Giving Presentations From An Audience Perspective #2
This is the second part of this new “42 things” series, looking at presentation skills. You can catch up from the previous post Giving Presentations, From An Audience Perspective.
In addition to having a message you want to get across, a few other things jump to mind when considering a presentation both of which impact the audience.
Try Not To Make Assumptions
At the very least make your assumptions clear – right at the outset, or even better prior to the presentation so the audience can be prepared. You may gloss over something important because you may assume the audience is already “in the know” – do not assume anything. To gain insight and knowledge are some of the reasons people attend presentations so they may not necessarily understand complete concepts prior to a presentation.
Maintaining the attention span of the audience is vital and if you are using terms, phrases or ideas that are too unfamiliar you may lose attention. You don’t have to explain the nitty gritty but if a concept is required understanding then it may help to provide background information prior to the presentation.
Some presenters have a tendency to have a show of hands and say things like “if you do not understand this concept raise your hand” – in a number of the presentations I have been to people do not generally like putting their hands up to things they have little knowledge about.
Short punchy facts are great to take back to the office and help spread the word and embed your message in the mind. Facts can include interesting bits of trivia that people can recount to colleagues but if you use them make sure you have checked them out first.
A bad fact or an incorrect fact can make you look silly (unless that is the intention!) or even worse – poorly prepared.
Check your facts and quote the source if there is one – if not, make sure you can support the fact in case you are questioned about it (and you probably will be). These days audience members can take online facilities into presentations so you do not want to be left red-faced when someone just used Google to check your fact and discovered it is wrong!
Also, don’t go too far – a few easy to remember facts are useful – but too many is fact overload – if you have lots of interesting facts put together a fact sheet as part of the handouts. You did prepare handouts didn’t you?
This article was brought to you by Jason Slater Technology Blog
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