Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Presentation Tips

8 Not So Obvious Tips For Your Next Presentation

One of the most important keys to confidence on stage while presenting is actually not a natural speaking ability or self assurance but rather, PREPARATION.

Of course, it's not the only key but if you invest the time on preparation, you will be sure to achieve the confidence you seek for your next presentation and this is also the case for a business meeting, meeting an important client, negotiating with your staff, and it goes on and on.

"If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first hour sharpening the ax."
- Abraham Lincoln

Read any book, article or attend any workshop or training on public speaking and the key message is to PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE. You will be doing yourself a huge injustice by not giving a presentation the appropriate preparation. Even the most experienced speakers spend a certain amount of time on preparation.

Years ago, I would spend at least three hours preparing for a 90-minute presentation and this did not include all the time I spend crafting and editing my content! Overall, the ratio was 1:4, meaning four hours of preparation for every hour on stage.

I'd like to share 8 less well-known preparation tips that have helped me tremendously over the years.

Assuming that you have prepared your content and you have practiced and rehearsed it thoroughly, here are some extra preparation tips that will give you the winning edge.

1. Find out as much about your audience as possible such as age group, familiarity with your material, interest, reason for attending your presentation, etc. so that you can add references that are relevant to those in attendance to build rapport.

2. If you will be offering a Q&A session, think of the three worst questions coming from the biggest skeptics in your audience and rehearse how you will answer them. You will definitely feel a lot more confident about managing your audience and not being caught off guard!

3. If possible, arrange to present in the morning. If it is after lunch, you will have to deal with the "after lunch" drop in energy, especially if you will be dimming the lights to show your PowerPoint. (please refer to previous newsletters on why you should NOT use PowerPoint).

4. Go to the venue an hour before your presentation to familiarize yourself with the room layout and get your technical preparation sorted well before you start (that is, if you absolutely must use PowerPoint). This is also the time for you to test the microphone and stand on stage to visualize your audience and your success. This may not be possible sometimes if you are presenting in a client's office but in those instances, ask for 10-15 minutes to set up.

5. Arrange to have someone introduce you and brief this person on how to introduce you for credibility and to prepare the audience in anticipation of your presentation. Most MCs just read off your bio instead of introduce a speaker properly. It's up to you to make sure they prepare the stage for you.

6. Set yourself up for success by planting your colleagues or supporters in strategic positions throughout the room. This is so they can send you encouragement and affirmation while you are speaking. If presenting in a boardroom, have your colleagues sit in the audience instead of next to you.

7. Properly hydrate yourself hours before your presentation so that you are alert and full of mental energy. Avoid rich food or caffeine before you speak.

8. Clear your mind and focus on empowering words right before you speak. If you are still going over your content, it means you have not prepared or rehearsed enough. If this is the case, it's too late now to worry about what come after this section or what to say at which point. Just focus on a powerful opening/greeting to set you off on a high note.


You have many ways to set yourself up for success for your next presentation. Be sure to prepare, prepare, prepare!

"Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation." - Robert H. Schuller

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April 21 Workshop

Upcoming Dynamic Presentation Skills Workshop - Monday, April 21st

In Just One Day, You Will Learn the Skills and Tools to Deliver a Dynamic Presentation in Front Of An Audience Confidently, Effortlessly and Flawlessly!

What You Will Learn At Our Workshop:

You will discover your unique presentation style and strengths as a "leader in communication" and explore your public speaking persona. You will do this by delivering presentations and receiving immediate feedback.

During this one day workshop, you will be coached "real-time" on preparation, delivery and presentation. We learn the most quickly by DOING so be prepared to STEP UP, take action during this workshop and exponentially accelerate your skills as a public speaker.

This workshop will teach you how to:

1. Prepare your speech for maximum impact

2. Create a compelling and memorable message

3. Present your content in a powerful and meaningful way

4. Make a strong impression with your audience

5. Develop rapport and engage with your audience

6. Learn how to prepare a smooth and flawless presentation with limited time

7. Control nervousness and anxiety

8. Adopt empowering and secret techniques that the world's most accomplished speakers use

There's more!

* Learn how to use PowerPoint more effectively

* Create personalized techniques for you to use anytime

* Receive genuine and supportive feedback from a live audience!


Date: Monday, April 21, 2008
Time: 10:00am to 6:30pm
Venue: 15/F Grandview Commercial Centre, 29-32 Sugar Street, Causeway Bay, HK
Cost: HK$1,980 for one - HK$3,500 for two
To Register: Send email to
Apr21dps@biz-results.net for or call +852 3102 8032 or register online by clicking on the icon in upper right hand corner.

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