Prepare your presentation
Prepare your content
Just as in the preceding chapters, you’re going to prepare the content of your presentation by starting from the why, the basis, before worrying about the form:
What’s the purpose of this presentation meeting?
What needs to be said/understood/discussed?
Why am I making this presentation?
Who will be there / Who is it for?
Once you’ve understood the reasons for your presentation, build your content and immerse yourself in it.
Produce a presentation medium
Now let’s move on to the form.
An in-house presentation is often accompanied by a computer-assisted presentation – in other words, a PowerPoint video projection.
This is different in that you’re not just speaking, you’re showing something as well.
Present your content in a professional way
Take a strategic position
An in-house presentation is usually made to a dozen or so people, sometimes fewer, sometimes more; but it stays relatively limited.
That’s why (unlike the context of a talk or lecture, where you only make eye contact with some of the audience) you'll have to look at everyone and include all your participants.
Position yourself where you can see everyone. If the table is rectangular, place yourself at one end of the table, like the head of the household at dinner; but don’t put yourself in the middle, you’d have to be turning your head all the time.
If the table is round, you don’t have much choice – it’s best to stay standing, a slight distance from the table, that way everyone will turn towards you.
If you’re projecting a presentation medium, stay close to it, so that both you and your presentation will be visually accessible in the same place, in the same viewing angle. That way, it’s easier for your participants to follow the meeting.
Say hello, thank your participants, then identify yourself (first name, surname and position in the company). Don’t assume that everyone knows you.
Use this short introduction to reiterate the purpose of this presentation and the points that will be addressed.
In this context, you’re unlikely to be using a microphone. Speak louder than normal (without shouting). The participants need to hear you properly and feel your commitment.
It may seem daunting to hear your own voice louder than normal, and you might avoid making it carry too much. However, you’ll see that, contrary to what you might think, this allows you to overcome stress: speaking louder gives you greater assurance and makes you confident.
Illustrate your points
If you don’t have a PowerPoint type presentation medium, write out the keywords or make diagrams on a flipchart. It's not mandatory but can be helpful.
A piece of advice to help you do things well without wasting time:
“Prepare your flipchart in advance. Draw your building blocks in advance. For technical presentations, you can draw in the backgrounds. For marketing or financial presentations, decide beforehand on the tables, figures and graphs, etc. That way, when you are in front of your audience, you'll only need to insert the elements you want to emphasise. That will be more comfortable for you, more effective and more dynamic for those listening to you. Think about putting a header, summing up your idea, at the top of each sheet.”
Prendre la parole en public [Public speaking], Bernard Blein
Keep within the time allowed
Time is money. Don't forget that it's just as important to others as it is to you.
Keep your context professional as the participants all have work to do and deadlines to meet.
Respect them: don’t make your presentation last longer than is reasonable. It’s good to keep it to less than 20 minutes.
Draw a conclusion
End your presentation by recalling the important points, the action to be taken, the next deadlines and each person’s role, if there is one.
Thank everyone for their attention and their commitment.
To give a business presentation, prepare your content based foremost on the reasons for your speech.
On the day of your meeting:
Position yourself so that you can see everybody.
Introduce yourself and state the purpose and key points you will cover.
Speak loudly and clearly.
Illustrate your words using a PowerPoint or a paperboard.
Abide by the session format and stick to your allocated time.
Conclude your presentation and thank participants for their involvement.
In the next chapter, you will learn how to succeed at a job interview.