We had a pleasure to meet Peter Taylor, the author of “The Lazy Project Manager”, during the PMI Gdansk Branch seminar on the evening of 31st of January, 2013 where he advised on “great presentations”. The recording of his presentation can be found here and below I would like to share some take aways.
Open on a high & finish on high– start and finish your presentation with a story.
Peter started with a funny story on shreddies – just a shreddies, diamond shreddies and a combo pack with both. The conclusion: it’s all about the presentation – who you present to makes a difference.
Getting the audience's attention right from the beginning is essential. Remember first 10 minutes window is the first point of opportunity to lose your audience.
You can have 4 types of listeners:
• “Fans” want your success
• “Entertain me” – they can leave the interest quickly and move to “neutral”
• “Neutral” – they don’t have an opinion
• “Left the building” – not focused on your presentation, you lost them
The Purpose: convince, educate, motivate ....
Keep it simple, but have a structure. Peter shared a story from his wedding where he needed to present and was not very good at presenting. He bought a lottery ticket for all important people – “top table” with the same numbers: 1, 7, 15, 21, 30, & 40.
1 because it was first day of our life ticket
7 because it was July
15 because it was 15th of July
21 because there were 2 bridesmaids and 1 page boy
30 because he knows his best friend for 30 years
40 because both parents were about to celebrate the 40th anniversary
If you talk about something you know well rehearse to control your time.
If you do not know the subject well rehearse or invite people who know more to support you.
It’s not the volume but the message that counts. Do not waste people’s time
Be clever! Do not overuse graphs, moving objects, data etc.
The Style – it’s a lot about you.
Present key facts and use rather pictures than words. Our brain is far more capable to take visional images! Keep an eye contact with your audience!
The Practionalities – 3 Ps:
Prepare - Practice and practice again. A well rehearsed presentation will keep your audiences attention.
Present – the smallest part!
Profit – you will gain something: learn, engage, keep connected….
Be prepared for anything:
- Have an usb stick with your presentation
- Don't rely on an internet connection
- Check your desktop
- Be prepare to shorten your presentation – recognize the needs of your audience and adjust
Break the Rules – my favourite one!
- 6:6:1 rule (6 bullets /6 words/1 idea on one slide)
- Agenda (tell what are you going to tell, then tell and then tell what you have told) - ridicules!
- Thank the audience!
The Hates – there are a lot of them and a few below:
- Reading the slides
- Flat voice
- Ppt presentation
- Non interactive presentation
- Agenda – especially if you have 10 points and manage to cover 2
- Time management - no one will mind if you finish early but they will hate you if you go on for too long
- Sitting or standing in one place while presenting
You need to control your audience. Sometimes you will have people who won't accept an answer. Don't battle with them, your audience isn't interested, instead ask them to talk to you afterwards.
With 41 slides, 121 words, 3 words per slide and 61 images Peter managed to keep the audience awaken for one hour. Well done! That was a great Presentation on Presentations! The summary of the 31st event can be found on PMI website.
Break the rules and have fun with your next presentation!