Delivering a Clear Presentation
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Notes accompanying the Presentation:

Slide 1: This presentation is intended to guide you through the process of developing a clear well constructed presentation. It will assist you to evolve your presentation from the initial idea through to a well integrated presentation delivering your message. It has been distilled from my personal involvement in several excellent courses and 28 years of delivering a wide range of presentations on many topics.
It is NOT intended to cover areas such as colour schemes and other mechanics of presentation. The suggested approach is to skim through all the slides looking at the main points, then read the notes and study the details.
  Delivering a presentation is an opportunity and a risk. If you arenít careful you can loose your audience in the complexity of the topic or even worse treat as trivial what they know is a complex subject.

So step -

1. Know your SUBJECT
2. Know your AUDIENCE
3. Know your PURPOSE

ALWAYS start with a slide stating "this presentation will address subject X" . This 1st slide is your opportunity to connect with the audience. Tell them who you are, and why you are doing the presentation. This establishes your presence and position.
Your audience will have arrived with expectations of what will be presented. This slide enables you to assure your audience the presentation is focused on the particular subject/purpose expected and enables you to establish a clear starting point.
Occasionally you will find that a different message has been received by the audience and the subject is not what they expected. Best find out right up front. You then have the opportunity to reset the agenda or reschedule the presentation to another time.

Slide 2:  Next identify the 3 to 4 major headings or sections of your talk. This enables your audience to pace themselves. It also gives an indication of the length of each section. This can also be a good place to establish the style you want to follow e.g.- formal or interactive (more on choosing which later).
A presentation normally will only cover part of a subject. Thus, it is important to get clear about what boundaries you will be placing on what you talk about.
How long do you have?
How long do you need? Getting the two to match is important. (And this is assisted by clarifying your intention -more on this later too).
It is a good idea to plan on about 90 seconds per slide. Longer than this and the slide is too complex. The shorter ones will give you some resilience as inevitably some will take longer especially if you allow questions. Always give yourself some slack, count every slide even the pure heading ones.

Tip - It is a win-win to finish early.

So this presentation has 21 slides =32mins   - round up to 35mins

A nice ĺ-hour presentation allowing 5mins to get everyone settled and 5mins contingency.

Slide 3:  A clear presentation needs a Structure & Flow that is clear to the audience. This can be achieved by following a planned structure. Experience shows that people often do not hear what you have said it usually requires a message to be given 3 times before it is properly absorbed. Thus we have the maxim -

Tell them what you are going to tell them.
Tell them.
Tell them what you told them
.

This slide (the 3rd slide) will expand on the first major section (or heading) from the previous slide.

This structure is intended to take the message you are presenting and chunk it down into bite size pieces. To do this you need to have a clear understanding of your subject and how the pieces of it relate. (Donít worry following this process will help achieve just that).
So based upon this concept the 3 headings we listed in our previous slide will be the 3 major topics of our presentation. ie.

*   Get Your Intention Clear       *   Know Your Intention     *   Design from Your Intention

thus, the 3 headings we have listed (above) on this slide will be the 3 sub-sections of this topic (Get Your Intention Clear).

Slide 4:  You start by getting your intention clear.

At least 50% of your preparation time will normally be spent on clarifying and refining your intention for the presentation. Yes that much!
Once you have it clear and spelt out, the slides, points and structure will develop quickly and easily.
How do you do this ? I find that answering the above questions really helps. Drawing a structure diagram as per slide 7 also helps me to clarify the sequence. Look at or use the wizards that Microsoft has developed, they are pretty good and they make me think about what I am assuming. Then rough it up, do the high level structure, have at least one slide for every heading that you put on the higher level slides. This will generate more detailed slides but stick to a tree (or root) structure and ensure a 1 for 1 match down the tree.
At this point you will need to check your time (remember 90secs / slide). Often this can lead to a redesign - back to the intention and ensure its clear.

