Friday, May 28, 2010

Delivery Check List (Revisited)

1) Have I properly prepared for this presentation? Have I analyzed the audience? Do I know the location of the presentation? Do I have the proper presentation equipment? Do I have material related to both the topic and the audience allowing them to value what I'm going to share with them?

2) Who do they think I am? Do they know me, if not what will I provide for them about me?

3) What can I say non-verbally that will provide them context? How do they think I should dress? What language and demeanor do they expect? What appearance will be most effective?

4) Can they hear and see me easily? Is a public address system needed? Is the lighting ideal?

5) How can I use my presentational aids, voice and body to guide them through my presentation? Should I have a computer driven presentation? How can I use my voice to emphasize and direct attention?

6) Do I seem to be enthusiastic and informed about my presentation?

7) Would I notice if some in the audience couldn't hear, see or understand what is being presented?

8) What questions, if any were asked during and after the presentation? How will these questions affect my next presentation? Did they understand my content? Are they considering changing their position?

9) Did I need leave behind materials? How will they be distributed? How many will be needed? Do the materials have appropriate contact information?

(This first appeared in May, 2010}

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Common Problems

One of the most obvious and common problems encountered when making public presentations has to do with organization. Each individual is different and 16 or more individuals serve to makeup a typical audience. That puts a burden on the speaker immediately. The fit of the topic, speaker and audience is critical to success. How the ideas are organized merits a great deal of attention. The temptation is to spend most of the time gathering and the data and preparation of notes and presentation materials.

The data is important. But the fit of the data to the audience and the speaker is critical. How should the data be characterized? Why should the audience care about what they are hearing? What should they do with the data they are hearing? Which items are critical to audience understanding? What do they need to know in general before they will understand what the speaker is saying? What does the audience need to know first and last? How are they going to recall what is being said to them? These are organizational considerations. They are almost always given little or no attention.

First, know what your goal is? Surround and review the data that is the essence of what is going to be said and fit it to the audience. Then ask if this audience needs to be able to listen to what you have to say? Careful planning (organization) will enable the speaker to talk to an audience commanding their attention, aiding them to understand and follow what is being said and then recall it when the time comes to use the information.

Of course this entire process fits communication no matter how large the audience is.