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Topics: Communications Management, Leadership, Stakeholder Management
How do you make your presentations?
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I have seen many presentations made by project managers. In many situations they simply read what is written on a set of slides they have prepared to present.
Usually use the strategy: "Show me your PowerPoint"
A small percentage of Project Managers use the strategy: "Make your Point, show me your Power"
What strategy do you use?
What results do you get?
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The PPT slides should support the presenter, not the other way around. Simple, meaningful, powerful....At a glance PPT. The verbal content comes from the presenter to support and add context and insight into the slides. Certainly, easier said than done. Having the verbiage right there on the slides is a crutch, but there is opportunity to use the Notes feature which the audience can not see when in presentation mode.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 9:56 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Andrew
Thanks for sharing your opinion
Excellent tips that allow us to make better presentations to our teams or other project stakeholders
Network:1624



This really depends on the objective for the presentation. There are many good practices out there for presentation content (e.g. number of slides, number of bullets per slide) which should be followed by all presenters.

I prefer the TED model - very light on visuals, greater focus on what/how the presenter is saying.

Kiron
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 9:58 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Kiron
Thanks for sharing your opinion
Excellent tips that allow us to make better presentations to our teams or other project stakeholders
I liked it a lot: "I prefer the TED model - very light on visuals, greater focus on what/how the presenter is saying"
Network:58



I work on the principle that the PPT is to be used as a guide/reference for the audience in which presenter will impart the information. It must be simple, to-the-point and complement the speaker in a manner that the attention is ultimately on the speaker, not the PPT. I prefer a combination of text & visual in my slides -- but always aiming to keep it simple.

PPTs that are crammed with text and/or visuals tend to shift the balance so the audience is trying to focus on what is on the slide and away from the speaker. PPTs should never be used as a script that is used by the presenter to read it to the audience. This is insulting their intelligence and suggests that speaker is not prepared to engage with the audience.

Remember, the audience needs to be focused on the speaker with the speaker providing the cues on when the PPT becomes part of the focus.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 10:01 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear James:
Thanks for sharing your opinion
Excellent tips that allow us to make better presentations to our teams or other project stakeholders
I liked it a lot: "Remember, the audience needs to be focused on the speaker with the speaker providing the cues on when the PPT becomes part of the focus."
Network:1647



This is a very important topic!

I've evolved -- through bitter experience, the following thoughts.

0) Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbSPPFYxx3o

1) Some things must be expressed in numbers or words. You can't use a picture for everything. BUT TRY.

2) Use pictures that capture the concept, but aren't complex diagrams. The idea is that when the people review the pictures, the speaker's words come flowing back to them. Create your own (images - Visio or even a photograph). Try not to use "subscription" or canned images.

3) Don't have too many slides! I'm guilty of doing this. I've tried lots of metrics. 6 an hour, 10 an hour. But really it varies based on subject matter and the audience. There's no golden rule for this. Just don't cram too many slides in too short of a time

4) Humor. A few funny slides really help. Not ALL should be funny, just when the going gets deep, a funny image will help keep everyone alert.

5) Practice your timing. Its bad to to not have enough material, its MUCH WORSE to have too much.

6) Let the audience talk too!! Engage them, let them answer your questions, let them ask questions -- this gets back to the timing item (number 5).

7) I agree with James Sheilds; DON'T CRAM THE SLIDEs

8) Pay attention to the audience. If they are tuned out, wake them up, if they aren't interested ask pointed questions. If they ARE interested ask one of them what they think so far. YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THE ROOM
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 6:59 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear David
Thanks for sharing
Very good points for reflection and, above all, guidelines that allow us to make better presentations.
Network:337



Developing effective presentations is somewhat of an art and there are some excellent suggestions above. As stated by others, the slides should support your discussion, not become a script. Your audience is fully capable of reading on their own.

A couple additions to the other advice:

- Know your audience, their expectations, and tailor both the slides and the discussion to them.

- VERY clearly understand the purpose of your presentation. What story are you trying to tell? Are you requesting something, providing awareness of some risk, explaining that you have everything fully under control? I'm amazed at how many times I see a presentation and ask myself what point they were trying to make.

- Managers like pretty colored things to stare at while they pretend to listen.

- Despite the previous point, don't ever put anything on the slide you don't want people asking detailed questions about. I often see people put some graphic on a slide to illustrate there is significant detailed work going on, but when someone asks about the details on that graphic (Why is item 4 late?), it's clear the presenter doesn't understand those details.

