Making a Formal Presentation
Sesh Sukhdeo PART 10
Have you earnt the right to speak
Globally audiences have rated my facilitation and presentation skills as
some of the best they have experienced, I am glad to share things
which I feel make a difference. Sesh_sukhdeo@yahoo.co.uk
The presentation process
Pre planning – facts, background, data –
information – take into account the audience
Content – inclusion
Setting the scene - introduction
Presenting your message
Closure - recap – questions, summarise
What is the purpose of the presentation?
Who will be attending?
What does the audience already know about
What is the audience's attitude towards me
(e.g. hostile, friendly)?
How long you have to get the most important
Prepare the structure of the talk carefully and
logically, just as you would for a written report.
The objectives of the talk?
The main points you want to make?
Do you have a style which excite and engage?
Key Relationship Traits
EVEN IN A
The intro and icebreaker
A good presentation starts with introductions and an
icebreaker, interesting statement or fact, joke,
quotation, or an activity to get the group warmed up,
phrase, question, or even your expression at a
The introduction also needs an objective, the
purpose or goal of the presentation. This not only
tells you what you will talk about, but it also informs
the audience of the purpose of the presentation.
Rehearse against the clock
Practice your presentation against the clock.
You can add in parts from the script or take them out
to fit the time.
Allow extra time in your presentation for questions
Never read from a script.
The chances are you will not locate the point you
want to say amongst all the other text.
You should know what you want to say – I often talk
about five main points and build around this.
keep simple clear bullet points as prompts.
To make the presentation interesting, change your delivery approach,
Don’t be scared to be imaginative.
Don’t talk to fast
Pitch of voice
Use your hands to emphasize points. but don't indulge in to much hand
waving as this develops into irritating habits.
One style does not fit all.
Look at the audience as much as possible, but don't fix on an
individual - it can be intimidating. Pitch your presentation towards the
back of the audience, especially in larger rooms.
The use of flip charts
When writing on flip charts use no more than
10 lines of text per page and no more than 7
word per line (the 10 7 rule).
Also, use bright and bold colors, and pictures
as well as text.
Have you grabbed attention
"If you fail to prepare, you are
prepared to fail"
Keeping the audience attentive
People generally have short attention spans
and a million other things to think about.
Your job in the presentation is to reach
through this mental fog and to hold the
attention long enough to make your point.
Grabbing their attention - the
In a newspaper, the story is introduced in its entirety in a catchy
The next few paragraphs repeat the same information only
giving further details to each point.
The next section repeats the entire story again, but developing
certain themes within each of the sub-points and again adding
This is repeated until the reporter runs out of story.
Keep the main points to three key
People tend to easily remember three things
at a time
So try to ensure you keep information in
Where to stand
Don't face the display screen and talk,
beware of your shadow if using a projector.
Avoid moving about too much. Pacing up
and down can unnerve the audience,
although some animation through gestures,
pauses is ok.
A enthusiastic speaking style captures attention, makes
the material more interesting, and facilitates
Posture and body orientation: You communicate
numerous messages by the way you talk and move.
Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or
ceiling should be avoided as it communicates disinterest.
Make sure your stance does not convey boredom; at best, you
can use your whole body as a dynamic tool to reinforce your
rapport with the audience.
What to do with your hands. These must not wave aimlessly
through the air, or fiddle constantly with a pen.
The key is to keep your hands still, except when used in unison
with your speech.
To train them initially, find a safe resting place which is
comfortable for you, and aim to return them there when any
gesture is completed.
Making the presentation
Greet the audience (for example, 'Good morning, ), and tell
them who you are, format, approach.
Good presentations then follow this formula:
1. tell the audience what you are going to tell them
2. then tell them
3. at the end tell them what you have told them.
4. Keep to the time allowed. If you can, keep it short. It's better to
under-run than over-run. As a rule of thumb, allow 2-3 minutes
for each general Powerpoint slide you use
Don't rush, or talk deliberately slowly. Be
natural - although not conversational.
