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Chapter 22. Controlling the Presentation... > Items to think about before your pre...

Items to think about before your presentation

Computer Hardware and Software Always check hardware and software immediately before the presentation to make sure all systems are functioning. Have a backup plan in mind should you have a breakdown—remember Murphy’s Law.

Overhead Projector Is the bulb working and is a spare bulb available? Is the projection glass clean? Do you need extra transparencies and projectable pens to create overlays?

Flip Chart Is there enough paper? Do you have a supply of marking pens? Have you checked to make sure the pens have not dried out?

Handouts Are handouts easily accessible and in order, so they can be distributed with minimum disruption? Have you arranged for assistance in handing them out if needed?

Microphones If speaking to more than 50 people you will probably need a microphone. Before your presentation you may want to request a microphone that allows you to move around. Request a broadcast lavelier mike that will hook on your jacket or tie and allow you to keep your hands free.

Lighting Try to leave on as much light as possible. Dimming the lights can contribute to people dozing off, especially after lunch.

Seating Arrangement If you have control over seating in the room, exercise it. If possible, arrange the seating so that the exit and entrance to the room are at the rear. In this way, if people come and go, it will cause the least amount of distraction.

If you know approximately how many people are going to be present, try to make sure that there are approximately as many seats as people. That way you won’t have your audience sitting in the back of the room. Keeping your audience closer will focus their attention where you want it.


Following is a checklist for your practice sessions. Staying aware of these steps will help you give a more relaxed, confident, and enthusiastic presentation.

Use your slides and overheads as “note cards” whenever possible. Remember, talk to the audience don’t read to them.

Mentally run through the presentation to review each idea in sequence, until you become familiar with the flow of ideas and where you plan to use slides to support them.

Begin stand-up rehearsals of your presentation. Try to arrange a practice room similar to the one in which you will actually give your presentation.

Give a simulated presentation, idea-for-idea (not word-for-word), using all slides.

Strive for minimum focus on the notes, maximum focus on the audience.

Practice answering the questions you anticipate from the audience.

Give the full presentation again. If possible, videotape yourself or have a friend give you some feedback.

Review the videotape and/or the friend’s feedback and incorporate any necessary changes.

Give one or two dress rehearsals of the presentation in its final form.



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