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Delivering the Presentation
- Plan to get there a few minutes early to set up and test the equipment.
- Dress appropriately for your audience.
- Turn off your cell phone.
- Speakers may want to prepare a handout when giving a PowerPoint presentation.
- Make about 10% more handouts than you expect to use.
- Distribute handouts at the beginning of your talk than leave some extras by the entrance to the room for latecomers.
- Jump right in and get to the point.
- Give your rehearsed opening statement; don't improvise at the last moment.
- Use the opening to catch the interest and attention of the audience.
- Briefly state the problem or topic you will be discussing.
- Briefly summarize your main theme for an idea or solution by restating your initial objectives.
- Talk at a natural, moderate rate of speech
- Project your voice; standing up straight helps
- Speak clearly and distinctly.
- Repeat critical information.
- Pause briefly to give your audience time to digest the information on each new slide.
- Don’t read the slides aloud. Your audience can read them far faster than you can talk.
- Keep your eyes on the audience
- Use natural gestures.
- Don’t turn your back to the audience.
- Don’t hide behind the lectern.
- Avoid looking at your notes. Only use them as reference points to keep you on track. Talk, don’t read.
- Always leave time for a few questions at the end of the talk.
- If you allow questions during the talk, the presentation time will be about 25% more than the practice time.
- You can jump directly to a slide by typing its number or by right-clicking during the presentation and choosing from the slide titles.
- Relax. If you’ve done the research you can easily answer most questions.
- Some questions may be too specific or personal. Politely refuse to answer.
- If you can’t answer a question, say so. Don’t apologize. “I don’t have that information. I’ll try to find out for you.”
- To end on time, you must PRACTICE!
- When practicing, try to end early. You need to allow time for audience interruptions and questions.
- Show some enthusiasm. Nobody wants to listen to a dull presentation. On the other hand, don’t overdo it. Nobody talks and gestures like a maniac in real life. How would you explain your ideas to a friend?
- Involve your audience. Ask questions, make eye contact, and use humor.
- Don’t get distracted by audience noises or movements.
- You’ll forget a minor point or two. Everybody does.
- If you temporarily lose your train of thought you can gain time to recover by asking if the audience has any questions.
- Concisely summarize your key concepts and the main ideas of your presentation.
- Resist the temptation to add a few last impromptu words.
- End your talk with the summary statement or question you have prepared. What do you want them to do? What do you want them to remember?
- Consider alternatives to “Questions?” for your closing slide. A summary of your key points, a cartoon, a team logo, or a company logo may be stronger.