Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Technical Presentations #2 - Habits

Now that you have an insight into what kind of a presenter you are, let's look at the kinds of presentation habits you should develop that will help in any situation and style. The 3 basic categories are:

1. Self awareness
Knowing what you are doing is critical when delivering a presentation, every aspect of you is being scrutinized. You ARE in the spotlight. Pay attention to:
  • General appearance
  • Facial expressions
  • Hand gestures
  • Voice (pauses, tone, rhythm, volume, speed)
  • Space (where you are standing, how you are moving)
Day to day, develop the habit of paying attention to these things. These will be used to increase the impact of your technical presentations.

2. Process orientation
Every time you have a presentation, follow a strict process so you consider everything for the highest impact. Depending on the level of the presentation, you can shorten or speed up this process.
  • Preparation
    • Goals
    • Audience analysis
    • Storyline and flow
    • Content
    • Rehearsals (iterate on 3&4)
    • Logistics
  • Delivery
  • Follow up
As you can plainly see, most of the work is in preparation and rightfully so! If you follow a strict process, you make sure your audience will benefit the most from your presentation.

3. Reflection
A strong habit is to reflect on how you have done through informal or even formal feedback/ metrics. This will help you to continuously improve on your style.

We will go through the process step by step next to see how it can all come together.

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