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Staging the presentation

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A presentation area needs the following things:
Space
Light
Somewhere for your notes
Somewhere for the screen and projector if you are using them
Cabling control
A place for the microphone if necessary
Good acoustics
A non-distracting background
Enough distance from the audience to allow you to project your voice without spitting all over the front row
Elbow and knee room for each member of the audience
Comfortable seats with good sight lines for the audience
An efficient way of entering and leaving the presentation area without having to climb over anything or edge past obstructions.

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Staging the presentation

  1. 1. Introduction to Presentation Skills for Professionals STAGING THE PRESENTATION
  2. 2. Introduction  If only presenters always had a well-designed and efficient platform to present from!  Sometimes, you have to present in crowded classrooms, noisy halls with echoes, in the open air without a microphone.  The presenter isn’t comfortable and surely the audience is neither, but sometimes there is no choice.
  3. 3. In an ideal world……………..  A presentation area needs the following things:  Space  Light  Somewhere for your notes  Somewhere for the screen and projector if you are using them  Cabling control  A place for the microphone if necessary  Good acoustics  A non-distracting background  Enough distance from the audience to allow you to project your voice without spitting all over the front row  Elbow and knee room for each member of the audience  Comfortable seats with good sight lines for the audience  An efficient way of entering and leaving the presentation area without having to climb over anything or edge past obstructions.  Let’s look at each in turn starting with the audience area.
  4. 4. SPACE  The audience needs enough space for each person to sit comfortably and stretch their legs out, with somewhere to put bags and coats.  If you want the audience to take notes or spread handouts in front of them then they will need tables, spaced far enough apart so that no one has to edge round the chairs to sit down. There are several ways that tables can be arranged.
  5. 5. AUDIENCE SEATING LAYOUT  Classroom-style means that the audience sits at tables which all face to the front.  Café-style means round tables dotted throughout the room.  Conference-style means one large table with the presenter at the head.  U-shaped style means a set of tables arranged in a three-sided square with the presenter in the open side.  Formal conference halls may have tiered or no tiered
  6. 6. CLASSROOM STYLE
  7. 7. CAFÉ STYLE
  8. 8. CONFERENCE STYLE
  9. 9. U-SHAPED
  10. 10. THE PRESENTATION STAGE
  11. 11. PRESENTATION STAGE  At an absolute minimum you need enough space to take at least five strides from the front to the back and six or seven from side to side.  Less than this means that you will feel constrained and your body language will be less convincing.  Wherever cables snake across the tables or floor, stick them down with gaffer tape or use a custom- made cable cover.
  12. 12. LECTERNS  With the almost universal use of projectors and slides, the lectern has become almost mandatory – it gives you a space for your notes, inbuilt microphone and slide changer and room for a glass of water.  The secret to using a lectern well is not to hang onto it like a drowning man but to allow your hand gestures to be upwards and outwards.  Whenever possible, come out from behind the lectern and approach the audience, this removes any barriers between you and them and also allows you to highlight important points.
  13. 13. LIGHTING  When slides were shown in the old days the auditorium needed to be darkened.  This is no longer true. Modern screens are luminescent and projectors give such a crisp and bright image that they can be used in daylight.  This is a good thing – as a presenter you need to be able to see the audience to gauge their reactions to what you are saying, and of course they need to be able to see you as well as your slides.  Beware of any lighting in the room that casts the light up into your face, as it will make you look sinister.  Equally, bright spotlights can dazzle you and make you squint, and glint distractingly on jewellery and
  14. 14. AVOID DISTRACTIONS Keep a ‘meeting in progress’ sign in your presenter’s kitbag that you can stick to the door to deter accidental visitors.
  15. 15. ACOUSTICS  Curtains and carpets deaden sounds whereas shiny surfaces and bare floors cause resonance and echoes.  The use of a microphone is very helpful in a fully carpeted and curtained room but sound levels will need to be carefully checked if the room echoes.
  16. 16. OPTIONAL EXTRAS  Flip charts for a change in pace, flip chart pads and pens, prepared static visuals with somewhere to display them, clock, pointer, laser pointer, extra chair for the speaker, etc.
  17. 17. VOICE & PERFORMANCE SKILLS
  18. 18.  Presenters can just about get away with a less than professional personal image (though not for long) but will completely put the audience off if they have difficulty hearing what he/she is saying.  Sadly, when you start a presentation you are likely to be nervous and nerves play havoc with your voice.  So you need to prepare your voice before you give a presentation.
  19. 19.  The secret of a good voice lies in the way you breathe. The lungs are the power behind the voice and you are going to need all the power of yours to make your voice interesting and audible.  Think about tiny babies – their lungs are very small indeed compared with those of an adult, yet when they want to be heard they can make the most enormous noise, without any apparent effort.  How do they do this? They use their diaphragms naturally – drawing breath right down to the bottom of their lungs and letting it out without holding back.  This is not to say that we are going to take enormous lungfuls of air throughout our presentation
  20. 20. The VOICE itself  Once you have mastered breath control you can move on to voice control.
  21. 21. VOLUME, PITCH, RESONANCE, ARTICULATION, PACE, MODULATION, AND PHRASING
  22. 22. Volume  It is important that you start any presentation loudly – for one thing it catches the audience’s attention and makes you sound confident and for another it makes it easier to keep the volume of your presentation at a suitable level (we tend to get softer as we go along if we don’t pay attention to projecting our voices).
  23. 23. Pitch  Everyone has their own particular pitch and timbre of voice – the one at which we are most comfortable speaking.  This depends on several things –  The structure of your body  The tone  Pitch of voices that you heard through your childhood  Role models later in life  Cultural influences  State of your health  For example, if you were taught to speak quietly as a child, you may find it difficult to bring volume to your voice as an adult.
  24. 24. PITCH  Whatever has influenced us often needs to be re- examined when we find ourselves in a situation where we need to address an audience with authority and confidence.  Studies carried out in the UK in the early 1900s seem to show that deeper-pitched voices show authority.  This does not mean that you have to go about growling into your boots, more that you need to experiment with the natural pitch in your voice and see if you can make it more resonant and authoritative.
  25. 25. Phrasing, Pause and Pace  He was dark black uncombed hair fell over his forehead and down to his collar keys hung from his belt his face was heavily tanned and lined fromyears of hard drinking he looked dangerous  He was dark; black, uncombed hair fell over his forehead and down to his collar. Keys hung from his belt. His face was heavily tanned and lined from years of hard drinking. He looked dangerous.
  26. 26. Thank You

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