This time I thought of writing something about how a presentation should be. This DOESN’T mean that I am good in presentation skills. I have done ONLY ONE presentation so far and it was not a big success. But definitely increased my confidence that I too can do presentations.
This blog post is about how I think a presentation should be. The presentation I mention here is more related in terms of teaching something new to the audience. Doesn’t involve annual reporting, sales and those kind of things.
First and foremost is to mention “Who will be benefited with this session”. If the topic is not related to them, people like me will obviously sleep
Never make it a presentation. It should be a discussion. Presentation, I feel, is one way communication. But since the topic is about presentation, I use the same term below.
Lets assume that the presentation is about a technology or tool. Every tool/technology is introduced definitely to solve a specific problem. Otherwise there is no need for it. Give an overall picture of the problem that this technology/tool is intended to solve. Make statements like “This is where this technology/tool can be used.”
The presenter should find out some sample problems that the audience can face, so that, the listener can get familiarity with the problem. Better if the listener is asked to state a similar problem and the presenter use it in that session or If possible explain the problem like a story ( I don’t know anybody who hate listening to stories. Except excuses. Sometimes excuses will also be interesting).
The important thing is to make the session interactive or keeping the listeners awake. Very tough task man. Place the listener as the person who has to solve the problem. Ask questions like “What will you do if you have to solve the problem?”. Get their inputs. Find out the loop holes. Explain them that “This is the problem with your approach”. I like to bring the solution from the listener’s mouth. This will give some comfort feeling to the listener that “Cool man. I too can solve problems”. This is one of the most important factors in making the presentation a successful one.
If the problem stated is entirely new, tell the solution with some gaps to be filled up. Like an overview of the solution. And use the above mentioned approach to fill up the blanks.
Prepare slides/ppts for this kind of approach. So that even after a long time after the presentation, when a persons looks at the slides he should be able to make some sense out of it. Assuming that he remembers something out of this session. I have a weak memory. So tough for me to remember. Success lies there if I could remember )
Never ever have essays in the slides.(Most of the people know this)
Doubts should be cleared immediately. This will stretch the presentation. But with a doubt, I cannot be fully involved.
This is PURELY my personal opinion. I think these are the most important steps as per my knowledge. Once I get more experience on this, I hope to write more.
I’ll try to follow these ideas when I get an opportunity to do a presentation. Lets see what effect it has 🙂