Depending on your current standing in the ranks of the job place, the day may arrive when you’re asked to give presentations at work to an audience, be it formal or informal. Your audience may be your peers, your own employees, or an anxiety-inducing panel of upper-echelon board members and trustees.
The good news is that although you must cater your presentations to a respective audience (and ideally have a practical understanding of that audience), you need not veer from keeping it simple — like a good short story. A good story’s opening will hook a reader — its ending will resonate influence (realized or not). Oratory presentations are similar. You must gain the attention of an audience immediately and close with a long-lasting impression of the topic(s) discussed.
One of the biggest presentation pitfalls is feeding your audience too much information too quickly, or disjointedly. This can lose even the most perceptive individual’s attention. An audience member doesn’t want to decipher information. They want you to tell them what they need to know or act on; or better, what you want to convince them they ought to know or act on. The only surefire way to accomplish this tactic is to simplify your presentations — boil them down into minimal topics; and this means knowing your topics well (research!), which, by virtue, will reflect your credibility under those fluorescent lamps in the board room.
It’s often effective to create some discussion, primarily in smaller groups. This particular methodology works well for training specialists when instructing new employees, because it is symbolic of mutual respect.
Humor normally sits well with listeners as well, but you may want to brush up on the 15 things transitioning vets should never say before taking the pun plunge. Humor can spiral south like a boot in quicksand, and if you’re the last one laughing, something went wrong and then it’s time for the:
Audiences tire of watching text-heavy frames slide across a screen. For bettering your presentations at work with the aid of media, try mixing things up with Prezi software available online. The Prezi program can be downloaded and installed directly to your personal computer and also linked (similar to iTunes) to your online Prezi profile. All those familiar with death-by-PowerPoint will appreciate the maneuverable ease and impressive features of Prezi when creating presentations.
But no matter how creative or rip-roaring your media, it’s only a supplement. You’re the pilot of the presentation and must keep the crew and passengers calm, even if turbulence arises. For instance, “technical difficulties” is a common enough phrase to be placed in quotation marks, so here’s where the improvisation comes in, right? Wrong. Here’s where you really shine. In fact, you don’t even want that flashdrive to work. How impressive would it be to know your topic(s) so well that you can pull up a chair and tell a story? (Preferably true).
Forget the notion of not using your hands. For some, it’s inherently natural. For instance, I look like a duck flapping skyward from the water when I talk in front of people — maybe that’s what keeps them awake.
Not a comprehensive study, but walking with hands behind the back can be interpreted as a false-sense of superiority (funny how that perception changes when handcuffs are slapped on wrists), and standing behind a podium, although many times unavoidable, supposedly creates a barrier to the audience.
In my experience, moving about the room while speaking has been a positive method of engaging individuals, and, if nothing else, keeps eyes tracking you as you move instead of rolling back in heads. Never a good idea to pace to and fro until you scuff a trench in the carpet, though, but definitely do meander through your own venue; because that’s what you should think of it as.
Never forget where you came from