Preparation


Preparation

Now for a series of quick tips on presenting:

  • Don't apologize for anything once you rise to your feet. Don't say you're sorry about your overheads, your preparation for the meeting, your manner of dress, the length of the meeting ”nothing. Apologizing just makes people think you didn't care enough to correct whatever is wrong. We're trying to convince people we do care. It's the presence thing!

  • Don't tell jokes. For some reason people think these are good openers, but they aren't, especially if they're corny or make fun of a race, a profession, or a status. Better to tell a personal story which pokes fun at you; humor is an event far enough in your past to be considered funny .

  • Don't start a presentation with an organization chart or a dictionary definition of a word. For example, expressivity means vivid depiction of a mood or sentiment. Isn't this riveting! (Yawn)

  • Don't tell the audience more than they want to know. Your job as a presenter is to distill the information you have into appropriately sized chunks , including enough specifics to get the meaning across but not explaining every jot and tittle of the subject at hand.

  • Good content alone can't save a badly delivered presentation. You can have good material, well- constructed overheads ”the works! But if you can't deliver your message well, folks won't listen or do what you want.

  • Don't try to "wing" presentations or meetings. Prepare and practice. Create a written script which includes everything you want to do. Then write key thoughts on notecards to use during your talk or meeting.

  • Keep your hands away from your nose, your glasses , your hair, your tie, your jewelry , your pocket change, whatever. Constant fiddling with these makes you appear nervous and that makes the audience uncomfortable. Then they stop listening altogether and start counting the number of times you do this. Same thing with ums, ahs, you know, and like.

  • Use your hands and arms for gesturing to emphasize your point, but don't raise your arms up and put them down methodically because it's good to use gestures. Inexperienced performers on stage provide examples of this. Practice using appropriate gestures.

  • If you find yourself wringing your hands while speaking or clapping your hands inadvertently but often, work on holding them in front of you at waist level calmly clasped, much as a trained singer does at times.

  • Putting your hands in your pockets occasionally is OK. Just don't jam them in there permanently. Don't play with your pocket knife or money you may have stashed there.

  • Don't point your index finger at people. In some cultures finger pointing is a big no-no; in presenting it's just considered rude. Keep your fingers together and extend your hand palm up to call on someone.

  • Answer the question, What's in it for me. Why should the people sitting in your meeting be there? People want to gain in some way in return for the time they give you ”money, control, opportunity, enjoyment, time, popularity. Everyone tunes into Station WIIFM (what's in it for me).

  • People enjoy uniqueness and variety, so plan for that. Most people speak 120 to 200 words per minute, but can hear 600 words per minute. Their minds wander if you don't refocus their attention through a visual, a question, an unexpected action ”something to bring them back. Remember that people will forget 75 percent of what you say within 24 hours. If you show a picture and say your words, retention is six times greater. We keep 10 percent of what we read, 20 percent of what we hear, 30 percent of what we see, and 50 percent of what we see and hear (Peoples, 1992).

Finally, good leaders are responsive to followers' needs and show successes or gains for groups. Make meetings count ”with gains for all involved.

OK, we're ready! Time to present the information meeting! You've selected your topic, gathered LOTS of supporting material on the key points, have the closing and opening planned. Check your wardrobe for appropriate togs: women are wearing dresses, suits, pants suits , dressy blouses, and skirts; men are wearing suits, dress slacks, and IRONED shirts with ties. Wear formal business clothes as though you were going to an important interview. Exceptions: if you're representing a faction of some sort , you may dress in indigenous garb. Examples: McDonalds manager, firefighter, emergency medical technician, marathon runner, golfer (knickers are nice); any occupation in which a recognized uniform is worn.

Included here are:

  • an Agenda Form: copy enough for each meeting member

  • the Information Meeting Critique: grading items and points

  • an Observation Sheet: each person will be asked to critique one other person after his/her meeting. Just watch the speaker and fill out the sheet. When the person ends the presentation, get the microphone from them, and comment on the performance. Remember to limit negatives to two items and list strong points especially.

  • a Self-Critique: watch your video after your meeting and write your answers to the questions asked

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AGENDA FOR INFORMATION MEETING

Meeting Objective:

Logistics

Date:

Time:

Location:

Meeting Members

1. Leader:

2. Attendees:

Meeting called by:

Phone:

Agenda Item

Process

Time

Who's Responsible

       
       

INFORMATION MEETING CRITIQUE

LEADER:

OBSERVER:

PTS. POSSIBLE: 30

PREPARATION:

Professional appearance (interview quality)

(3) _____

Good quality & quantity visual aids

(3) _____

Well written agenda

(1) _____

PRESENTATION:

INTRODUCTION:

Opener ; creating interest

(2) _____

 

Objective well specified

(1) _____

 

Your intro/credentials

(1) _____

 

Preview of talk

(2) _____

BODY:

Three key points

Chronological _____ Spatial _____

Order of importance (topical) _____

Concerns/solutions _____

(3) _____

 

Supporting material for each

References _____ Examples _____

Analogies _____ Quotes _____

Facts _____ Numbers _____

(3) _____

 

Transitions from point to point

(2) _____

CLOSING:

Summary

(2) _____

 

Ask for agreement or action

(1) _____

PERFORMANCE:

 

Time management (10 minutes)

(2) _____

 

Eye contact with audience

(1) _____

 

Voice:

Rate _____ Volume_____

(1) _____

 

Enthusiasm

(2) _____

 

TOTAL POINTS EARNED

 

Comments:

OBSERVATION SHEET for Information Meeting

PRESENTER:

OBSERVER:

5 ”Excellent 4 ”Good 3 ”Average 2 ”Needs work 1 ”Poor

PERSONAL PREPARATION

1.

Appropriate business attire

5

4

3

2

1

2.

Voice quality/tone

5

4

3

2

1

3.

Voice audibility

5

4

3

2

1

4.

Confidence displayed

5

4

3

2

1

PRESENTATION PREPARATION

5.

Good organization

5

4

3

2

1

6.

Meaningful topic/key point development

5

4

3

2

1

7.

Attention-getting opening/closing

5

4

3

2

1

8.

Easy-to-follow delivery

5

4

3

2

1

9.

Rehearsed performance

5

4

3

2

1

PROJECTION

10.

Vocal effectiveness ( intonation , fillers, pauses)

5

4

3

2

1

11.

Audience interaction/eye contact

5

4

3

2

1

12.

Energy/enthusiasm portrayed

5

4

3

2

1

STRONG POINTS:

WORK ON:

INFORMATION MEETING SELF-CRITIQUE/SINGLE CONFERENCE REPORT

Name :

Meeting Time:

Stated Objective of Talk:

A.

PREPARATION:

Did you appear professional?

Were your visuals readable?

Was your topic a good choice for you?

B.

PRESENTATION:

 

Opening:

What was your opener and was it effective?

Did you tell us what your qualifications were?

 

Body:

   

Where did you get your supporting material?

Were your transitions clearly stated?

 

Closing:

   

Did you go over your main points?

What was effective about your close?

C.

PERFORMANCE:

   

How well did you "fill the room with your presence?"

Did you portray enthusiasm?

Comment on your voice:

List two things you think you did well:

List two things you want to work on: