Giving a great workplace presentation

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1 Giving a great workplace presentation Cara PENRY WILLIAMS 1

2 WORKPLACE PRESENTATIONS Could include: Formal presentations to a small or large group to colleagues and managers or to clients Group presentations Reports in meetings etc. 2

3 What makes an effective presentation? 3

4 OVERVIEW Giving a great workplace presentation Understand the type of presentation and its context (audience & purpose) Have a clear structure Think about elements beyond content Have strategies for challenges you might face Practise 4

5 UNDERSTANING AUDIENCE & PURPOSE First consideration (as with most pieces of writing etc.) Audience Who are you presenting to? Purpose Why are you presenting what you are? Why is the audience there? So, who is here today and why? 5

6 Preparation from research to presentation Source material Purpose synthesise organise Audience Presentation (persuade) 6

7 A CLEAR STRUCTURE Introduction Body Conclusion(s) Meets audience expectations and supports understanding 7

8 The introduction Standard features Introduce yourself (and others in the team) Give the title / subject of presentation (Organisation of sections / what you will cover) Set up the main body of the talk Goals Generate audience interest Establish a relationship with audience Settle your nerves TIP: Have a hook that keeps the audience engaged e.g. a question you will answer 8

9 The body Divide up into clear and logical sections Include only material that will be maximally interesting and relevant for the audience (and briefly any background needed to understand this) Unless it is particularly important don t spend too much time on details e.g. the audience rarely needs to know the entire process What is important for the audience to know? 9

10 The conclusion Don t just suddenly stop at the end of the body Your clear conclusion to the presentation should: 1. Summarise the main points briefly 2. Offer a conclusion/conclusions Make your take home message clear Return to the hook e.g. answer the question you posed 10

11 Sections The first part of this presentation focusses on I m first going to explain Reinforce structure with your language Transitions: Linking In this next section, we will turn to In pairs, come up with some further examples Emphasis It is important to remember that... Conclusions I want to emphasise that... To sum up This was one of the key considerations In summary 11

12 Question time Don t panic Listen carefully jot down notes if needed Be polite and respectful Clarify the question if needed So are you asking? Do you mean in terms of? 12

13 BEYOND CONTENT Your body language Your voice Your use of visual aids and clear slides 13

14 Body language Used to Reinforce structure e.g. emphasis, sequence Engage audience TIP: Video yourself or practice in front of the mirror. Ask a friend to watch and provide feedback. Work off nervousness Eye contact "Jason Lewis adventurer public speaking" by Tammie Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - edia/file:jason_lewis_adventurer_public_speaking.jpg 14

15 Voice 2. Pronunciation 1. Volume Voice Four elements to consider 4. Pace 3. Intonation 15

16 1. Volume Considerations: Projection of the voice Position of your head Position of microphone (if applicable) Monitor the audience for signs that they are having trouble hearing you and adjust your volume if needed 16

17 2. Pronunciation You must pronounce key names and terms correctly Practise any which make you nervous Avoid contractions - use full forms of words Example: gonna going to etc. (formality professionalism) 17

18 3. Intonation Think about how your voice rises and falls A lack of variation in this can bore an audience It also affects understanding of ideas: Ideas equal Key point Idea end Avoiding monotone: Don t read or entirely memorise your presentation imagine you are talking to one person, try to sound enthusiastic 18

19 4. Pace Issue: Speaking too quickly Cause 1: nervousness Solution 1: concentrate on slowing down your speech (remember than listeners have to process complex new information) Cause 2: too much content Solution 2: cut down material to what you can comfortably say in the time at a reasonable pace 19

20 Application: The elevator pitch Tell your story Simple and engaging What do you want them to remember most about you? Focus on the problems that you solve and how you can help people. My company writes mobile device applications for other businesses. OR My company develops mobile applications that businesses use to train their staff remotely. 20

