Confession: Presenting makes me nervous. I don't think this entirely uncommon (!) but it is something I'd love to conquer one day. In the mean time, I'm always on the look-out for things which will help make that all-important 20 mins run more smoothly. Here's a few of my top tips;
Tip 1: Check the set-up details in advance
It sounds simple, but just checking the set-up in advance can save a whole heap of stress. What equipment will you be delivering the presentation on? Is it your own PC or is someone uploading the deck for you? Are you delivering the presentation in person in a room, or over the web using a conferencing facility such as LiveMeeting.
Whatever the set-up, check you're clear on how to work the equipment and who (if anyone) will be setting up and operating it. Find a friendly technical someone who you can call on if you run into trouble on the day, if possible.
Tip 2: Use 'Presenter View' in Powerpoint
'Presenter Mode' is a neat feature in Powerpoint which enable you to see your slides + notes on one screen (ie your laptop), while the full-screen version of the slide deck displays in the other screen. You can read how to set it up and use it in these articles from Office Online:
Tip 3: Make virtual presentations more interactive
You may have to present to a virtual audience over LiveMeeting web conferencing. This has advantages - not being able to see the audience can reduce your stress levels! However, it also makes it harder to tell how your presentation is being received, if the audience is engaged or they have questions, for example. Audience members are sometimes more reluctant to ask questions in a virtual meeting too.
Most web conferencing programs have a facility for the audience to type questions during the presentation. Make use of this and ensure you leave time at the end of the presentation to answer any questions.
Look for other ways to keep up audience interest during the presentation and get feedback too. LiveMeeting has a couple of cool features like interactive whiteboard which are worth a try.
More tips on LiveMeeting;
- Mark Deakin's blog - http://blogs.technet.com/markdea/archive/2008/10/14/top-tips-to-run-a-livemeeting.aspx
- LiveMeeting demos - http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/livemeeting/HA102403231033.aspx