How to Deliver a Great Presentation: Project Management

hello i’m jennifer whitt director of projectmanager.com well welcome today’s whiteboard session on how to deliver a presentation what I’ve learned is one of the most frightening things for most project managers is giving a presentation but that’s where we can influence our our team influence our stakeholders our executives get their buy-in sell an idea it’s the most powerful thing we can do but it’s the most frightening but there are a few simple steps that I’m going to cover today on delivering a great presentation so presentations are like any other thing that we have to do as project managers or any professional it takes practice so it’s something that instead of raising the bar and expecting to walk out on it on in front of your audience or your team or any group that you’re presenting to is about practice practice practice practice so here are some few things to get you going there are three components of a presentation there’s actually the presentation the preparation for the presentation there is the presentation itself and there’s follow-up after the presentation so let’s break it down so preparation is what do I do before I get my prepper presentation so there’s a lot of things to do here are a few categories one is expectations what is the expectations for your audience or for whoever is bringing you in if you are giving a presentation to your executives your stakeholders maybe a client your project team number one define your audience but also talk with them and get clear expectations I’ve got an s o W here because in the work that I do I get a statement of work it’s actually a documented signed off statement of work so that both parties know and agree to and understand the expectations of that presentation so it’s important to understand what is the topic what are you going to be presenting is it a status report is it a key note is it information to a team are you rolling out new project are you launching a new product line what is it that is going to be the topic of your presentation and knowing the audience who’s going to be there are you going to be presenting to executives your stakeholders your project team is it going to be different business units or is there going to be internal external people there is it going to be a mix of people who are at different levels different experiences what is the location where will this presentation be is it going to be in your office is it in the city is it in the country is it out of the country what is the venue is it going to be a conference hall is it going to be a conference room it’s going to be an office where is what is the venue for the presentation and time how long will you have will you have a 20 minute presentation is this a one hour keynote is it 90 minutes you have a half an hour just you need to know what time how much time you have and what takeaways are the clients or the people bringing you in expecting what are you going to leave behind so that they can follow up understand read upon after your presentation after you’re gone the second part is once you have a clear expectation of what you’re going to be presenting it’s researching researching through I love Google Google is one of my best friends when I’m researching thing it’s so easy to go Google a topic I can also go to a library I can also interview people one powerful thing for companies your project teams is to interview the people who are going to be in the audience interview the people who are bringing you in for the presentation and the reason you want to do that is you want to find out what are the issues what’s bothering them what are you there to really address once you start talking to people you get different perspectives different perspectives of how people see the common issue and what you can do to actually address some of those issues and through that you want to remain relevant relevancy to your audience you want to be talking about things that matter to them it’s timely if you’re in technology you don’t want to be talking about technology that’s really oh that’s not applicable to them if you’re doing green projects some nonprofit projects construction engineering whatever you’re doing you want to stay relevant to what they care about so you will also want to keep in the back of your mind why do they care why are they bringing you in and why are they going to listen to you about this topic and what does this mean to them you know people are always coming in for presentations you want to keep them engaged keep them excited and tuned in to what you’re saying during your presentation so it’s important to know have them be thinking all the time what does this mean to me and how can I take this back and use it professional materials so whether you’re delivering a PowerPoint you’re actually giving handouts or presentation materials and hard copy you want them to remain professional if you’re going to be presenting something online it’s important to know how to get in make sure you can have access make sure that you have the logins and passwords and they’re still active and valid and then takeaways making sure that your takeaways are already that you know where to ship them to and what’s actually needed so that’s a lot of preparation before you even begin and those are only a few of many other things but just an idea of where to start then I feel like there’s some best practices before the presentation before the day of it’s important to visit the venue actually go to the place where you’re having the meeting if it’s in your office building just go make sure they have enough seating the tables are arranged how you like it the look and feel if it’s a conference area if it’s a stadium if it’s on location off location visiting that before so you have an idea and you have a feel of what it feels like for you how are you going to project how many people are going to be there so you know what equipment you might need also a rest and relax again this is one of the most frightening things that most project managers do and even professional speakers always still get those butterflies in their stomach before they speak so it’s important to get a good night’s rest not worried about your presentation how things are going because you’ve done all this preparation just getting a good night’s rest also equipment making sure you have backups I always have backups I don’t leave myself held hostage to someone else getting equipment getting materials having control over what I’ve got to step into because what I’ve learned is you don’t really know if you do that you don’t really know you may expect them to have a laptop or LCD or materials there and you show up and whoever supposed to have that done maybe they’re off or they don’t really care so I don’t leave that I don’t leave myself open to those pitfalls and then snacks depending on how long this is if you’re there for a longer period of time maybe your multiple speaking event maybe you’re one of the later speakers is having snacks water things to hydrate nourish yourself then the day of the presentation again this is during the presentation again this is a study so for people who go in to