As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, February 2007.
Consider this scenario: You have been asked to give a presentation at your company's senior-management meeting. Despite the industry downturn of 2006, you had a great production year, and your management wants you to share your secrets with the rest of the sales team. This is a huge honor and a chance for you to shine in front of your peers and senior management.
There's one problem, though: You've never given a presentation of this magnitude, and you need some help.
If giving presentations is not one of your strong suits, you are not alone. But the following 13 tips will help ensure that your next presentation demands an encore.
1. Be prepared
Practice your lines ahead of time. With adequate practice, you can really enhance a presentation and will appear to be an expert communicator.
Here are some things to remember when practicing:
Have a live audience or video camera;
Have an open mind when you ask for your audience's critique;
Take notes on feedback and try new ideas; and
Practice more than once.
2. Arrive early
The early bird gets the worm. For example, many participants like to arrive early. If you are there, you have an opportunity to mingle with these folks. Most people have some place to be after a long presentation and tend to not hang around for discussions.
3. Engage the power of music
Play upbeat, high-energy music before a presentation.
Having music in the room opens up people to communicate and eliminates the uncomfortable silence that usually precedes a presentation.
Volume also is an important consideration. It should be slightly above a normal speaking tone. You want people to have to speak up a little over the music. I guarantee that this will lead to a more interactive presentation.
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