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There are many reasons for running an event. These range from sales to a targeted audience of qualified buyers, providing a strong brand building event where product demonstrations are provided, to a relationship building hospitality event. Regardless of which it is, there will be times when you need to create and deliver a presentation. Listed below are tips that will help you create and deliver excellent presentations.

1. Aims

  • Be clear about them – make them clear to the audience:
  • What is the subject?
  • What is the theme?
  • What are your objectives?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What is the purpose? Inform or persuade.

2. Audience

  • Who will your audience be?
  • What will they expect?
  • How many of them will there be?
  • What is their level of interest?
  • What is their existing level of knowledge?
  • Formal or Informal?

3. Material

Selecting the material:

  • Is it relevant?
  • Are the key messages clear?
  • Be concise – slides should display prompt words not lines of text
  • What can you cut out?
  • What could you add?

Structuring material:

The start – ‘Tell them what you’re going to tell them’

  • What is the broad content?
  • When will you take questions?
  • Gain their attention

The middle – ‘Tell them’

  • Give the material a good, clear structure
  • Lead them through with verbal cues
  • Use title slides to identify each section
  • For long presentations change presenters

The end – ‘Tell them what you’ve told them’

  • Summarise the content emphasising the main point(s)
  • Provide a clear end point
  • Thank the audience
  • Move to questions and discussion

4. Delivery

How:

  • Present – don’t read, this is where your prepared material comes in handy
  • Be confident
  • Prepare yourself to ad-lib
  • Use cards, prompt words, mind maps
  • Don’t fidget
  • Make sure you can be heard
  • Scan the room, don’t stare at one person

Time:

  • Watch the clock
  • Know your presentation
  • Know what to add or omit
  • Don’t get caught short!

Dealing with questions:

  • Tease out what they really mean
  • Do you understand the question?
  • Admit ignorance rather than try and waffle – ‘I don’t know but I’ll find out’
  • If you suspect an agenda pass it back – ‘What do you think?’

And what about nerves:

  • Be prepared – produce a checklist of ‘Things to do…’
  • Rehearse
  • It’s not life or death
  • What could go wrong?
  • What will you do if it does?
  • Relax and enjoy it!

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