The Best handful of Tips 68 –
Preparing for a Presentation
Many people find presentations stressful but careful preparation will boost your confidence and help you relax.
Make a list of your ‘props’ and check they are in good working order. If possible visit the venue to see the facilities and have a ‘dry run’ to make sure your visual aids can be projected and seen by all the audience. Always set up well before the event.
Try to make each presentation unique for your audience, containing new and topical information they are keen to hear.
The five best tips when you are preparing to make a presentation
Check out the venue prior to your presentation
If you are travelling to the venue be aware of traffic congestion and parking problems and know exactly where you will be making your presentation. This will help you avoid a panic and stress on the day of the event.
If you are using visual aids check the blackout facilities at the hour of your presentation.
Dress for the occasion and for your audience
Try to mirror their dress code. You must be comfortable but it’s better to be overdressed than dressed too casually.
Be careful what you eat and drink before your talk
Avoid unfamiliar food and drinks especially if you are making your presentation in a strange country.
Alcohol is best avoided and coffee can make some people’s voices husky.
Take care not to drink tap water unless you are sure it is safe.
Test the equipment you will be using well before your presentation
Make sure your laptop, tablet or whatever device you are using for your visual aids can communicate with the equipment at the venue.
If using electronic devises check you have the correct cords and attachment plugs.
Familiarise yourself with the type of microphone you will be using and have a voice check. Check the on/off switch. The bigger the crowd the greater the volume you will need.
Make last minute checks
Many expensive presentations have failed because last minute checks were not made.
Arrive well before your allotted time to get the feeling of the meeting, especially if there are other speakers. Listen to what they have to say. You may be able to make your talk more topical by making a comment on what has been said.
If you are working with a sound technician or visual aids assistant brief them well before you are due to speak so they know what you want them to do.
Check the room for lighting if you are projecting visual aids. Check the sound system and your projector – and make sure you have your notes! Then relax and don’t forget to start with a greeting and a smile.
“Eighty percent of a presentation is preparation.”
SOURCE: For more details on this topic read, “Persuasive Ways” published by Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand, or the Chinese language edition by the Shanghai People’s Publishing House and in Hungarian by Bagolyvar Konyvkiado as “Getting Your Ideas Across”. It’s also published as “Secrets of Persuasion” by Cengage Learning Asia and available as an e-book from Amazon.com.