Today you will learn how to be a successful presenter and how to make your briefing dynamic and engaging. You can have the best slides in the world, but if you don’t know how to present them you could loose critical support for your initiative. Did you know that 87% of all briefers get nervous just prior to giving a critical presentation? Today you will learn how to tap into those jitters and use that energy to create a positive impression.
If you are like most individuals, your goal when giving a presentation is to capture your audience, convince them they need your information while making it so engaging they ask you to come back for more presentations. Make yourselves a note promising yourself that by the end of this presentation you will be more confident in front of a group, you will be a more engaging presenter, and you will avoid the common mistakes presenters typically make.
Do your research. Be sure the facts you are presenting are true and factual. Your team member may tell you that they checked all the facts, but if something happens and those facts aren’t accurate. It isn’t your co-worker’s reputation that is tainted. Always take the time to double check. Facts change, be sure you have the latest and greatest. Hypothetically, would you trust the facts I am telling you today if I had come in disorganized, disheveled, and had to search my notes to give you the facts? Probably not. You would have been sitting back there thinking I was very much like the absent-minded professor and didn’t know my subject material. Don’t put yourself in that situation. After you have your presentation finalized, do a rehearsal. If you can have a co-worker assist. The few minutes you spend rehearsing your material will improve your image almost 100-fold. I have purposely used some idiosyncrasies, unique to my manner of speaking today to see how many of you picked up on. If you are talking your language, it is possible others will not be able to follow because they have no idea what your talking about. We use terms unique to our upbringing, typically. But does that mean that someone from Minnesota will understand my Missouri lingo? Keep that in mind and avoid slang and lingo. I can’t stress enough: practice, practice, practice. Another step to being prepared is to dress for success. The “golden rule” is to dress one step up or equal to your audience. If your audience is wearing casual/business; you wear a shirt and tie. If your audience is the working class that wears a shirt and tie; you wear a coat and tie.
Besides knowing how to dress for your audience, why else is it critical to know your audience? Your right, you want your audience to be interested in and have a need to know the information you are presenting. Your audience should consist of individuals who have a stake in your presentation. You need to know those individuals. If you aren’t familiar with those attending, show up early enough to go around and talk to the audience. If they feel you are interested in them, they will be interested in what you have to say. If you show up three minutes prior to your presentation and leave as soon as you are done presenting, your audience is going to think you aren’t committed to your subject and they will follow your lead and leave just as quickly. Then the next time you are giving a critical briefing, most will be watching the clock so they can book out and will miss most of the critical points you make. They will not take you seriously. Network, network, network!!
Now that you have walked around prior to your briefing and introduced yourself to most of those in attendance, keep them engaged by being dynamic. Change your inflection. Move around if you can. Use animating gestures to captivate your audience. Remember, when you are giving a briefing, you are on stage. You need to keep your audience engaged in what you are presenting. Ask questions, get your audience involved. We have all been to a meeting where it just dragged on and on and the speaker spoke in the same monotone, never moved from the pedestal and rarely engaged with the audience. Keep to the agenda, if someone in the audience tried to sidebar (pull you off topic), suggest tabling that topic for the next meeting or suggest the two of you discuss it after the meeting if it isn’t critical to the other members. Always stay on time. If you schedule 30 minutes for the meeting, plan on your presentation being only 20 minutes, always give your audience time to ask questions, request clarification, or just to keep them engaged. Conducting a clear, concise, and timely presentation will demonstrate your professionalism and you will gain the reputation of someone who knows how to brief. It is always a good idea to time yourself while you are rehearsing to be sure you can present the material / information in the time you have slotted. If you have too much information, conduct two short meetings. People can focus better on your information if they are not having to sit two hours for the presentation. Forty-five minutes should be your cut-off. Any more time than that, unless you take a break, will cause your audience to start watching their watch versus engaging with you.
Does any one have any questions? I have a couple for you. What is the first thing you should do when preparing your presentation? Correct, double check your facts. What are the two key reasons for rehearsing? To familiarize yourself with the material and to ensure you stay within the time frame you have slotted for the meeting. What was the promise I asked each of you to make to yourselves at the beginning of this presentation? That you would be a more confident and engaging presenter and that you will avoid the typical pitfalls made by presenters. Those pitfalls would be: not rehearsing, not knowing their material, not knowing their audience, not engaging with their audience, and not being clear, concise and timely while presenting.
Professional Briefings …… from Boring to Dynamic
Instructional Objectives <ul><li>By the end of this presentation , you will correctly identify four basic skills of a professional briefer. </li></ul>
Prepare and Organize <ul><li>Check the facts </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Be Punctual and Timely </li></ul><ul><li>Organization equates to professionalism </li></ul>