Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Preparing for a Presentation

Regularly I give presentations to colleagues. I'm not always happy with the way my presentations go. SometimeBreakout Congres Intranet 2009 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!_1252488722215s I loose track of time. Or I don't get the point I wanted to make across. Etc.

For some time now I'm practicing a new presentation strategy that really works for me. I didn't read any books or articles on the topic. And didn't go to a presentation course (- but I hope to shortly!). So, maybe my approach is dead-wrong. If so, please tell me. And if you have other tips and tricks you want to share, please leave a comment.

Most of the time I get a limited amount of time to give the presentation. Say 30 minutes. My new approach to presenting is like this:

  1. I start a document (not a new slide!).
  2. I write down the rough outline of the presentation in short lines of text.
  3. Then I start detailing that outline. I literally write down what I want to say. This is my script.
  4. Then I read the text and time it. Once in silence and once out loud. If that fits into the time I got for the presentation, I move to the next step. If not, I start deleting text.
  5. So the text fits the time slot (and leaves time for comments and questions!). Then I go over the text and mark the key phrases I want in the slides. This helps me get clean sheets, that are not clogged with text. (I love the modern 'web 2.0' style presentations! But I'm not there yet and that doesn't always work in a corporate setting I find.)
  6. Then I proceed to start a new slide deck, spread the key phrases over the slides and add visuals.
  7. I then go over the script with the slides and see if that fits. I also give the presentation out loud for 0 audience.
  8. Optional: If the presentation is very important, I give the presentation to small test-group. Their feedback is incorporated in the presentation.
  9. The actual presentation is held.

Does this make sense? How do you prepare a presentation? I'd like to hear your stories.

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