Slide 5:  Your Intention is the key to the structure you are building. It ensures integrity and a clean, clear message. Thus it is essential that it is in the forefront of your mind.
Another way of asking this question is what is the outcome that I want from this presentation. Answering the above questions will firm up your outcome.
If you get stuck or your presentation structure seems to be unraveling come back to this slide and redo your outcome definition.
Ask yourself - What do I want to happen as a result of this presentation? Identify how you will MEASURE your success.
With this slide I have followed on to expand the last item on the previous slide. This is a decision based upon the detail to be presented to clarify a particular point.
This is also an example of how chunking can fill out a complex point. The heading is repeated (from the higher level slide) and then the more detailed information is presented.
This slide highlights the point made earlier - we are focused through all of this on a successful presentation.
The presentation may well be a small component of a bigger objective. BUT the purpose here is to be successful at the presentation, so that it paves the way to move us forward to the next step in achieving that bigger objective.
Thus your Intention must relate to the success of the presentation.

Slide 6:  With this slide I have followed on to expand the last item on the previous slide. This is a decision based upon the detail to be presented to clarify a particular point.
This is also an example of how chunking can fill out a complex point. The heading is repeated (from the higher level slide) and then the more detailed information is presented.
This slide highlights the point made earlier - we are focused through all of this on a successful presentation.
The presentation may well be a small component of a bigger objective. BUT the purpose here is to be successful at the presentation, so that it paves the way to move us forward to the next step in achieving that bigger objective.
Thus your Intention must relate to the success of the presentation.

Slide 7:  As I said the structure is intended to take the message you are presenting and chunk it down into bite size pieces. To do this you need to have a clear understanding of you subject and how the pieces of it relate.
A picture is a good way of doing this as you can see a lot of info on one page and cross check to see if your have covered all the points.
So the structure needs to be visually clear at all levels.

introduce the subject

Any sub-components

So on down the tree

             and then

back up to

the top

Of the tree.

This makes it easier for you to follow and also for your audience. Complex subjects can take a bit of work to develop into this structure.

Slide 8:  Comparing the previous slide (slide 7) and the following slide (slide 9) will help to show how a structure will evolve.
The insight that tends to develop as the structure evolves can also help evolve the style.

Slide 9:  A clear presentation needs a Structure & Flow that is clear to the audience. This is achieved by the 1st slide and following your documented flow.
The structure is intended to take the message you are presenting and break it down into bite size pieces.
You achieve this by having a clearly presented understanding of you subject and how the pieces of it relate. This diagram helps achieve just that.
Notice that this structure starts with a statement of the subject.
It then identifies the 3 major headings or sections of your talk. This enables your audience to pace themselves. It also give an idea of the time expected for each section, this can also be a good time to establish the style you want to follow - eg. "Please hold any questions to the end, of the slide"!

Slide 10:  This slide closes off the explanation of the first major topic.
That is we close off the first chunk. Tell them what this chunk told them. Highlight the key points that were presented earlier to reinforce the message.
Note in particular how your presentation and its structure can evolve. As you develop your slides the structure and interconnected messages will become clearer and you will probably find you need to change previous work to keep the integrity and flow consistent. In other words - this is a live document.
Note the different font for the heading to give a visual anchor back to the same style as slide 2 (but in Italics to separate it from the major heading on the following slide).

Slide 11:  This slide starts the 2nd major section or chunk - setting up your style for the delivery of the presentation.
Observe that some of the points made in this slide have already been covered by the text of these notes. (My intention has been to follow my own structure so my outcome will be a presentation which uses what it teaches).

Slide 12:  This slide begins to address the components of establishing a clear style.
One of the components of your intention is being clear about what type of experience you want your audience to have. This is important as it will establish a style which I would expect to flow through your presentation. Will it be a formal, informal or an open discussion.

Tip: This can change the length of the presentation significantly from 1 min per formal lecture slide to maybe 5mins or more for the dialogue associated with open discussion slides.

State the rules up front to the audience. e.g. When presenting in a formal style you will usually request the audience to hold all questions until the end. Putting the rules on a slide can work but tends to be fairly formal.
When you make it clear the audience will tend to follow what you ask for (and get uncomfortable if you are inconsistent).

Slide 13:  Being clear about your audience behaviour is another key component of your Intention. Know what you need. Then respond accordingly -

"Thank you George I have made a note of your question, we are on a tight schedule, I will follow up personally if I donít have time to answer it in the session".