- When someone asks a question, rephrase it before answering. You get to redefine the question to something you can answer, it shows you understand it, and it buys you time to think of an answer.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 7:03 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Keith
Thanks for sharing your opinion
Excellent tips that allow us to make better presentations to our teams or other project stakeholders
Network:503



Top management in my company likes perfect presentation: everything is important from the storyline to the color, font, commas etc) and they do like to have all the information on a slide.

As far as having slide fulfilled with a lot of information not very simple to read and understand, I usually use the principle "One idea-one slide" (with not a lot of information and very well structured). It helps a lot)
and I have several detailed slides in attach, so if I get more questions I can use those.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 7:27 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Evgeniya
Thanks for your comment
In your presentations, although everything is previously defined by the company uses "Make your Point, show me your Power"?
Network:138



In my organization, we use PPT for just about every meeting that requires us to communicate to our top management. Much like Evgeniya, everything is important. However, the slides are minimal and we only share what they should know and why they should know it. Depending on the purpose of the meeting, details are generally put in an appendix or shared in the email.

For the project team and other meetings, we generally leverage the Agenda in the calendar invite, coupled with either project software or excel-based meeting planner as the vehicle to execute the meeting.

Mikel
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 7:28 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Mikel
Thanks for your comment
In your presentations, although everything is previously defined by the company uses "Make your Point, show me your Power"?
Network:14238



I use the following as a guideline for myself. It re-states some of the good advice already made, but also provides some additional viewpoints.

I believe it is helpful to look at a given presentation as a project into and of itself, meaning that you should create a strategic plan and then execute it. From a strategic perspective, you should ask yourself questions such as:

- What are the objectives/goals of the presentation?
- Who are the consumers, what are their roles?
- What is the best content approach to reach these consumers (meaning the possibility exist that you many need variant presentations to properly meet specific roles)?
- What is the “after-life” of your presentation (are you additionally targeting someone you will not be presenting to, but who will likely receive the presentation)?

From the content side, I drive by the following:
- You are telling a story that has a beginning and an end (i.e., a life-cycle).
- Visualization of ideas, concepts, processes, etc., speaks more than words.
- Use simple sequenced animation to focus material (i.e., don’t provide content ahead of yourself).
- Minimize special entrance and exit effects as they can distract from the content.
- Have ancillary assets available that provide lower-level details (put them in as attachments in case they are needed).
- Present slides with a consistent style and approach.
- Build-in checkpoints that allow you to determine if you are on target for meeting your objectives.

- Dry run your content to make sure:
..... It flows well and follows the workflow/process you are speaking to.
..... It has the ability to “stand on its own” and provide value (if needed).
..... It is written in the vernacular of your audiences.
..... It is grammatically correct.

Although this may appear to be overkill, I’m always aware that once I pass on my slides to someone I presented to, that it can end up being consumed by just about anyone in the company. It may be intact, or it may have certain sections copied into another presentation. Either way, whether I want it to or not, I may get “branded” by some executive based on their impression of my presentation or a portion of it. Therefore, I need to build my presentations with that possibility in mind.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 10:05 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Geroge:
Thanks for sharing your opinion
Excellent tips that allow us to make better presentations to our teams or other project stakeholders
Yo use the strategy: "Make your Point, show me your Power"
Network:140



Treat each word in a PowerPoint presentation as if you have to spend a dollar to use it. Keep your words concise and make sure each word is relevant to what you're doing. If you have multiple bullet points consider talking about one or two bullets that are most germane. Don't just read them. Also keep your eye on audience members for questions, and never say "Hold your questions to the end" in an exec presentation.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 7:30 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Lonnie
Thanks for sharing your opinion
Excellent tips that allow us to make better presentations to our teams or other project stakeholders
Network:94



Many times presentations are used for more than just actively delivering information. They are also treated as project artifacts and need all the relevant details that the presenter is speaking about. For this reason, I usually would break the presentation document into two parts. First section is lighter with more speaking by the presenter. Second part contains appendices with the details so that the information is delivered all in one document.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Oct 16, 2019 10:06 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Yousaf:
Thanks for sharing your opinion
Excellent tips that allow us to make better presentations to our teams or other project stakeholders
Yo use the strategy: "Make your Point, show me your Power"
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