Tips on Making Presentations

For a presentation to have impact, it should be able to keep an audience completely engrossed. You do not need to be a high profile speaker in order to make a great presentation. Just follow these handy pointers to help you develop your presentation skills.

The key to a good presentation is to prepare well in advance. This is because you get just one opportunity to get your presentation right – there are no retakes! Research your presentation before hand. All data that you include should be accurate. Avoid using too many facts and figures in your presentation as they tend to sound too dry and boring.

Rehearse your presentation in advance so you do not need to refer to your notes during the course of the presentation. Make eye contact with the audience while talking so that they feel as if you are talking to them individually. Nod your head, smile and use voice modulation to make your presentation come alive.

At the beginning of your presentation make your audience feel comfortable by greeting them and explaining the agenda for the session.

You will need to deliver your presentation in the right way so that your participants like hearing you. Stress on important points and let your presentation follow a logical flow. Explain any statistical figures so that even a lay person can understand your point. Use real life examples to illustrate your points.

Do not try to make your presentation too technical in nature. Even if your subject matter is complex, try to simplify concepts by using clear, uncomplicated language. Keep away from excessive jargon. Use just those technical terms that you know your audience will be familiar with. Target your presentation for each and every member of the audience, not just a select few. Keep in mind that the audience may come from diverse background or job functions.

Keep room in your presentation for any extempore additions that feel will add to the presentation while you are making it. Pick up cues from the audience response and use them to make corrections to the overall tone of your presentation.

You should intersperse your presentation with visuals as far as possible. Graphics not only enhance your presentation but also add to your content.

At the end of the presentation, ask the audience for feedback and answer any queries they may have. Discourage people from asking questions while you are making your presentation so that the flow is not interrupted.

Custody Evaluations – 5 Tips For Presenting Your Case Successfully

Custody, or parenting time evaluations, are frequently performed by a forensic psychologist at a separation or a divorce between two people, when there is some question as to the fitness of one of both parents to fully parent the child or children. One common scenario is a parent being concerned about the drug or alcohol use of the other parent. These evaluations are invasive and often difficult, but they are typically fairly solid in court and if you have legitimate concerns, they can be a way to help secure your children’s security and safety. The results and recommendations of the evaluation can be written in to court documents, providing further foundation for enforcing certain rules and restrictions that can help keep your children safe when they are with the other parent, or should the problems and concerns be severe enough, they may provide basis for keeping the children away from an unsafe parent altogether. Here are 5 tips for presenting your case for custody to an evaluator:

1. Present facts, not opinions to the evaluator during interviews. This means avoiding “diagnosing” your partner or making too many interpretations of behavior. Stick as much as possible to the facts — the who, what, when and where of the behavior you are concerned about.

2. Try not to get over emotional. This is a traumatic time and being upset is expected – however if you are crying throughout every meeting, the evaluator may begin to question your emotional stability. Feel free to express hurt, but keep your mind firmly focused on your children and their well being and best interests.

3. Present your facts and information framed in reference to the impact on the children. While you avoid diagnosing or giving too many opinions, you can express what concerns you about the behavior in reference to the negative impact on your kids. For example, if your partner has a drug problem, you can express concern over impairment while caring for kids, the kids finding drug paraphernalia, and the legal ramifications should your partner be caught.

4. Be honest about your own shortcomings. If you omit any wrongdoing on your part, surely your partner will be eager to fill in the gaps. When you do present your mistakes, again frame them in reference to impact on the children and demonstrate your understanding of why the activity was harmful or potentially harmful to your kids. For example if you had an affair, explain that this injected a note of chaos and disharmony into your home life, and you understand that this was a negative impact on your children. And of course, be sure you are not repeating damaging behaviors during your evaluation.

5. Keep records and update the evaluator as new incidents occur. Evaluations can take many months to complete, so be sure to log any new incidents as they occur and inform the evaluator via phone or email.

Are you interested in addressing the challenge of divorce from a holistic standpoint, assessing the physical, emotional, practical, and relationship components?

