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How to Give Great Presentations at Work

Aug 17, 2007
What is a great presentation? As you might have already seen on the Internet, or read in books, there are many definitions of great presentations. Nevertheless, they all emphasize one point - a great presentation is one which, ideally speaking, completely holds an audience enthralled. It is not entirely true that only great personalities can give great presentations. To develop great presentation skills, which you will need, especially if you are a Six Sigma professional, you need to understand the anatomy of a great presentation.

Anatomy Of A Great Presentation

Unlike written reports where you have a chance to correct mistakes, presentations are a sort of 'get it right the first time' business activity. So, a considerable amount of preparation is necessary to make a presentation great.

1. All Great Presentations Are Well Researched and rehearsed in advance. You must determine how much information or statistics needs to be given in proportion to a plain lecture. Too much statistics defeats the purpose of your presentation and makes it boring.

2. Encourage The Audience To Have Confidence in you at the beginning by greeting them and briefly explaining the points you are going to cover during the course of your speech.

3. Presentations Are All About Scoring Points and winning over others to your opinions. Delivery skill is a vehicle of driving a point home. Statistical information should be presented in logical sequences and in the right doses.

4. Make The Presentation A Light-Hearted One wherever possible but without compromising on the seriousness of the matter. All great presentations are made in simple language using industry specific jargon, but not words that are too hard to understand.

5. Great Presentations Use Audio-Visual Aids for greater impact. This is based on the principle that a picture speaks a thousand words. Even a budgetary speech or an accountant's presentation can use slide pictures.

How To Give Great Presentations

Begin with greeting the audience; end with asking their feedback and then thanking them. Announce that you will answer their questions later at the end of your speech. Apart from the apparent benefit this provides you, you get their undivided attention to your speech which is vital to your success.

Proven Steps To Give Great Presentations

Whether it is a formal speech to a large audience or an informal briefing, knowing your audience is vital to your speech preparation and helps you to relate it to them. Here are a few steps to making the actual presentation.

1. Judiciously Use Examples from everyday life or from past events to make your point quickly understandable. But don't let examples occupy center stage.

2. Don't Forget, Your Audience may have come from different departments within your organization. Each of them has different interests and different levels of understanding on your topic. Strive to address the needs of the entire audience, not just a select few.

3. Grasp Audience Responses that show whether and how much they like your speech. Make midcourse corrections to the tone of your speech if necessary. At this point you can engage them to lift their moods.

4. Extemporaneous Presentation goes a long way to make it interesting as this obviously eliminates the 'report reading style' and gives your speech a natural touch. You can use notecards if necessary, so that you don't forget them.

5. Using Body Language Effectively. Make eye contact with members of the audience. Make gestures like hand waving, nodding and voice. Using body language in this way helps to break the monotony of a possibly long speech.

Giving a great presentations at work is not limited to just benefiting your organization. Use this vehicle to travel that extra mile to reach your career goals.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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