INSIGHTS – 03/16/2009

Effective Presentations:

The Wow Factor

Vol. 1, No. 05 * 16 March 2009

0119 - mennen aracidBy JCI Sen. MENNEN M. ARACID, ITF

Trainer and Developmental Consultant

How would you gauge if a speaker is effective or boring?

I’d most likely use my feelings as one of the final gauges. I find as many opportunities to isten to presentations and learn from as many presenters as I can. I then go home and see what I can do to improve my presentations.

Some tips:

1. Identify a key message and build content around it.

What do you want your audience to walk away with after they listen to you? It might be good to describe that particular behavior that tells you they have learned from you as a speaker. With that in mind, put together your presentation so that the content leads you to that desired behavior. Here are some tips.

2. Make the parts of your presentations easy to spot.

Clearly mark parts of your presentation and guide the audience when you begin and end each part. As you speak, that must be clear to the audience as well. Here is a link that you can follow about outlines .

3. Be enthusiastic.

Of course, as you learn your material all the more, you should always be excited about your topic. This means that you have to give 100% effort in delivering your material. Make the presentation fun, exciting, and purposeful. Here are some effective tips .

4. Link content and experience.

Theory can be hard to appreciate unless you use clear links to your audienceʼs experience. When you talk about global warming to your audience, what personal examples can you elicit from the participants that may lead them to form their own opinion about global warming? Since you are dealing with adults in your presentation, they need to be engaged more by allowing them to share their experiences to your content. Here are some techniques .

5. Make your presentation visual.

Include materials like photos and videos in your presentations. Declutter your slides and put no more than four bullets in each slide. That will allow you more room to convey less words and use more images to drive home your point. More about visual rhetoric.

6. Practice.

It pays to practice your presentation to make sure that your materials work as you expect them to. Here are some more tips in presentation practice .

Practicing also prevents you from reading off the slide. This is, I think, is a no-no. Exert all effort to master your presentation.

7. End well.

Spend an equal amount of time fashioning your end as your beginning. All too often, people prepare much for a good beginning. Such is the way you should also prepare for your presentation ending. Another link that you can read further is found in this link .

Here is an example of a video blog that discusses the points I raised in todayʼs blog. I have provided a link to Carmine Gallo at dissects a Steve Jobs presentation and inserts his commentary:


Something for you to reflect on: Out of the seven points I raised, (1) what do you do best in your presentations? and (2) What can you improve on in your next presentation?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Read more about ITF Mennen here .

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