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Preparing to present like a pro

transcript written by Wayne Brown

Highly effective presentations for every leader”

  • Video 1 – Preparing to present like a Pro
  • Video 2 – What leaders need to achieve initial buy-in
  • Video 3 – Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win
  • Video 4 – Leaders need to learn how to close

Hello, I’m Professor Wayne, and I’ll be your Mentor for this video, podcast, and blog series called “Highly effective presentations for every leader.” Welcome to this the first of 4 short modules

The title of this episode is – Preparing to present like a Pro, where we will deep dive into the necessary preparation steps that ensure your presentation runs smoothly

In the following three episodes, we turn our attention to the presentation delivery focusing first in episode 2 on the opening. In episode 3, we explore the content, structure, and maximization of retention with chunking and linking. Finally, we round out the series in episode 4 by identifying how to close your presentation on a high.

First, now to defining the difference between facilitating and presenting.   

       Facilitation     VS     Presentation

       Facilitation + Presentation = Training

A couple of items to clarify before commencing with the video of the preparation. Let’s first clearly define the difference between presenting and facilitating as the two are often confused.  

Facilitation in the purest sense and as defined in the Cambridge dictionary, “is the act of helping other people to deal with a process or reach an agreement or solution without getting directly involved in the process, discussion, etc. yourself.” 

– a typical example might be if we are chairing a meeting or workshop.

Presentation at its most basic level “is a platform for communicating information and ideas.” 

– there are many examples where we present, but in our case, we’ll be stick with meetings, conferences, public speaking events, or workshops.

While the difference between the two roles is quite clear, it’s also possible to combine Facilitation & Presentation. 

– there are occasions when we need to overlap the two activities, and this is most often seen with people that deliver training as they need to play both roles simultaneously.

Presentation framework and context

Presentation duration – 60 minutes

Target audience – executives 

Presentation subject – focus on Leadership.

One further distinction is to provide some context to this video series and place a framework around the type of presentations we will be discussing;

Any single presentation has a given duration – it can be extremely short, perhaps just a few minutes, or the other extreme can last several hours.

And, of course, anywhere in between. 

In our instance, we’ll suppose a typical 60-minute presentation.

As this series is developed for executives and leaders of our ELEVATOR-ESCALATOR TRIBE, we will target a similar audience group for these 60 min presentations.

The presentation subject is not as important, but again for the sake of this series and for any Use cases introduced in the episodes, we’ll focus on the subject of “Leadership.”

So, let’s look at the 5 specific areas of consideration related to our first video – “Preparing to present like a pro.” They are:

# 1 – Know your audience

# 2 – Structure your presentation

# 3 – Create great visuals

# 4 – Powerful questions & engaging activities

# 5 – Prepare through practice

Consideration #1:       “Know your audience.” 

adjust your presentation,  preparing the timing and flow,   where is the “power” is sitting

Consideration #1:             Know your audience – meaning know who will be participating and how experienced they are on the subject. This helps you stay “Participant Centred” by; 

  • Being able to tailor or adjust your presentation – with both content and your questions. 
    • It also enables you to gauge the timing and flow of the presentation so that you can maintain interest and engagement. 
    • Plus, and very importantly, particularly in meetings, to understand where the “power” is sitting in the room.

Consideration #2:       “Structure your presentation” 

  • clear objectives & include only the key points,
  • focus on participant needs – “think, feel & do.”
  • utilizing the “Rule of 3” and include a story 

Consideration #3:       Create great visuals

; remember simple is best, so they are easy to read and understand.

– this lets the participant digest the message quickly and then return their focus to you. 

For slides – minimize the text (preferably one or two items per slide) together with a grabbing image. Keep the text in the top half of the slide for ease of reading.

For handouts – keep them short, simple, and well-formatted. Use graphics to help illustrate so that the information can be skimmed rather than studied.

For flipcharts, wall charts, or other supporting graphics, they should bring to life the points rather than just restate what you’re saying.

Remember that approximately 65% of all adults have a visual learning dominance or preference. Don’t risk eliminating 2/3 of your audience from the start as a result of poor visuals…

Consideration #4:              “Powerful questions & engaging activities”        

  • Use funnelling technique, 
  • Closed questions for confirmation & closure,
  • Incorporate engaging activities

Consideration #4:             Prepare powerful questions and engaging activities.

– this is such a critical component and yet the area least practiced.       

To assist you here, do some research on questioning techniques such as “funneling.” The method helps you to extract greater involvement through open-ended questions before confirming the situation and then closing the discussion. 

In addition, as adults, we learn best through experience; therefore, if you can incorporate simple, quick activities to re-affirm to key messages you want the participants to grasp, then this is highly effective.

Consideration #5:             Prepare through practice 

– prepare the presentation script, convert the script into key points, practice the presentation,

Consideration #5:       Prepare through practice 

– experts say there are typically 3 presentation versions for every eventual delivery 

  • the presentation you prepare, the presentation you practice, and the final presentation you deliver. 

Each individual needs to develop their own method, which works best for them, but here’s how I do it depending on the level of importance and complexity.

  • Start by preparing the presentation script in detail and edit this until you’re happy when reading it out aloud. 
  • After reciting the script multiple times, convert this detailed script into clustered topics, utilizing techniques such as mind mapping to outline the structure and key points.
  • Finally, find a quiet location or location (somewhere preferably with a mirror) and practice the presentation repeatedly, including the stories. Try to anticipate questions and practice your response. Even better if you can record your delivery, then listen and watch for areas to improve. 

Consolidation of the 5 key considerations

#1 Know your audience

#2 Structure your presentation

#3 Create great visuals

#4 Powerful questions & engaging activities

#5 Prepare through practice

Episode 1 summary            

And that wraps up our 5 key considerations for this topic of “preparing to present like a pro.” 

– remember this preparation helps you to stay Participant Centred throughout the presentation

Let’s quickly recap on what we have covered so far.

#1 Know your audience

  • meaning know who will be participating and how experienced they are on the subject.

#2 Structure your presentation

  • by this, we mean actively chunk topics and create links or bridges between these topics, using the rule of 3 and incorporate stories.

#3 Create great visuals 

  • – remember simple is best, so they are easy to read and understand. 65% of adults have a visual learning preference. 

#4 Prepare powerful questions and engaging activities 

  • do some research on questioning techniques such as “funneling and develop simple activities.

#5 Prepare through practice 

  • experts say there are typically 3 presentation versions for every eventual delivery 
  • each individual needs to develop their own method which works best for them.

Thank you for listening to this first episode, “Preparing to present like a Pro.” from our series “Highly effective presentations for every leader.” 

If you enjoyed it, please hit the LIKE button below and be sure to join us for episode #2 called What leaders need to achieve initial buy-in.” 

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Until next time, stay safe and prepare well. Bye for now.