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Professional Services


Presentations - the person is more important than Powerpoint


By Mike Venables (pictured) Speech Coach


Feature


presentation, the focus is on you, not on your slides. People can look at impressive artwork anytime - but they don’t get many opportunities to see you standing in front of them giving a speech. And they are judging you in many ways. Do you have charisma? Are you well prepared? Are you nervous? Do you have leadership potential? Can you make complex material easily understood? Can they trust you? The list goes on. At the back of your mind, you know this. That’s why


T


people work hard on their slides, thinking they can hide behind them. The opposite is true. Recently one of my clients told me they had just


come from a presentation: “The presenter just sat in a chair, reading from a script on her laptop with no expression. “The only time she looked up from the script was to


look at the screen behind her.” The presenter created a terrible impression of both


herself and her company - yet with a little work, disasters like this can easily be avoided.


ime spent perfecting a Powerpoint display would be much better spent on preparing your personal presenting style. When you are giving a


Here are my top tips:


Structure Above all, don’t ramble, and follow a pattern. The following structure works well:


1. Start with a hook - something intriguing and dynamic rather than a dull statement of your name and the subject of your talk.


2. Introduce yourself and give your credentials. 3. Give an overview of the material you are going to cover. 4. The body - three main points is usually enough. 5. Summarise what you have told them. 6. Finish with a dynamic close. Perhaps refer back to the dramatic start and give an elaboration.


Types of hook If you are struggling to think of how to begin, try one of the following:


• A quotation • An amazing fact or statistic • An anecdote • Have an unusual prop with you • A series of rhetorical questions • What’s special about today.


May 2020 CHAMBERLINK 47


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