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Clarify the Process

The first few minutes of your presentation are critical. They can do much to set a positive pattern for the presentation:

  • Explain your agenda including Q&A. Let them know what you plan to address and what others will address. This can avert questions not in your knowledge area.

  • Capsulize your talk at the start. High-level listeners particularly value hearing the essence of the talk immediately.

  • Agree on procedures. Often audience members will ask questions at any time, in spite of requests to "Please hold the questions until the end." If you intend to make that request, have a good reason why, other than that you don't want to be bothered. Mutual understanding of the agenda and time will help keep questions from sidetracking the presentation.


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