Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thoughts on Giving Effective Presentations



Being in education, I get to hear speeches, presentations, lectures, and lessons weekly and often daily. I've also had the opportunity to participate and observe my share of seminars, conferences, workshops, and classes. Add it all up and the sheer number is staggering. As a coach and a teacher, I've seen many outstanding speakers along the way and many more less than memorable ones.

There are many wonderful books on the subject of giving effective presentations, such as, "Talk Your Way To The Top" by Kevin Daley, and on the web, like this resourceful post on the Library Garden Blog

I'm certainly not an expert on the topic, but here is a quick list of some very simple rules of thumb to follow when giving speeches, lessons, and presentations:

*Don't chew gum or eat when you are doing business
*Turn off your cell-phone before starting
*Plan and rehearse what you are going to say (HAVE a "script", but DON'T read a script)
*Don't tell, SHOW
*K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short & Simple)
*Extraneous volume and movement are distractions
*If you don't know, don't B.S.
*You must be PASSIONATE about your subject matter
*Remember, your goal is to educate and inspire, not necessarily to entertain
*Remember, even fascinating content can be boring if it isn't presented well...

As you prepare your presentation, ask yourself the following questions:

*Do I really NEED a PowerPoint for this segment? Would something else (or nothing) be as or more effective?
*What kind of response (if any) will my questions to the target audience elicit?
*Does this anecdote serve a legitimate function, or am I just talking about myself and boring the audience?
*Will my audience remember the main points, or something else?

3 comments:

Faizal S. Enu said...

Where did you find that picture of Steve Friedes?

Boris said...

HAHAHA! I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Steve in person yet actually.

Dr. Mark Cheng said...

Great information, Boris-san! Top of the line as always.