MBA Presentation Skills

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  • 75 percent of the executives surveyed consider presentation skills to be three times more important than writing aptitude for career advancement. Supervision, 1991, survey of 725 managers
  • What is the real purpose of your talk? Why is it that you were ask to speak? Remember, even if you've been asked to share information, rarely is the mere transfer of information a satisfactory objective from the point of view of the audience. After all, the audience could always just read your book (or article, handout, etc.) if information transfer were the only purpose of the meeting, seminar, or formal presentation.
  • Check your ego at the door. This is not about you, it's about them (your audience, customer, patient, student, etc.).  Look at the problem from their point of view -- put yourself in their shoes. Who is the audience? What are their backgrounds? How much background information about your topic can you assume they bring to the presentation? Why were you asked to speak? What are their expectations of you? What do your faculty expect? Your peers? Where is it? Find out everything you can about the location and logistics of the venue. When is it? Do you have enough time to prepare? What time of the day? If there are other presenters, what is the order (always volunteer to go first or last, by the way). What day of the week? All of this matters.
  • Great content is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient one. But your presentation preparation starts with solid content (appropriate for your audience) which you then build into a winning story that you'll use to connect with your audience. A word of caution: Though I am emphasizing how important content is, I also am begging you to spare your audience a "data dump." Do not fall into the trap of thinking that in order for your audience to understand anything, you must tell them everything. Your professors do not expect summaries in your presentation – they expect critical analysis and insight. Help your audience see something in a case study that they would not have thought of.
  • 75% of people have speech anxiety In fact, fear of public speaking is No. 1 on the list of top fears globally, above death, spiders, darkness, heights, and confined spaces Jerry Seinfeld - at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy The biggest item that separates mediocre presenters from world class ones is the ability to connect with an audience in an honest and exciting way. Don't hold back. Be confident. And let your enthusiasm for your topic come out for all to see. Start – what do you have in common with the audience – connect to them. Quote, Shocking Exclamation, Question – Be Creative The first 2-3 minutes of the presentation are the most important. The audience wants to like you and they will give you a few minutes at the beginning to engage them -- don't miss the opportunity. Most presenters fail here because they ramble on too long about superfluous background information or their personal/professional history, etc. Good intro – tell them what you will tell them Gestures – hands in pockets, leaning on podium
  • Pie Charts . Used to show percentages. Limit the slices to 4-6 and contrast the most important slice either with color or by exploding the slice. Vertical Bar Charts. Used to show changes in quantity over time. Best if you limit the bars to 4-8. Horizontal Bar Charts . Used to compare quantities. For example, comparing sales figures among the four regions of the company. Line Charts . Used to demonstrate trends. For example, here is a simple line chart showing that our sales have gone up every year. The trend is good. The arrow comes in later to underscore the point: Our future looks good!
  • Don’t make your visual presentation so “informative” that someone could simply ask for your slides if they missed your presentation. You want to be the presentation – your visuals are simply a tool to pique interest. Additionally, use handouts sparingly and do not print your slides – it makes people read the slides instead of focusing on you. Use handouts to provide meaning that can’t be easily depicted on your presentation, not the actual content they can see on the screen. Most importantly: Be confident, but not overconfident and tell a story. Remember that you are part of the audience when others are presenting. Be a presenter you’d like to sit in the audience for. Team – transitions between individuals, introductions, no one dominates, focus on strengths, decide what others will do while one member is speaking Practice as a team – everyone needs to be on the same page – graphics needs to be similar, speaking time needs to be similar, speaking style needs to be seamless. Emphasize your unique personalities, but make the transition seamless
  • MBA Presentation Skills

    1. 1. <ul><li>Death by PowerPoint </li></ul>
    2. 2. <ul><li>81 </li></ul>
    3. 3. What will set you apart?
    4. 4. Preparation Delivery Slides
    5. 5. Start with the end in mind
    6. 6. Know Your Audience
    7. 7. Content: Avoid a “Dump”
    8. 8. Show me the money… <ul><li>A good example </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Show enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>Start strong, end strong </li></ul><ul><li>Move away from the podium </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the “B” key </li></ul><ul><li>Make good eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Gestures, body language </li></ul><ul><li>Practice (as a team) </li></ul>Delivery
    10. 10. Slides: The Basics <ul><li>Color </li></ul><ul><li>Bullets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 lines or less </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parallel phrasing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fonts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Size and Style </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Graphics </li></ul>
    11. 11. Depicting Reality
    12. 12. Depicting Data
    13. 13. Pie Charts Percentages: 4-6 slices
    14. 14. Horizontal Bar Charts Compare quantities: 4-8 bars
    15. 15. Vertical Bar Charts Changes in quantity over time: 4-8 bars
    16. 16. Line Charts Demonstrate trends
    17. 17. Final Notes <ul><li>Remember that YOU are the presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Visit www.presentationzen.com and www.garrreynolds.com </li></ul>

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