Deliberately pause at key points - this has
the effect of emphasizing the importance of a
particular point you are making.
Whatever you say and whatever you show; it is you, yourself
which will remain the focus of the audience's attention.
The presenter has the power both to kill the message and to
enhance it. Your role is to use the potential of the presentation
to ensure that the audience is motivated and inspired rather
than disconcerted or distracted.
There are five key facets of the human body which deserve
attention in presentation skills: the eyes, the voice, the
expression, the appearance, and how you stand.
A careless design or use of a slide can simply get in the way of
Most people expect visual reinforcement for any verbal
message being delivered.
An example is if you are describing the four functions of a
project manager then display the four "hats" he/she must wear;
if you are introducing the techniques of brainstorming then
brandish a fishing rod to "fish for" ideas.
Words vs. pictures
Professor Albert Mehrabian did a lot of research into
how we take in information during a presentation. He
concluded that 55% of the information we take in is
visual and only 7% is text.
– Use visuals (pictures, graphs, tables, props) whenever you
– In a speech you are only using 38% of the communication
– Ditch the bullet points
The effect of using visuals is truly staggering!
When someone asks a questions
Make sure you listen to the question
Your response will influence how people
consider you as trustworthy.
Framing what you
It is important to frame or signpost the
Express what you have say in a way in which
it inspires the other person
Spend a few minutes and note where you
feel you need help
Describe the sort of presentations which you
What other forms of presentation would you
like you to develop
Self reflection -
How do you express yourself when something
important needs to be said
Do you feel others can hear you when you speak
Is your voice interesting
Do you make impact
How do you sound at meetings or interviews?
Do words flow naturally?
How fast do you speak?
What do you say?
Is your message applauded by others
Different types of people reflect
information in different ways
People tend to be either
– IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND WHO YOU ARE
TALKING TO – IT WILL HELP YOU BUILD RAPPORT.
Helping you to Build Momentum
Only talk on a subject when you know enough about it, making
assumptions comes across as arrogant and can annoy people
Vary your questioning technique: this helps you to develop a
conversation rather than a rapid-fire question and answer session
Stay in control: steer the presentation towards the outcome you
want by recapping and signposting
Listen for opportunities and follow them up: don’t just follow a list
of questions, base your presentation in a logical way
Think ahead, listen to and analyse the customer’s answers and
make notes to keep your records up to date
Listen carefully to questions
Don’t fudge the answers
It is your ability to focus your mind on what
the other person is saying.
Physically hear what is being said;
Understand it; and
What is important
Intonation to provide emphasis on words
Modulation to inject life and energy in your voice
Pace / Speed neither too fast or too slow
Volume suitable to reflect the other person
Tone convey meaning and feelings
Pitch (high or low voice) used to support the
Logical pathway of how information flows
Lets look at the following
Do you talk to fast
Are you able to listen to another person –
with real interest and desire
Can you ask questions in a natural way
without making the other person feel bored
Did you know that your voice, is one of the
major influencers when making impact
So what is a good voice?
Build relationship, rapport, links with
Mirror – reflects reflecting some of the
behaviours which the other person
Matching – reflects, assessing which areas
can be matched to help build rapport.
To be convincing you must have a passion for your
subject. It must be something you are vitally
You must exude enthusiasm and you must
communicate this excitement to your audience.
However it is important to remember the context of
your conversation, there is no point showing passion
in a customer complaint situation.
The keys to success
Can be managed into sub processes – understand
each of the above, it will bring outstanding success –
Practice makes perfect – it takes time so don’t give up.
At the end – question time
Always allow time at the end of the presentation for questions. After
inviting questions, do not rush ahead if no one asks a question.
Pause for about 6 seconds to allow the audience to gather their thoughts.
When a question is asked, repeat the question to ensure that everyone
heard it (and that you heard it correctly).
When answering, direct your remarks to the entire audience. That way,
you keep everyone focused, not just the questioner.
To reinforce your presentation, try to relate the question back to the main