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33 Steps to Great Presentations


33 Steps to Great Presentations

33 Steps to Great Presentations

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Page 1 Page 2  DAVID BECKETT 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 2 Page 3 33 Steps to Great Presentations 1st edition © 2013 David Beckett & bookboon.com ISBN 978-87-403-0492-3 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 3 Page 4 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Contents CONTENTS Author Bio: David Beckett 6 Why I wrote this book and how it will help you 7 The Three Minute Promise 8 Why making good presentations is important 9 The good news 10 1 Preparing Your Presentation 11 1.1 Prepare your platform 11 1.2 How much time to spend on preparation 11 1.3 Get started with your preparation well in advance 12 1.4 Communication is what the listener does 13 1.5 Assess your audience’s expectations 15 1.6 Know your venue and how to get there 16 1.7 Focus on your delivery more than the details 17 1.8 Test-drive your talk 18 A C A R EER W I T H I N F I N A N CE & I T Denmark’s largest provider of financial software solutions needs YOU! Offering you personal and professional growth We are a leading sup- The SimCorp culture is characterized by open Who are we looking for? plier of highly specialized dialogue, empowerment and fast decision-making. Our core competencies lie within economics, software and expertise Reporting lines are clear, thus action is not bogged finance and IT, and as a result the majority of our for financial institutions down in bureaucracy. We believe in solving work- employees have a master degree within business and corporations – related challenges together, and you will find that and finance, IT, mathematics or engineering. activities, which have established our repu- both management and colleagues are very receptive tation as “the house to suggestions and new ideas. Are you completing of financial know- your master degree this year? how”. We are listed As newly hired employee in SimCorp you will go Then apply now – why wait – a fast tracked inter- on the OMX Nordic through an extensive introduction period, in addition national orientated career is just around the corner! Exchange Copenhagen to being provided with a mentor. This gives you the and have 800+ emplo- opportunity to secure the know-how necessary to yees. perform efficiently. Care to join us? – Visit us at www.simcorp.com SIMCORP A/S · Oslo Plads 12 · DK-2100 Copenhagen O · Denmark · +45 35 44 88 00 · www.simcorp.com Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Click on the ad to read more 4 Page 5 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Contents 1.9 Use PowerPoint as a tool and consider other options 19 1.10 Use the Power of Three 20 1.11 Put your presentation together on Post-it notes 22 1.12 Keep the details on your slides to a minimum 24 1.13 Construct your slides: simple, clear, concise 26 1.14 Check out the equipment at the presentation venue 27 1.15 Buy yourself 10% extra confidence 28 1.16 Preparing Your Presentation: Summary 30 2 Delivering Your Presentation 31 2.1 Gain confidence by visualising in advance 31 2.2 Keep calm if you make mistakes 32 2.3 Ensure they remember the important stuff 33 2.4 Don’t learn your script 34 2.5 The first 60 seconds 36 2.6 Use body language to express yourself 37 2.7 Emphasise your message by using your hands in a conscious way 38 2.8 Break through the voice barrier: listen to yourself 39 2.9 Share your eye contact 40 2.10 Make it interactive once you’ve gained confidence 41 2.11 The standing up game 42 2.12 How to manage a Q&A session 43 2.13 Give handouts at the end, never at the beginning 45 2.14 Finish with a bang 45 2.15 Follow up 47 2.16 Delivering Your Presentation: Summary 47 3 Three Minute Presentation 49 3.1 You really can do all this in three minutes 49 3.2 Prepare an elevator pitch 49 3.3 Practice makes perfect, again and again 51 3.4 The Three Minute Presentation: Summary 51 4 Final Thoughts: Get advice and feedback wherever you can 52 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 5 Page 6 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Author Bio: David Beckett AUTHOR BIO: DAVID BECKETT David has presented hundreds of times to thousands of people during a 20-year career in corporate and entrepreneurial business, working for brands such as Canon and Belkin. With this book, he shares his extensive knowledge of how to communicate ideas to audiences of all sizes. His company, Best 3 Minutes Presentation Coaching, offers tailor made presentation skills development for Managers, Professionals, Small Business Owners, Companies and Creatives. “Everything I learned over the past two decades came in small pieces, explained by colleagues and mentors. This book offers actionable tools in short chapters that will take you less than three minutes to read, enabling you to absorb each idea and take action straight away.” He is the author of the seminal book about his chosen home city, Amsterdam…The Essence, and creator of The Kitchen of Ideas© Brainstorm technique. David’s recent projects include working with the Dutch Institute of the Tropics and Dutch TV company VARA, as well as advising numerous startup companies in developing their business. www.Best3Minutes.com Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 6 Page 7 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Why I wrote this book and how it will help you WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK AND HOW IT WILL HELP YOU I love making presentations. Equally, I recognise public speaking is a challenge that can make many people very nervous. In fact, it can be downright terrifying. This has led me to spend hours discussing what it takes to present successfully with numerous colleagues and friends. We’ve hung our heads after the horrors, when it all went terribly wrong: those were the times to make an honest assessment of what we could have improved. We’ve also celebrated together when it’s gone well, yet still hunted for those polishings and sharpenings that could make it even better next time. Over the last twenty years, I’ve coached hundreds of people and get a huge kick out of seeing them improve their presentations skills. I love seeing the kick they get out of it for themselves too. In this book, I’m very happy to share the essentials of how to prepare, deliver and follow up on a great presentation. And finally you’ll find yourself perfectly capable of giving a complete presentation in just three minutes. