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.