Planning and Conducting Formal Presentations

Topics: Public speaking, Anxiety, Audience theory Pages: 7 (2549 words) Published: July 17, 2013
Planning and conducting formal presentations
Planning presentations
Planning presentations, involves more than simply jotting down a few points of what you are planning to say and show to your audience. There are at least five or six different presentation formats depending on what you want to achieve and the type of audience you’ll have. These are * Inform employees about recent departmental changes.

* Motivate a sales team.
* Explain why a project is running over budget.
* Educate students on a new subject.
* Persuade workers to adopt a new production method.
* Entertain at the retirement of a colleague.
Prior planning can prevent disappointments. Your presentations will improve in quality, to the extent that you take the time to analyze your message and your audience, then fine-tune it to the environment where you'll be presenting and the length of time you have available. Thereafter success comes from presenting the right information in the right format to the right audience in the right amount of time. Presentation planning is the first step toward producing a successful presentation. That may sound like stating the obvious. But it’s amazing how many people, when asked to give a presentation, jump right in producing slides without having a clear idea of what their objectives are or how to achieve them. Presentation planning is based around three broad questions. These are: * What is the purpose of your presentation?

* Who is the audience for your presentation?
* What is the location of your presentation
Based on these 3 important areas proper planning can help identify your main objectives and select the most appropriate format for you audience. 1. What is the purpose of your presentation?
Presentations gain impact to the extent that you can identify their purpose and state it in a single sentence. By forcing yourself to identify the purpose of your presentation, you can make sure that every word, every chart and every illustration is focused on the desired result.  Ask yourself: "What is the action I want my audience to take?" This will help you immediately focus on the goal of your presentation. 2. What is the single most important idea you want to communicate? Think of your presentation as a series of arguments leading up to an inescapable conclusion. Start by identifying your most important argument, the one that does the best job of supporting your presentation's goal. Then, list other arguments in order of importance. Prioritizing your arguments helps you focus on the most important ones and prevents you from wasting time on unnecessary detail. Your presentations will gain in strength to the extent that you focus on content rather than appearance! "Empty arguments," no matter how beautifully presented, are rarely enough to motivate an audience to action. 3. What obstacles must be overcome?

Next, identify the obstacles that must be overcome to achieve your goal. By identifying the obstacles, you can show your audience they are not as formidable as you might have thought. For example: * Resources. If money is an obstacle, show how there are untapped revenue sources or money can be saved in other areas. * Competition. If the obstacles are competitive, focus in detail on how your product or service is superior to that of your competitor's. * Unfamiliarity. If unfamiliarity is an obstacle, describe your staff's qualifications and include case studies and testimonials from satisfied customers. Once you have identified the obstacles to your success, you can muster the arguments necessary to overcome them. 4. How much does your audience already know?

Next, relate your presentation's goal and arguments to your audience's knowledge level. The amount and type of detail you include to support your arguments should be influenced by your audience's knowledge level. A presentation on nutrition to first-time dieters requires far less detail than a presentation...
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