We Are All TV Presenters

At a recent TV Presenting Course that we ran in Dublin, Ireland, it became very clear to me why most ‘presentation skills’ type courses fall short of achieving the results they should be getting – those results being a more confident, persuasive and eloquent speaker. In fact most of them miss the point completely! They fail to acknowledge the most important area of presenting – the voice.

A Speaker needs a voice! The spoken words must be the result of the 3 ‘P’s – Planning, Preparation & Performing (or Putting into Practise, if the word ‘performing’ frightens you!) Each have equal importance, and with a bit of persistence you will be amazed at how little time is required when you give each section it’s own value.

You see, an audience is not concerned with the Planning and Preparation, they only see and hear the Performance. The small window of opportunity that exists for you to speak, is what will motivate, inspire or persuade the listener to trust and believe in you. In a television programme the Presenter is the link between the ‘energy’ of the programme and the audience. Our screens are littered with examples of nonsense television with good Presenters and great subject matter with poor Presenters. Rarely do we see the best of content combined with the best Presenter performance, and when we do we over-ride all logic, cynicism and doubt and allow ourselves to be wholeheartedly taken into the speaker’s (or programme’s) world.

I have seen large, medium and small corporations spend fortunes on brochures, board rooms, PR – in fact all the things that make up the ‘corporate image’, and then fall flat on their faces when the ‘corporate voice’ – the voice that the customer hears – does not deliver the professionalism of the product, ethos or track record of the organisation. It amazes me how little vocal training many sales teams are given to help them maximise the small window of opportunity they have when in front of customers. The way I see it is: no sales = no business. Why take the risk of not ensuring your sales teams’ voices are the very best they can be?

So when I read or hear about courses that do not include at least a third of voice work delivered by voice specialists in their ‘presentation skills’ training, I realise that these people have no idea about courses they run, and have no idea how much value customers, clients and colleagues give to the vocal sound when making decisions. Call these courses ‘effective use of PowerPoint’, ‘content structures that help people understand’, ‘relax and de-stress’ or ‘how to sharpen your pencil’ – whatever – but do not call them ‘Presentation Skills’ if no serious time is given to the mechanics, physiology, psychology and delivery practises of the voice and vocal impact. This is like calling a course ‘Formula 1 Motor Racing Skills’, showing people maps of some race tracks, explaining the importance of driver focus, demonstrating how to change the engine oil and then, bizarrely, not giving them a F1 car with a skilled Instructor to guide them through their newly acquired skills!

(By the way Videoing participants and gratuitously pointing out the blatantly obvious doesn’t count! We are more interested in the cause, not the symptoms and we purposely ban video cameras from the first few days of our trainings. This ensures we guarantee long lasting change where the person no longer displays vocal and physical ‘oddities’. When our participants understand and are comfortable with their natural delivery styles and they can successfully combine this with their expert information, only then do we bring out the cameras as a means to achieve maximum effectiveness of the desired message.)

We all know the philosophical question – “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around tohear it, does it make a sound?” It demonstrates the dictum of ‘Esse est percipi – ‘ Tobe is to be perceived. This can be very easily  transferred to a sales, motivation, education or coaching environment. How often has a presentation ‘fallen in the forest’, and no one has heard it, acts on it, or even cares about it?!

In our ‘Secrets of Confident & Effective Speakers’ courses we continuously make the point that a listener doesn’t really care about the Presenters ‘stuff’ (their slides, sore throats, traffic jams, faulty projector, deadlines). An audience cares about what the Presenter says, how they say it, and most importantly how this makes the audience feel. This is what convinces them to believe, to follow, to buy!

So the next time you watch a TV programme, and you see a TV Presenter, realise that this 30 / 60 minute slot is the section on which you will judge the show, and not on the unseen weeks planning and preparation that has preceded the performance. To be at your best you must give equal time to rehearsing (or putting into practise) the skills of delivery. Only this gives you the best possible chance to do maximum justice to your integrity, ethos or product. This brings you and your message into the listeners present, and activates their response receptors. Planning, Preparation AND Performing. Does Your Performing do justice to your Planning and Preparation? Whether we like it or not, we are all TV Presenters!