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May 13, 2008

The Art of Presenting (Part 1)

I have always enjoyed presenting. I went through a stage in my career where I literally forced myself through a number of emabarrassing situations to force myself to get good at it.

Today, I regularly speak in front of hundreds if not thousands of of people every year. Training, speaking, sales stuff and a heap of conferences. To put it plainly - I love it!

recently I was asked by my own company to start showing others how to present, so I put together a short series fo slides covering some fo the basic rules that I follow when I am presenting.

It wasn't until I started to do that until I realized that there really is an art to doing this. It isn't just something you pick up through humiliating experience - but it is also something that you really can learn.

So this series of posts is going to be a summary of that slide set. You can download the entire thing here if you like. Like any good slide set, the detail is in the speaking, not in the slides.. but hopefully they are useful to you.

The introduction...

“Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them” Dottie Waters
Once I boiled it down presenting seemed to revolve around 4 basic rules. Feel free to challenge these, but in all the presentation I have ever done, these four basic principles have helped me to make just about every one (recently) a success.

The goal here is to give you techniques that can be used generally, not specific icebreakers or anything like that.

The Rules of Presence

If you can't rapidly demonstrate your right to be there in front of them, then the game is lost. This section will look at a range of tips and trick that I use regularly to establish a prescence in front of the people I am speaking to.

In particular, how to establish the fact that you have something that they want to know!

The Rules of Attention

Getting their attention is only part of the deal. Keeping it is another thing entirely. A look at some of the common techniques used to keep them hanging on.

The Rules of Tools

The world is full of technological tools. The unfortunate thing is that when presenters discover them they tend to overuse them dramatically! How to use tools to effect, without getting into death by powerpoint!

The Rules of Credibility

Like anything else the principle rule to making presentations that stick is to have credibility. Make sure that what you say is supported, and that they see your themes as rigorously researched, and truthful.

I will post a blog on each of these issues over the next week or so, I hope it is of use.

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