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 7 Page 8 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS The Three Minute Promise THE THREE MINUTE PROMISE “It’s not what you read that matters: it’s what you digest and take action upon.” Modern life is hectic and none of us have the time, wish or habit to absorb large volumes of information. I’ve recently thrown out a pile of (no doubt excellent) management and self-improvement books which are packed with information. Yet they’re delivered in huge indigestible blocks: small type, no space for notes and covering their subject in every possible detail. The only books of this category that I went through thoroughly and took real action on were short and easily readable. My ambition with the Three Minute series is to share key insights and tools in short, manageable pieces, helping you develop skills. Every chapter will take you no longer than 3 minutes to read, and each one contains ideas that you can immediately put into practice in your working life. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 8 Page 9 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Why making good presentations is important WHY MAKING GOOD PRESENTATIONS IS IMPORTANT Simply because it is the single most influential activity in your career. My conclusion after twenty years in business is that the individuals who rise to the top are, without exception, excellent presenters. I’ve seen highly competent workers doing a great job every day, yet never receiving the recognition they deserve because of poor presentation skills. I’ve also watched average employees scale dizzying corporate heights because they have learned to present their content and (very important) themselves with impressive effect. The same goes for entrepreneurs. Getting start-up investment comes from showing you not only have a great idea, but are also the person to make it happen. Present yourself and your idea poorly and you won’t get the cash. Is this imbalanced importance of presentation fair? Debatable. Is it true? Undoubtedly. The obvious question to ask is this: surely a daily contribution is what matters, not shining on infrequent occasions? Why should this one skill override all others? The answer is simple too. Whether we like it or not, we live in an age where the image is often more valuable than the true content. Each time you present, your audience is forming their own opinion about you based on what they see and hear. Monotone delivery, reading from the screen, over-running your time and appearing unsure of your story leave the listeners feeling uncertain of your ability to carry out daily tasks. Creating memorable content, sharing the message clearly, keeping to the time schedule and delivering an inspiring talk with confidence convinces them you can do your hour-by-hour work at a high level too. You should also be aware that if you present the work of a team, the audience invariably assumes that you are the leader and key person behind that work – regardless of whether you are the manager or not. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 9 Page 10 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Why making good presentations is important If you invest time and energy into improving your presentation skills, you will find your review ratings go up, and the reputation you have around the company will improve. You’ll find yourself being asked to take the lead on behalf of departments and projects, giving you the limelight to shine and appear in control of the situation. All of this leads to promotion and higher earning potential. Perhaps most of all, it will be something you can be proud of and gain personal confidence from. There is nothing quite like the thrill of hearing genuine audience applause and after-event comments of how great your story was. In short: developing your presentation skills is an investment in every aspect of your working life. THE GOOD NEWS Anyone can learn the skills to present at an improved – and even high – level. The other good news is that most people don’t bother. They think that they will be judged on results of what they do daily, regardless of whether they present well. To be fair, that should be true. But it just isn’t. Very simply: if a decision maker has one employee with great results and great presentation, compared against another with great results and poor presentation – who is the boss going to give that promotion to? Put yourself in the spotlight by investing time and energy into learning the skills to present, and it will pay you back tenfold. