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Pulling the Presentation Together

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Speaking is something that you need to do more than once to advance your skills and feel confident. The more opportunities you have to speak the more you can refine your process and work to calm your fears. Yes I did say “opportunities” to speak as this is your chance to showcase your talent and unique speaking style!

The last guideline, Number Ten Guideline is to pull all this together into a cohesive, professional, well written, dynamic presentation. How do you do that: you look over your content and make sure it is in a logical, sequential order and makes sense, you make sure the material has been written with examples, stories, etc. for the audience you will be presenting to, you make sure you have practiced the presentation so you are familiar and confident with the materials, and you create a strategy to calm yourself before the presentation begins.

Additionally if you are planning to use slides keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep your slides to one slide per minute
  • Put the least amount of text on your slides as possible
  • Use the 5×5 rule: no more than 5 bullets per slide with 5 words or less
  • If you are showing graphs and charts explain what they mean
  • Cite your sources and resources
  • Work to create a visual representation of your information for the audience

The slides should support and augment your speech not be the center of attention or dominate the presentation. Usually when you are giving a speech you want the audience to be paying attention to the speaker not reading the slides. If the information is technical or complex give them a handout with thumbnails of the slides so they can follow along and write notes. Make it easy for your audience to understand and relate to the material you are presenting.

Follow these 10 guidelines and you will be on your way to creating effective and dynamic presentations. The more you do it the sooner you will be able to master the process and delivery. If you would like further information or coaching around this process please contact and we would be happy to help. Good luck with all your presentations and putting your career back on track!

Karen Osgood

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