Articles

Thursday, 16 May 2013 23:28

Presentation Skills - Proper Slide Delivery Featured

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Presentation Skills – Proper Slide Delivery

The only way to assure your presentation audience will stay with you every step of the way is to maintain proper eye contact throughout your presentation. Proper eye contact involves delivering your presentation as a series of one-on-one conversations with each member of the audience, and holding eye-contact with members through to the end of a thought or complete sentence. Most presenters hold eye contact with any one person no more than one second – to effectively bond with your audience, you need to pump that up to a range more like three to eight.

The image to keep in mind here is that you are never delivering to a group of individuals, but rather to individuals in a group. (When people ask me what’s the largest number of people I’ve ever spoken to, I always answer, “one”.)

When delivering a PowerPoint presentation, maintaining proper eye contact becomes difficult if your slides are structured like most we see in the corporate world today – with way more information than the audience can digest before the speaker feels compels to start speaking. In order to maintain constant eye contact with members of the audience, you must restrict the volume of information that you toss up on the screen at any one time. Otherwise, you will do what most presenters do, which is to spend much of the presentation looking at the screen. In fact, you must restrict each new parcel of information to that which can be absorbed by both you and the audience in just a few seconds – ten at the very most.

That will set you up to then smoothly and coherently transfer the information from the screen to the audience. We call the procedure for doing this “Absorb, Align, and Address.”

Absorb

When new information appears on the screen, all eyes will follow it, and at this point it is OK, and desirable, for you, too, to look to the screen. By doing so, you “give permission” to the audience to get prepared for what’s coming next. That’s all the screen info should include, too: just enough information to set the stage for what you are going to discuss. At this point, because you are not looking at any individual in the group, you must be silent.

Rule Number 9: If your eyes aren’t locked, your jaw must be.

When you have absorbed the data bite, you can now think for a moment on how to phrase what you want to say to start off. This would not include expounding on the point, but merely filling out the talking points to make a grammatically correct statement.

Align

Once you and your audience have had the opportunity to take in this info, you then need to turn your attention away from the screen, and lock eyes (align) with a member of the audience. This is the most difficult part, physically, to perform, as the natural tendency is to begin speaking as soon as you have formulated your statement.

Address

Locked on, you finally can address your selected member of the audience with your version of the talking point.

Understand that if what you’re addressing is a bullet point, this address should not be the actual words. You may always say more than the line on the screen, but never, never any less. Keep in mind that the group will read everything that’s on the screen, so if you put words up there but don’t speak to them, you are actually insulting your audience: These words aren’t important enough for me to bother with but I wanted to take up your brain’s time and effort just the same.

How many times has this happened to you: You go to a presentation and see slide after slide with all kinds of footnotes and small type, or graphs with legends and data to which the presenter never refers? You’re looking at all the elements on the slide trying to figure out which stuff is most important, and then the presenter never even mentions half the stuff you’ve read. How does that make you feel? For most people, the first slide that contains more information than the presenter chooses not to discuss is the point at which they check out, deciding to figure it all out later from the handout, which, of course, they trash at the first can they see outside the presentation room.

Once learned, the Absorb, Align and Address system is a beautiful thing to behold. Slides designed with this system never suffer from TMI, and thus never have too much for the presenter to deal with. Presenter confidence is high, and the audience feels this big time. The audience is forced to turn their attention to you, because there’s not enough information to allow them to jump to their own conclusions. By the same token, you are now able to direct all of your speaking to the audience and not the screen.

But here’s the really fun part: When you follow this simple plan for both design and delivery, almost anyone can look and sound like an expert on their subject, regardless of how much prep time they’ve put into rehearsing the presentation! We prove this in our corporate training classes by having participants deliver other participant’s presentations that we have edited and revised to comply with the “rules” (next chapter). Preferably, off course, you would have a good background in the subject matter, so that you can deliver the “meat on the bones” part effectively. But if you know to what the talking points refer, and you also know that no more material than you can deliver in just a few seconds will appear, you can actually give a presentation for the very first time and sound like you know what you’re talking about!

Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/


J. Douglas Jefferys is a principal at http://PublicSpeakingSkills.com, a national consulting firm specializing in training businesses of all sizes to communicate for maximum efficiency. On-site classes, public seminars, and high-impact videos


Click here to return to the index of Articles


Read 99 times Last modified on Monday, 15 November 2021 13:46

Comments powered by CComment

Latest Posts

  • The Creative Industry Needs to Look at Things Differently Post Budget 2022
    On 29 October 2021, the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz tabled Budget 2022 in the Malaysian parliament. RM50 million has been allocated for the arts and culture industry. This comes after a year and a half after the entire industry came to an absolute standstill. With…
  • ‘The Covid Positives’ – life lessons learnt from the pandemic by Phanindra Ivatury
    After a long drawn battle with the biggest catastrophe in our living memory, global humanity is finally getting to see some quintessential ray of light at the end of the treacherous tunnel in the form of COVID-19 vaccines, currently being rolled out to all parts of the globe. A ‘COVID-19…
  • Chaos of Whole Books
    Is it possible to read several books at once? Aneeta Sundararaj finds out. When I was a child, my cousin used to boast that he could read four storybooks at a time. As an adult, when he invested in an e-Reader, he continued to boast that he could…
  • Writing for You? Or for Me?
    Writing for You? Or for Me? ‘You must always write with your reader in mind.’ This was one of the first pieces of advice that I received when I began my writing career. Honestly, I found this extremely hard to do because more often than not, I couldn’t picture my…
  • One Book That Changed My Writing Life
    My latest novel, The Age of Smiling Secrets was shortlisted for two categories in the Book Award 2020 organised by the National Library of Malaysia. When I reflected on the journey that this book has taken, I acknowledged the enormous influence of one of my all-time favourite books, Joseph Anton:…