OR "Thank you, I think a slide later in the presentation will address your question".

OR ( for the informal style) " A very good point, I would like to discuss this with you if you have time after the presentation".

A few of these responses soon make it clear to the audience the "tone" of your delivery. They will usually co-operate.

Your "tone" needs to be integrated with your intention. Otherwise you are making it harder to achieve the goal you want. After the 1st draft while, reviewing each slide, ask your self- "Is the tone of this slide consistent with my intention"?
NOTE: on this slide we have addressed 2 of the subheadings for this topic.

Slide 14:  This slide is closing off topic number 2
The basic assumption behind all presentations is that you have a particular message to transport to your audience.
Thus the questions we are dealing with are how do you structure and prepare this presentation to deliver the specific messages and have them received?
This section has covered the delivery component of the transfer.
Tip: Remember that the meaning of a message is always determined by the receiver.
As this is the close of the 2nd chunk it would be a good spot to do a simple check if your message is being received the way you expected! Ask your audience!

Slide 15: This slide introduces the final topic.
So here we are, you have Told them what you were going to tell them.. You have Told them. Now it is time to Tell them what you told them.
To do this it is important that you know what it was that you wanted them to hear (see slide 5 for a refresher on this). There is always the bigger or summary message behind the words. Knowing your OUTCOME is a key to having this clear.
This is also the place to deliver any conclusions that may be derived from what has gone before, e.g. a good presentation is well structure and integrated in more than 1 dimension.

Slide 16:  What was your message - Spell It Out.
Remember the whole intention of this section is to repeat what you have already said twice. AND in order to ensure you are not just a broken record different words and sequence are important.

Slide 17: This is an opportunity not only to recap but also to check via the audienceís reactions if you are getting your intended outcome. This will also give you some feedback re which points need reinforcing via your words.
So leave some room in the points made to emphasis whatever is important at this point (you may not know what it is until you start talking). Some general statements about the outcome will give you this freedom.
Often presenters spend too much time on the detail then have to rush the closing conclusions.
Tip: Your preparation and practice of the timing will have a large impact in this section.
The conclusion is one of the most important parts of your presentation. Previously you have laid the foundations and now the cap stone is to be fitted and the structure completed. Avoid shortchanging yourself, ensure you have left yourself enough time to close properly.

Slide 18:  In many ways this is the central slide of your presentation, the climax. This slide can actually be a good place to start your preparation. all the previous slides lead to here and the following ones will spin off from it.
Again your intention comes to the fore This is what the whole thing has been about, so - Ask or state it as the truth. This will give you direct feedback.
If you have done a good job you will get the support. If you havenít then you will get the feedback (from which you will have to start you rearguard action).
Tip: If you donít ask you wonít know!

Slide 19:  This slide closes off this topic. Remember that the last slide was the real impact. This slide needs to be both a reminder (or summary) and give people time and space to absorb the point(s) made on the previous slide.
Notice that my style is to start, in my summary, with the lower point. and have the points move up the chunking tree to the over-ruling message of this presentation. This leads the audience through the logic and structure used to reach this conclusion (once more).

Developing a CLEAR Intention is the process for creating a
SUCCESSFUL presentation.

Slide 20:  So that is the end of the last topic. Now we are back up to the Top level. These points (major topics) were originally stated as :

How to Start
How to Deliver
How to Close

Notice how the bullet points address the same topics but change to statements. This slide should be punchy and conclusive.
The key thing in this slide is a closure on the items raised at the start.
State We have covered items 1, 2 Ö.n
Now if you didnít actually ask (see slide 18) do so now.
If you did ask, this is the place to reaffirm the answer you received. (This is an excellent way to close).

Slide 21:  Always close with a slide that says END (in some direct form or other).
It tells the audience what is going on. It closes off the final chunk (i.e. it matches with slide 1 and tells everyone -The presentation is finished).
PLUS it gives you the opportunity to sell yourself as this slide will be left on the screen during questions, and as people mill about.
Say Thank You. Your audience has at minimum, given up something else to come "hear".



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