So, The Greatest Presentation in Your World #gpitw is constructed, practised, duplicated and ready to go but still the good presenter is looking for last minute tips just to make it truly awesome. What can be achieved in the short period between now and the big moment? Here are ten tips to consider that may just add that dash of wasabi to top things off perfectly.
- practise in a big lecture theatre before a live audience
there’s nothing quite like a live audience and for That Big Presentation there is a real value in practising before a live audience. It may not be possible to replicate the 2500 expected at The Big Event but even 10 colleagues in the local lecture theatre, primed appropriately can offer feedback that will hugely benefit the main event.
- run through Worst Case Scenario
for almost every presenter the p2 technical fail will evoke The Worst Case Scenario. Practise to manage this. Even the best setups, the most advanced IT staff and presenters can fall foul of the presentation demons. Practise to manage this. Begin your presentation and simply turn off the monitor. Whatever happens, keep going and ensure that the punchline is delivered. Then reflect on the issues and set in place a means to cope with this.
- make a pdf copy of the presentation
this is the most basic of backups and clearly has no options for animation (if used) but in the face of real IT trouble it is likely that a pdf can be shown, page by page. It can also be transported on all smart phones and allows the presenter to review their presentation and practise even on the bus from the airport. Save it, with the other backups, in the cloud, not on a usb.
- deliver your presentation silently
watch any bobsleigh race at the Winter Olympics and the pilot can be seen sat on the floor but weaving his head like Bez, from The Happy Mondays. Find a safe space and without speaking out loud, deliver the whole presentation. Work deliberately through each slide and actually make the presentation. Force yourself to speak the words in your head and imagine the individual slides. It takes real effort, but provides real reward.
- learn verbatim the introductory paragraph to the presentation
this encapsulates the whole presentation, the reason for the audience to listen and the direction the piece will take. Practise this over and over out loud until this is perfectly grooved in nuance and pace. Standing on the stage for The Big Event, this will then flow perfectly and add further confidence to delivery.
- learn verbatim the closing paragraph to the presentation
this encapsulates the whole presentation, the reason for the audience to listen and the direction the piece has taken. Practise this over and over out loud until this is perfectly grooved in nuance and pace. Standing on the stage for The Big Event, this will then flow perfectly and add further confidence to delivery.
- select a colleague for specific feedback
“thank you for your excellent presentation, I very much enjoyed it,” is neither valuable nor effective feedback. Select a trusted colleague who will be in the audience and ask them a single, directed question about The Greatest Presentation in Your World. Then specifically consider how you can improve that before the big moment.
- visualise success
a valuable technique is to visualise success for the presentation. How have you considered that you would like the audience to react (beyond rapturous applause)? Consider what specific change the presentation was directed towards, the understanding to be transferred or challenge raise. Visualise that clearly and consider in single steps how that will be achieved beyond simple recitation.
- set up timed tweets
the message of the presentation is for the audience within the hall. the presentation is designed and delivered for them. the message has value beyond there and to ensure this is true to the intent of the presenter there is value in using automated, timed or programmed tweets to back up the message as it is delivered rather than leave that to the vagaries of the forest of smartphones and misheard interpretation. Try these, twittimer or Hootsuite.
any presentation that has been fashioned and nuanced, practised and considered this far is clearly going to deliver. Make sure the delivery is improved by relaxing beforehand and understanding that this huge input of time and effort and passion will be rewarded. Great sportsmen and women believe their goal has been achieved and that their performance is the pinnacle of that, not its achievement. This allows them a calm confidence that further empowers the delivery.
A presentation is the product of its parts and preparation is an essential within this. Ensure that before The Greatest Presentation in Your World that time is given to practise, visualisation and relaxation and then take that confidence onto the stage.