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 10 Page 11 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation 1 PREPARING YOUR PRESENTATION “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell (inventor) 1.1 PREPARE YOUR PLATFORM When the most successful football manager in the world, Sir Alex Ferguson, took his team to Barcelona or Bayern Munich for a crucial match, he didn’t just let his team arrive and play. Naturally they train in preparation. During training he didn’t simply shout at them, “Run faster, kick harder, pass more accurately!” Sir Alex would know what the opposition’s tactics were, how their fans behaved, how easy it was to get to the stadium from the hotel, whether the grass would be cut long or short. He’d prepare his team for every possibility, to give the players a platform to perform and demonstrate their skills at the highest level possible. Preparing for a presentation is similar. It’s not just about going over the slides a few times; it’s about thinking over all aspects of those moments that you will be in front of your audience. It’s about building a platform of confidence. This Preparation section is going to help you increase the percentages that you are going to do well, before you’ve said a word. 1.2 HOW MUCH TIME TO SPEND ON PREPARATION To answer this, I’ll give you my version of an apocryphal story about Pablo Picasso. Late in life, he was stopped by a lady at an airport. Being a huge fan, the lady couldn’t contain herself and asked the artist to make a sketch for her on a handkerchief. Picasso did so, and handing it over to her said, “That’ll be ten thousand dollars.” The woman was stunned. “How can it cost that much? It only took you thirty seconds.” Picasso looked her in the eye with a sharp piercing stare and replied, “Thirty seconds, madam, and a lifetime.” Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 11 Page 12 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation Your moments in the spotlight are the distillation of all the preparation you make. It’s up to you how good you want that to be, and how much time you wish to invest into it. There is a theory that you should spend one hour preparing per minute of allocated presentation time. This is probably excessive for most situations: nevertheless, I’d recommend investing at least 20 minutes preparation per minute of presentation. 1.3 GET STARTED WITH YOUR PREPARATION WELL IN ADVANCE Usually you’ll know at least a few days in advance, and sometimes longer, that you are due to make a presentation. Most people prepare like this as the days count down; • 10 days to go: “Plenty of time to start that presentation, better get on with this other stuff first.” • 6 days to go: “Really need to get to grips with that pres. I’ll start first thing Monday morning.” • 2 days to go: “Right – everything else has to wait, I’m concentrating on that PowerPoint!” • 1 day to go: “I really don’t know how this is going to end up there simply wasn’t time to prepare.” Life and business are busy, and you’re bombarded with tasks. Nevertheless, don’t be like ’most people’ and avoid allowing yourself to get into that position. I have faith in the basic principle of time-management mentioned by presentation and business coach, Brian Tracy: “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the important things.” If you acknowledge that presentation can have a significant influence on your working life, then put its preparation high on your list of priorities. As soon as you know the date of your slot, get some content down – even if it’s just a few scribbles on pads or Post-it®* notes (more on this later). Allowing your mind to work with the subject subconsciously is one of the best ways to prepare, and that requires time. You’ll find yourself thinking the subject over in the shower, in the car to work, and over coffee with a colleague. When those thoughts start to flow, add them to your rough notes; your story is beginning to form. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 12 Page 13 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation Make a quick preparation schedule so that you can manage the time up to the deadline; • First ideas on paper • First draft on-screen • Refined version • Test run • Final edit and test Setting up a timetable for developing the presentation to its end will set your mind at rest, and will also help ensure you prepare strongly. Three to remember 1. Make preparation for presentation a priority in your business day. 2. Get some content down early and let your mind subconsciously develop your message. 3. Make a schedule of different draft and tests, so you can run through the content in advance instead of presenting ’cold’. “A winning effort begins with preparation.” Joe Gibbs (sports coach) 1.4 COMMUNICATION IS WHAT THE LISTENER DOES Before putting a word down, the most crucial element to think about is the audience. This seems really obvious, right? Yet surely you have sat in a meeting where people tell everything in their mind, without giving a thought to how the others in the room might react. Taking time to consider the profile of your audience and adapting the tone and detail of your message accordingly will significantly increase its impact. The basic question to answer before you start developing content is this: What do I want the audience to do, think or say afterwards? Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 13 Page 14 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation A presentation is always about a persuasion. Let’s compare these two sets of circumstances. 1. Asking the management to agree on an additional investment; convincing your team to follow a controversial strategy; introducing your products to a sceptical group of customers. 2. A project update at a weekly department meeting; a two-minute opening to a larger event; introducing yourself at a training session. The first group consists of clear ’selling moments’. In short, you’re presenting because you want to get those people to come round to your view and take action based on their agreement. It’s pretty clear what you want them to do and both parties are more than likely aware of the dynamics of that presentation. The second group of situations is not so clearly about persuading or selling. Your audience is more passive, there is no overt element of bargaining, and you might just want to ’get in and get out’ as quickly as possible because you are not their main focus. Lighting, beyond illumination In 10 years 2/3 of people will be living in big cities. At Philips we focus on providing lighting beyond illumination to make these cities more livable, enjoyable and safe. #makeitmeaningful What will be your impact? www.philips.com/careers Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Click on the ad to read more 14 Page 15 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation However, whether we want them to or not, the audience will take action in every situation mentioned in the two groups. They will form their opinion on you as a competent (or otherwise) project leader, as the guy who makes various parties feel comfortable (or otherwise) at events and meetings, and as the interesting (or otherwise) colleague that they’d like to talk with (or avoid) at the break. Finally every audience will take action, even if only in thought. Shaping that action is your role as the presenter, no matter the size of opportunity to present yourself. Three to remember 1. Adapt your message to the audience. 