21 Your elevator pitch You are at a careers networking event for future employment. You have 50 seconds with each prospective employer. What do you want them to know about you? Introduction Who am I? Body What can I offer? What are the main contributions I can make? Conclusion What should the listener do as a result of hearing this? 21

22 Did your partner? Tell his/her story in an effective, engaging manner? Use his/her voice and language affectively? Make eye contact? Have a confident posture? Have an appropriate facial expression? Make appropriate gestures? Was there any improvement from the first intro? 22

23 Visual aids Make sure visual aids you use are: Quickly accessible Support what you say Do not compete with what you are saying (too much information at once, too many channels of information) 23

24 Displaying information Profits 2014 City Jan-June July-Dec Total Melbourne $12,000 $20,000 $32,000 Sydney $17,000 $4,000 $21,000 Brisbane $33,000 $14,000 $47,000 Total $62,000 $38,000 $1,000,00 Which format is better? Why? TIP: Consider the exact message you want the visual to convey 24

25 Figure 2: Comparison of pre- and post-test scores for inventions 1 and % Reading Writing Listening Pre-test 1 Post-test 1 Pre-test 2 Post-test 2 25

26 Slides: Some guidelines Keep it simple and brief focus on clarity Print must be large, dark and easily read Use pictures, maps, symbols and graphs in place of text where appropriate Limit fonts to between 40 pt for headings and 24 pt for dot points and don t go below 18 point (it becomes difficult to read!) Don t do crazy animations! or Mixed Fonts Rule of thumb: 1 slide = 1-2 minutes of the talk excluding the introduction slide 26

27 Example 1 Site A some things to consider The site is capable of holding a maximum of 80 apartments The area is subject to a height restriction of ten stories Contamination issues will need to be investigated, due to the site s prior industrial zoning The local area has a heritage overlay There could be issues with local competition, as the adjacent allotment already has a similar residential development It is projected that the development would generate moderate capital growth over the short to medium term Of the three sites, this is the least preferred option X

28 Example 2 Site A considerations Maximum 80 apartments 10 story height restriction Issues: contamination heritage overlay local competition X Profitability: Moderate capital growth Recommendation: Not recommended

29 Example 3 Site A considerations Maximum 80 apartments 10 story height restriction Issues contamination heritage overlay local competition Profitability moderate capital growth Recommendation not recommended

30 Example 4 X Keep it simple

31 CHALLENGES: Nervousness Before Try to relax yourself (e.g. deep breathing, stretching) Expect to feel (a little) nervous Imagine what you would do if something went wrong Be prepared and have control of those things you can During Look at your audience s faces, you ll see most of them are interested and want you to do well Focus on clearly communicating your main points After Reflect on what went well & what could be improved Get feedback & consider this Do more presentations see it as a skill to develop 31

32 The variables and control 1. Venue 2. Audience 3. The technology in the room 4. The presenter(s) before you 5. You 6. (Team dynamics) 7. Copies of your material e.g. slideshow, handouts TIP: Find out as much as you can about

33 PRACTISING Practising and preparing is essential for effective presentations (Cue cards dot point form) If you suffer from nerves, write out the start of your section Simulate the actual situation as much as possible 33

34 Preparing for questions Listen carefully Most likely be about something you have presented on Anticipate what would you ask? Potentially: areas you may need to explain further controversial areas other points of view Practise answering out loud 34

35 TAKE HOME MESSAGES Sequence & plan your presentation Focus on audience & purpose Engage your audience through use of: voice body language and other forms of non-verbal communication clear slides Prepare and practise thoroughly 35

36 REFERENCES Beisler, F., Scheers, H. &, Pinner, D. (1993). Communication skills. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire. Brown, M. (2003). Making presentations happen: A simple and effective guide to speaking with confidence and power. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin. Locker, K. O. (1997). Business and administrative communication. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. Mandel, S. (1987). Effective presentation skills. Los Altos, CA: Crisp Publications. Pettersson, R. (1989). Visuals for information: Research and practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. Powell, M. (1996). Presenting in English. London: Language Teaching Publications. 36

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