Giving Presentations From An Audience Perspective, Part 9
It has taken some time but we have finally reached the end of our journey in this current article series, “Giving Presentations From An Audience Perspective” – there are just four point remaining – all focusing on post presentation activities.
Post Presentation Questions
At the end of giving a presentation have you ever asked "Any questions?" and been met with a stony silence and wondered why?
Often, people need a little prompting to get started or simply don’t want to be the first to ask a question. If you have a pre-prepared question ready that you may have have been asked previously or that you expect to be asked you can use something like "Let’s kick off with a question I have been asked before…". Also, a simple show of hands can often help the audience get warmed up. If someone does ask a question then remember to clarify the question by repeating it out loud – not everyone may have heard the question being asked. If the question is going to take a long time to answer or the person asks a number of questions in series then offer to take the discussion off-line to give others a chance.
Talk to people after the presentation
People may be more comfortable with a one to one discussion so stay a little while after the presentation. Talking to people after the presentation you might get useful feedback on your performance. Remember to listen to what people have to say and take criticism in your stride – after all they have patiently sat and listened to you. Remember to introduce yourself and ask the individual about themselves – this helps make people feel more comfortable and gives you additional insight into who is attending your presentations and why.
Follow up after the presentation
Offer some method of following up after the presentation, either using a suitable email address, or pointing them to a web resource for offline information that perhaps did not make it into the main feature. From an audience perspective it is not always easy to follow everything that is said during a presentation and even harder to remember everything that is said so it is useful to be able to review the presentation later or follow up on particular topics that were covered.
Reflect on the presentation
One of the most important things you can do is reflect on your performance and the feedback you received. Do they match up? Do your expectations match up with the feedback you are receiving? Do you need to refine any areas of your presentation or change the way you tackle particular topics? Collecting as much information as you can can help you on your way to giving a really good reflection but don’t be too harsh – giving good presentations is a skill that does not come naturally to everyone so well done for standing up and having your say.
This article concludes the current series “Giving Presentations From An Audience Perspective” – it has been an interesting journey of discovery for me and I hope you find something in there useful too. If you have ideas or suggestions to add to this series please contact me.
See other articles in this series
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