I went to a professional development session on Tuesday afternoon entitled “Present with Confidence” sponsored by the Ikaroa region Lianza group (Yay Ikaroa!).
So this post is aimed at all those about to present at the upcoming Lianza Conference in Christchurch. You may find some tips useful. 🙂
The session covered such topics as:
• How to write an effective abstract
• How to present to an audience
• How to use visual aids
• How to handle questions
It was a worthwhile session for several reasons.
The first of which is a quote:
“The only difference between the pros and a novice [presenter] is that the pros have trained the butterflies to fly in formation.”
Most useful was the feedback, suggestions and contributions from the fellow attendees. My group had a couple of librarians from Horowhenua Public Library and one from the National Library (PN). (Kia ora Beth, Joann and Pamela!)
We were asked to think about a good presentation that we had seen and what characteristics made it good to us. Our group came up with several:
• Humour: having a bit of humour can break the ice and allows you to form a rapport with your audience. But don’t overdo it. 🙂
• Confidence: be confident and relaxed and people will respect what you have to say
• Knowledgeable: be knowledgeable on your topic. No one wants to be sitting in a presentation thinking they know more than the presenter; and listening to a presenter who merely reads from notes does not convey this.
• Personal presentation: Ensure you are properly attired! No knickers showing above your trousers, or fiddling with your hair.
• Voice: Speak clearly and smoothly, neither too fast nor too slow and use modulation for interest. And watch those ‘ums’!
• Tell a story or a journey with your presentation, perhaps start with an anecdote. Make it personal. In our exercises I was interested in how the situation affected people especially the person talking.
• Provide a clear summary at the end of your main points or ideas.
• Have a theme, preferably one that ties in with the conference, or a keyword that succinctly describes your presentation.
Other things to remember are:
Check out your venue first. For example if you have an interactive session planned the room may not be suitable.
Know your audience and be cultural sensitive and respectful.
And finally a tip on using visual aids, particularly powerpoints.
Don’t rely on them to do the presentation for you! Always have a Plan B if the technology fails. Others said that they went to a conference where the version of Microsoft Office was different and all the fancy animations were lost.
And if you’re still not convinced that powerpoints are not the be all and end all of a presentation, take a look at this:
How Not To Use PowerPoint
Good luck to all the presenters for Lianza 2009!