2. It’s always about persuasion:sell your story, even if it’s just a personal instroduction. 3. They will take action in thought, word or deed. Ensure what they do is in line with your goals. “Communication works for those who work at it.” John Powell (composer) 1.5 ASSESS YOUR AUDIENCE’S EXPECTATIONS Part of considering your audience is taking time to assess what they are expecting. Are they looking for flamboyance? Do they just want the information, plain and simple? Are they technical people, or a mixed crowd? Generally, this will be apparent, because the majority of presentations are given to specific types of audiences. Take this example; • You’re running a project which has an element of IT [Information Technology] transformation in it. You’re not an IT specialist, but you’re presenting to the managers of the IT department on the progress of the project as a whole. Your challenge in this situation will be to ensure the IT guys realise you appreciate their job and the issues they deal with. You’ll need to add some vocabulary and concepts that resonate with them: how do you do that if you’re not an expert? Whatever you do, don’t just bluff it! Preparation is the key. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 15 Page 16 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation It’s clear from the beginning of the project that you’ll present to various groups with an IT focus. When they contribute as the project progresses, pay close attention to their vocabulary and take time to understand to some level what their own challenges and attitudes are. Reflecting their vocabulary and concerns back to them will help you. In another situation you may be presenting to a more diverse team, giving you a couple of choices; go for a common denominator, or reflect as many of the relevant groups in your presentation as possible.Here are two potential approaches; 1. You’re presenting to an international group of salespeople at a European head office meeting. Either present the European sales only; or mention individual countries, ensuring you name as many of the countries attending as possible. 2. You’re giving a talk to a group of students from a variety of disciplines who may want to work for your company. Either you focus on the general values and future of your company; or you find out exactly which subjects your audience is studying, and reflect the potential areas where they might work based on their background. Either of these approaches will work. What’s important is spending time to think the situation through.Doing your best to reflect the audience will communicate that you care about what’s important to them. Three to remember 1. Assess the audience’s expectations. 2. Be prepared to research some concepts and vocabulary from the audience’s world. 3. Make conscious decisions about how your content will match their expectations. “I don’t think anyone ever gets over the surprise of how different one audience’s reaction is from another.” Dick Cavett (talk show host) 1.6 KNOW YOUR VENUE AND HOW TO GET THERE One of the biggest stress-providers possible is being late. So if you’re presenting at a meeting that’s a 45-minute drive away, leave yourself two hours and get there early. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 16 Page 17 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation I know this should be obvious, but I’ve seen so many people arrive at the last minute, sweating as the computer fails to start up while the audience waits impatiently, that I feel compelled to push this one home. Getting there early has other benefits. You can join the coffee break and have a chat with a couple of attendees: tell them you’re presenting and looking forward to doing so. Be positive and tell that you’re looking forward to sharing your story. Mention a couple of highlights from your presentation: saying some ideas out loud helps you get your voice working and moves your mind into gear. This will all reduce your stress levels and allow your body to be in control, to enable you to perform at your best. It’s also much more useful than using the time to run through the slides one last time, which often only results in an increase in tension. 1.7 FOCUS ON YOUR DELIVERY MORE THAN THE DETAILS Back in 1967, psychologist Dr. Albert Mehrabian published two research papers assessing what elements of a presenter’s communication had which impact. His conclusion was that the impression consisted of; • 7% verbal (the words the audience hear and read) • 38% tone of voice (how the presenter speaks) • 55% body language (what the presenter does) Mehrabian’s research has been criticised and questioned over the years. For sure, anyone who loves to load their slides with details and explanations will contest this data furiously. How am I supposed to get my message across without explaining it in words on my slides? Yet Mehrabian’s theory is a very strong guide regarding quantity of content. Yes, the words do matter, but what the audience will go away with primarily is an image of you as the presenter. How you said it will be more memorable than what you said – absolutely guaranteed. In reality, you can rarely get a complete story over in a 15–20 minute presentation. What you can deliver is the headlines, and an incentive to find out more if they need to. A concise, well-delivered and confident presentation will always be more memorable than a complicated story of endless content and duration. