A Presentation is a fast and potentially effective method of getting things done through other people. In managing any project, presentations are used as a formal method for bringing people together to plan, monitor and review its progress.
What can a presentation do for you?
Firstly; it puts you on display. Your staff need to see evidence of decisive planning and leadership so that they are confident in your position as their manager. They need to be motivated and inspired to undertaking the tasks which you are presenting. Project leaders from other sections need to be persuaded of the merits of your project and to provide any necessary support. Senior management should be impressed by your skill and ability so that they provide the resources so that you and your team can get the job done.
Secondly; it allows you to ask questions and to initiate discussion. It may not be suitable within the presentation formats of your company to hold a discussion during the presentation itself but it does allow you to raise the issues, present the problems and at least to establish who amongst the audience could provide valuable input to your decision making.
Finally; presentations can be fun. They are your chance to speak your mind, to strut your stuff and to tell the people what the world is really like. While you hold the stage, the audience is bound by good manners to sit still and watch the performance.
In Public presentation!
Starting a Presentation
Most audience these days prefer a relatively informal approach. However, there is a certain structure to the opening of a Presentation that you should observe.
Get people’s attention
State the purpose of your presentation
State how you want to deal with questions
Identify the Audience
The next task is to consider the audience to determine how best to achieve your objectives in the context of these people. Essentially this is done by identifying their aims and objectives while attending your presentation. If you can somehow convince them they are achieving those aims while at the same time achieving your own, you will find a helpful and receptive audience. For instance, if you are seeking approval for a new product plan from senior management it is useful to know and understand their main objectives. If they are currently worried that their product range is out of date and old fashioned, you would emphasis the innovative aspects of your new product; if they are fearful about product diversification you would then emphasis how well your new product fits within the existing catalogue.
This principal of matching the audience aims, however, goes beyond the simple salesmanship of an idea – it is the simplest and most effective manner of obtaining their attention at the beginning. If your opening remarks imply that you understand their problem and that you have a solution, then they will be flattered at your attention and attentive to your every word.
A Friendly Face
When you stand up in front of that audience, you’re going to be really nervous.
Poor speakers pay little or no attention to their audience as people. Big mistake.
If you can see your audience as a group of individuals, you’ll be much more likely to connect with those individuals.
Start looking around your audience. See that big guy with his arms folded and an ‘impress me’ look on his face? Best not to look at him too much. How about that lady with the big smile, looking encouragingly towards you? OK, that’s your mother, she doesn’t count. But that other lady with a similar smile is someone you don’t know. But from now on she’s your ‘friend’. Every time that you need any encouragement, look in her direction. Make good eye contact. Establish a form of communication between you.