begin speaking this is a study each one of these are like you know there are so many things that you can learn about each one of these so number one arrive arrive to the venue set up and test early so actually going on-site the day of you get there early you make sure that the environments there I don’t know how many times I’ve shown up and the power’s out equipment didn’t show up critical resources didn’t show up so it’s good to get there early so you make sure everything’s okay these are some of the there are a lot of areas for failures here so you want to keep on top of it set up and test your equipment make sure your laptop works your PowerPoint presentation works if you’re doing something online you have internet recept reception so get there early because that light that way you have time you give yourself time if something goes awry to have a backup number to the presentation Wow this one right here is a study in itself when you become if you go into making presentations this is an area of study where you can spend lot of time working with mentors taking classes to learn this this skill but in the presentation there are three parts there’s the intro there’s the message that you’re delivering and the outro so the intro is coming out strong with either a question or a quote or statistic some hook that get your audience listening to you when you speak then there’s the message having a clear concise pointed message that people can follow if you’re rambling all over the place and people can’t follow you they’re going to leave confused and frustrated so you want to have a clear concise message and then the outro how are you going to wrap it up so you basically tell the audience what you’re going to tell them you tell them through your message and then you tell them again what you told them in your outro so you introduce it you say it and then you wrap it up and then through there to the delivery is remembering a few items that is like what is your tone what are you there to do are you there to inspire a team are you there to inform someone are you there to deliver bad news so it’s remembering why you’re there and what tone do you need to set do you need to be upbeat do you need to be serious do you need to interject humor or do you need to respect the fact that you’re going to have to deliver bad news and then the pace understanding the pace so you may have practiced and you may know what you’re going to say so you have it down but remembering that your audience have never heard this message before so keeping a pace that people can follow and giving them the pause so they can actually sink in and listen to and hear what you’re saying and then questions knowing how when you’re going to ask questions so you need to know going in are you going to leave yourself room to ask questions are you going to take questions during the presentation are you going to take questions after the presentation and one powerful thing we’ve learned is you don’t want to leave your presentation with a powerful message sending people up to know exactly what you want and then leaving some someone to disrupt your whole presentation by asking some question that’s going to throw either the audience off are you off so you want to leave yourself room if you do ask questions at the end to leave yourself time to go back and reset the message that you left your audience with you also want to have them know what are the next steps what are the next steps that they are that they’re supposed to take give them a call to action are they do they need to go complete a survey do they need to take a course do they need to go complete some deliverables read a brochure do they need to come back for the next class what is it that you need them to do and always always always give them their contact information how can they reach you for further questions can they email you can they call you do they fill out a form what do they do to reach you for more information we found some of the best practices is when when you’re at the presentation and at the end collect cards from people if they have cards get their cards so you have their contact information make little notes always get done someone’s card and if they ask me a question I’ll write a note on the back hey they ask this question and I need to send some follow-up or if they want me to send them a book or some resources I write the note on the back of their card then I’ll write down any questions that people ask that I need to take back and maybe I follow up to one person or I won’t follow up to the group and then I also take any other notes that maybe I need to go back and adjust in my presentation or follow up some note to myself of something I need to do and then there’s the follow-up so this is what happens after the presentation again it’s more study about this but here are a few things that I like to do is send a thank-you and depending upon what it’s appropriate for your audience again depending on who they are and what it is that you had the presentation on I like to send a little thank-you thank you for attending my session thank you for attending this presentation or this course here are the things that we we said you asked this question and I found it was very interesting thank you for participating or you can do that through email or a note card and if you committed to send any additional takeaways then send those promptly address any questions again if it’s individual or group do you answer those questions timely and promptly and send it to either the individual or the group whoever you committed to follow up on next steps so if you left these people with your audience with next steps then follow up on the next steps maybe after a day or so or a week follow up and say how’s it going I know you were going to read this article or take this course or take the survey how is it going I’d like to hear more and then you schedule the next step so after these steps are completed it’s always taking them through next steps and if there are no other further next steps then close it out so close it out formally so everyone knows that it’s closed and then again always providing your contact information again this a study when you’re giving presentations it’s on and on so people who present is study they’re always learning they’re always growing so there are different resources that I like to recommend number one if you have a local Toastmasters Toastmasters or groups that give you tips tools and techniques on how to how to give better presentations there’s also the National Speakers Association also some of the other groups volunteer groups and on profit groups you may be involved in you can practice speaking you can even go to your organization maybe your human resources or project teams and ask for more experience of giving out presentations and then mentors I have my own mentors who I study with and I’m always practicing on either the business aspect of it the preparation of the follow up or the actual presentation so again it’s a study if you need any additional tips tools or techniques to deliver your great presentation then visit us at projectmanager.com

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