Chapter 12 – Developing Oral and Online Presentations Planning a Presentation Oral presentations, delivered in person or online, offer important opportunities to put all your communication skills on display, including research, planning, writing, visual design, and interpersonal and nonverbal communication. Presentations also let you demonstrate your ability to think on your feet, grasp complex business issues, and handle challenging situations - all attributes that executives look for when searching for talented employees to promote. Planning oral presentations is much like planning other business messages: you analyze the situation, gather information, select the right medium, and organize the information. Gathering information for oral presentations is essentially the same as it is for written communication projects. The other three planning tasks have some special applications when it comes to oral presentations. On the subject of planning, be aware that preparing a professional quality business presentation can take a considerable amount of time. Nancy Duarte, whose design firm has years of experience creating presentations for corporations, offers this rule of thumb: for a one hour presentation that uses 30 slides, allow 36 to 90 hours to research, conceive, create, and practice. Not every one-hour presentation justifies a week or two of preparation, of course, but the important presentations that can make your career or your company certainly can. The three-step writing process can help you create more effective presentations and turn your public speaking anxiety into positive energy. Creating a high-quality presentation for an important event can take many days, so be sure to allow enough time. A. Analyzing the situation - As with written communications, analyzing the situation involves defining your purpose and developing an audience profile. The purpose of your presentations
will be to inform persuade, although you may occasionally need to make a collaborative presentation, such as when you're leading a problem-solving or brainstorming session. In addition to following the audience advice in chapter 3, try to anticipate the likely emotional state of your audience members. Knowing your audience’s state of mind will help you adjust both your message and your delivery. Supportive : reward their goodwill with a presentation that is clear, concise, and upbeat; speak in a relaxed, confident manner. Interested but neutral : build your credibility as you present compelling reasons to accept your message; address potential objections as you move forward; show confidence in your message but a willingness to answer questions and concerns. Uninterested : use the techniques described in this chapter to get their attention and work hard to hold it throughout; find ways to connect your message with their personal or professional interests; be well organized and concise.
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- Fall '08
- Presentation program, Garr Reynolds