message has been received as intended. Ask, what are your thoughts?, What is the most important thing you learned from this presentation? When you leave, what are you going to do differently?
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It may not be the right thing to do, but people do judge a book by its cover.
There are many expert consultants dedicated entirely to helping others improve their appearance. Below is a collection of the most common items that come up for discussion during my workshops.
What can you add to the list above?
Bad grammar is like bad breath: Even your best friends won’t tell you. And somebody should.
Many presenters take a good two-minute idea and dilute it with a sixty-minute vocabulary.
What is the goal of this presentation? What will we think, feel, or do differently after this meeting? Answers are absolute prerequisites.
If you haven't discovered www.ted.com by now, I urge you to watch some of these presentations. At least 90% are excellent. Think about the characteristics that make these people good presenters and "borrow" the ones that work for you. I'm not suggesting that you become someone else when presenting (authenticity is paramount)...just pick up on some of their best practices.
You've probably heard me preach time and again that a great presenter focuses on the audience. Many novice or mediocre presenters tend to focus on themselves. They take a bit of a narcissistic view by thinking they are the center of the attention and work hard to fulfill their own needs. This is one of the reasons why they are so "nervous."
The outstanding presenter's goal is to meet the needs of her audience. She knows how to shift the focus of attention so that the members of her audience are thinking about how the topic impacts them...how they are going to use or apply the information.
This does not mean that you should think less of yourself, is simply means you think of yourself less.
People begin judging us the moment they see us. Then, the instant we start speaking, they form judgments about our competence, our reliability, our product, our company, even our entire industry. Perception becomes reality. Major decisions are made and careers advanced (or slowed) because of good (or bad) presentations.
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson