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Saturday, 3 July 2010

Presentations

Was at a small presentation recently and this woman started by handing out some papers while she chattered away. Most people started reading but I put the papers to one side and listened. Someone noticed and I explained that I couldn't read and listen properly at the same time. This provoked some unfortunate comments about men and multi-tasking.

Anyway, introduction over, here's my tips for doing and surviving presentations:
  • If the presenter gives out documents and doesn't stop talking, put the papers to one side and listen. You can read stuff later but you can't usually "listen again"

  • Presenters: Give out documents at the end if you want to be listened to. Tell them you're going to do that and that there's no need to take notes.

  • Presenters, consider not using technical equipment at all. I was at a day-long meeting recently and everyone (except me) had their stuff on Powerpoint. Nothing actually went wrong but there was loads of fumbling.

  • In contrast, I stood up with 18 sheets of paper - about a dozen prompt words on each. The delegates all watched me because there was noting else to watch and I think I got the biggest round of applause of the day.

  • Actually, I'm not totally against Powerpoint. If you run a presentation on screen as you say the same words, people can choose which to focus on according to what works for them. It's essential that you are slick with the technology though - to be precise, best to use your own familiar system, preferably on home ground.



1 comment:

PurpleSparkleBright said...

Death by Powerpoint is somewhat common! I use the ten twenty thirty rule. No more than ten slides- font no less than 20 points in size, presentation no more than 30 minutes long. And....NEVER read the slides out.
Notes are better generally. and of course I never give stuff out until the end.... unless its blank paper