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 17 Page 18 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation There are numerous resources enabling you to share detailed follow up information: intranet, email, company server, etc. Colleagues can pick up the slides and additional documentation any time they like. What colleagues can’t do later is hear it from you, which gives them so much more. What’s the attitude behind this project? Who is the person leading that team? What kind of entrepreneur am I being asked to invest in? So before starting that first PowerPoint slide, bear in mind that the timeless ’Less is More’ approach is hugely relevant for most presentations. Ultimately, the slide content should provide cues for you, to know what you’re going to say next; and cues for your audience, supporting your words and actions, and helping them follow the story. Three to remember 1. Keep the content concise. 2. Focus on how you will deliver your story, as much as the details of the message itself. 3. Provide the option to receive more detailed content on request. “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (philosopher) 1.8 TEST-DRIVE YOUR TALK Chances are that you’re being asked to present about something you’ve spent a lot of time on. You’ve probably talked about the subject many times with your colleagues in informal meetings, in planning sessions and especially at the coffee machine. My suggestion: keep talking. When you verbalise the issues you’re dealing with every day, you find your language to distil that work into short sentences and concepts. You develop a vocabulary of work, a ’phrase-toolkit’ of how to explain what you do. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 18 Page 19 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation You can also test out whether people ’get it’ or not because you’ll see it in their faces. Pay careful attention to reactions and if they don’t get it, ask them, “I’m not sure I’m explaining this too well, what’s not clear here?” Refining your vocabulary, phrases and concepts based on what people understand in informal discussions is a perfect way to prepare for a presentation. Don’t wait until there’s a presentation to be made. Test-drive your delivery in every situation you can find. 1.9 USE POWERPOINT AS A TOOL AND CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS PowerPoint gets a bad press: the common phrase, ’Death by PowerPoint’ is an example. I believe the problem lies not with the tool itself, but rather in what presenters do with it. Note the word ’tool’. A piece of software does not make a presentation; it only provides a tool for you to deliver your message. You can choose to use it as you will. And probably, you’ll want to avoid the top mistakes made in making PowerPoint presentations. We’ve all seen it. Animation for non-epileptics; bullet-points for detail addicts; 200 word quotes that fill the slide; charts with hundreds of numbers, requiring binoculars from the second row back; and the 57 slide presentation for a 15 minute slot that has the presenter saying after 30 minutes, “Time is tight, I’ll skip this one.” (Hmm, why is it there if you could skip it…?) For those who have a strong aversion to PowerPoint, or are looking to make an especially creative presentation, you can choose some clever alternatives. A series of handwritten flip-charts can be a very powerful way of communicating, especially if you hang them up around the room before everyone arrives. This enables the audience to see the whole story and refer backwards and forwards to your logic, as well as the conclusion. If you’re really adventurous, simply pinning a few pictures on the wall and talking through the issue based on the images can leave a long lasting impression. Another method to try out is Prezi.com. It’s a creative online tool that helps you get more of an overview-oriented message across. If your area is sales, try Clearslide.com, which is especially good for sales pitches. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 19 Page 20 33 STEPS TO GREAT PRESENTATIONS Preparing Your Presentation Using something different conveys a message about you and a willingness to be unconventional. If that’s what you want to communicate, and you feel confident to do it, go ahead. Nevertheless, around 90% of presentations are made using good old PowerPoint. So my advice is this: until you are very confident in presenting, stick to the standard medium. It’s what audiences are used to if you follow some basic rules about how to construct your presentation (which we’re about to come on to) you can make it work well for you. There’s one concept to give some thought to, however, before we start getting words and images down on the page. Three to remember 1. PowerPoint is the universal presentation medium: use it as a tool for you to convey your message, not as the message itself. 2. Consider other tools once you are experienced and confident in front of a group. 3. Prezi.com or simple flip-charts are alternatives. “If your words or images are not relevant, making them dance in color won’t make them more relevant.” Edward Tufte (Yale professor) 1.10 USE THE POWER OF THREE There is a certain magic about the number three. There seems to be no rational explanation why: it’s just out there in so many ways that we simply cannot ignore it. Western society has been influenced by the ultimate trinity; The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. When Cicero was perfecting the art of oratory in Ancient Rome, the Latin phrase ’omne trium perfectum’ was key – meaning ’everything that comes in threes is perfect.’ Lincoln said in his Gettysburg address, “A government by the people, for the people, and of the people.” There. That was in threes. It’s just more persuasive, isn’t it? And here are a few more examples. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 20

 

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