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Presentation Planning Tips: Planning a Dynamic Presentation

Jul 12, 2008
Getting ready for your next presentation? This article is designed to provide you with presentation planning tips that will help you make a great impression on co-workers, supervisors or prospective clients. Specifics may vary from person to person; however, the following information includes helpful and important guidelines from which everyone can benefit.

The ability to present yourself and your ideas well is fundamental to success in the business world. After all, having good ideas is only part of the equation. You must also be able to get your ideas across to others logically, clearly and persuasively.

However, good presentation skills are not only limited to business situations. Teachers, students, coaches, people involved in civic duties or charitable organizations as well as countless other examples all have the need at one time or another to deliver an effective presentation.

One of the keys to making any presentation as dynamic as possible is proper planning.
To follow are five presentation planning tips to keep in mind as you prepare a presentation:

Presentation Planning Tip #1: Define your intentions. It's simple; just ask yourself, why am I creating this presentation? In other words, what is its purpose? Is it to sell my ideas? Is it to motivate people? To inform? Defining a specific goal will help you create a blueprint in your mind of how to organize your presentation in order to reach your goal.

Presentation Planning Tip #2: Know your audience. Just as if you were crafting a letter to be read by a specific person, you will want to craft your presentation messages for the particular audience you are presenting to. Is it a group of your peers? Are they at job levels above yours? Are they customers? Are they already knowledgeable about the topic you are presenting? Are they in need of detailed explanations, or will broad-stroke overviews be sufficient? Instead of concentrating solely on how you might benefit from what your presentation says, consider what your audience wants.

Presentation Planning Tip #3: Collect as much information as possible. Even if you are not planning on an intricately detailed presentation, you will still need plenty of background about the topic you are presenting. Gather whatever you think is applicable, then sort it out. Remember though that you do not want to overwhelm your audience with too much information because you may run the risk of confusing them. On the other hand, too little information may not do an adequate job of supporting the intentions of your presentation.

Presentation Planning Tip #4: Build structure into your presentation. Much like a good book or movie, your presentation should have a logical beginning, middle and end...with a flow that makes sense instead of jumping around all over the place. The last thing you want is for your audience to get lost and not be able to keep up with your train of thought as the presentation moves along.

Presentation Planning Tip #5: Practice, practice, practice. Make certain that you are thoroughly familiar with the material you will be presenting before you present it. Practice delivering the presentation out loud. Concentrate on such things as the need to make eye contact and avoid the temptation to bury your head in your notes. Also rehearse the projection of your voice, speaking clearly in relaxed, conversational tones.
About the Author
Sharon Mann is President of the I Hate Filing Club, a group of nearly 100,000 office professionals who hate filing but love finding new ways to become more organized. For information about presentation planning and products that can help, visit our website.
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