Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PowerPoint Tip: Solve your presentation delivery problems

After you have planned your presentation and created persuasive visuals, you need to prepare to present your presentation. In today’s newsletter, I want to share some of the delivery tips I most often use when answering questions from participants in my workshops.

I’ll start with a good presenter evaluation feedback form I featured earlier this year from Jim Endicott of Distinction Services that you can find here. As you look at the specific items that Jim suggests we use to evaluate presenters, pay attention to those parts of each item that are underlined. The underlined phrases are the measurement criteria you should pay attention to when practicing before you deliver your presentation.

The equipment we use to present still seems to give some presenters a challenge. Make sure you practice connecting your laptop to a projector if this is unfamiliar to you. The key connections to focus on are the video connection and your remote. Make sure you know how to toggle the display so that is shows on both the projector and your laptop screen (check your user's manual if you need to). If you are bringing your presentation on a memory stick, practice taking it to a different computer and running through every slide to make sure it looks and acts the way you expect it to.

A mistake I see too many presenters make is they talk to the screen when they are delivering their presentation. Please don’t do this. It disconnects you from the audience and gives the impression that the screen is more important than they are. I have two articles on my web site that have techniques to help you if you find this is one of your presentation habits: both are listed in this section of the article archive.

Moving through the slides also causes a problem for some presenters. If you don’t own your own remote, I suggest you get one. My favourite is the RemotePoint Navigator from Interlink Electronics (available at and other retailers). It allows you to advance your slides without being tied to the laptop. You could also use a remote mouse to advance your slides, but be careful to not make the mouse run across the screen while you are holding it (press Ctrl+H in Slide Show mode to turn off the mouse pointer). Some presenters are now using an app on their smartphone to link across a wireless network to their laptop and advance their slides that way. Practice this to make sure it will work properly before you rely on it for a live presentation. If you need to jump to a slide in the presentation, press Ctrl+S in Slide Show mode and select the slide you want to go to. This is great for jumping to a detailed slide to answer an audience member’s question.

Remember that rehearsing your presentation using the equipment and room setting is the best way to be prepared to deliver an awesome message. Use these tips to raise your game for your next presentation.


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