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“Making Effective Presentations”. E140A - Workshop D April 22, 1999. Today’s Goals : Review the basics for making effective presentations. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. What can you do to become more proficient?

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making effective presentations

“Making Effective Presentations”

E140A - Workshop D

April 22, 1999


Today’s Goals:

  • Review the basics for making effective presentations.
  • Think about your strengths and weaknesses. What can you do to become more proficient?
  • Understand how we will use presentations in E140 and the Mayfield Fellows Program.

Source: “How to be an Effective Speaker” by Christina Stuart. NTC Publishing, 1996.


Today’s Agenda

  • Motivation
  • Rules for preparing and delivering your presentation
  • Case Openings
  • Project Presentations


  • Like it or not, you will often be evaluated on your ability to publicly present ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Nobody is a “born speaker”.
  • Much of entrepreneurship is about selling your ideas and yourself.

Rule #1: In order to be an effective speaker, you need to understand how people listen.

  • Listening is difficult--Why?
  • Internal and external distractions.
  • Messages are filtered by individual experience and prejudice.
  • Listeners selectively listen to what they think is important or what interests them.
  • Poor speakers: dull voice, irritating mannerism, etc.
  • Poor speeches: jumbled thinking, no structure, confusing visuals, inappropriate level for audience (too simple/too complex)

Rule #2: Preparation and planning, above all else, are the key to success.

  • 1. Know your objective
    • Why am I speaking and what do I want the outcome to be?
  • 2. Know your audience
    • Purpose
    • Expectations
    • Wants/needs
    • Knowledge
    • Attitude

Rule #2: Preparation and planning (cont.)

  • 3. Know the circumstances/environment.
    • room size
    • seating
    • time
    • lighting
    • temperature
    • noise
    • A/V support
  • 4. Map out your ideas
  • 5. Be selective in choosing the points to include

Summary of Preparation

    • Choose a destination
    • Know your fellow travelers
    • Understand the road map
    • Carefully select a path
  • “Fail to prepare; prepare to fail.” –Anonymous
  • “For a 15 minute presentation, you should put in at least 12 hours of preparation” -Guy Kawasaki

Rule #3: Make your presentation easy to follow.

  • Announce the structure
  • (tell them where you are going and how you are going to get there)
  • Summarize and recap frequently
  • (how far you’ve traveled so far and how far you have to go)
  • Identify each point clearly
  • (call attention to the landmarks of your journey)
  • Use rhetorical questions to regain attention
  • (signposts)
  • Use examples and personal stories which are relevant to the audience to illustrate your ideas
  • (describe the beauty spots)
  • Summarize the main points before you conclude
  • (recall the landmarks)

Rule #4: Practice your delivery.

  • You want to speak with:
    • confidence, enthusiasm, vitality, sincerity
  • Choose a safety net with which you are comfortable:
    • index cards, ideas map, visual aids, or script
  • Practice several times aloud, preferably with a tape recorder or on video.

Rule #5: Pay attention to your body language.

  • Use your eyes to make eye contact with your audience and show them that you are interested in them.
  • Use your face to say, “I am happy to be here and I am glad you’re here too!”
  • Your hands should be empty and still.
  • Don’t hide behind barriers.
  • Stand still, don’t sit.
  • Balance on both feet and wear imaginary lead-weighted boots.
  • Let the beam of calm confidence shine out from your chest.

Rule #6: Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

  • Make time to practice, aloud and standing up.
  • Use gestures and vary your voice.
  • Use a tape recorder and/or video camera.
  • Practice in front of friends and colleagues; be sure to ask for feedback. (5/27 -- Session 18 -- Workshop F)
  • Practice techniques for coping with nervousness.

Rule #7: Be selective in your use of visual aids.

  • Make sure that you need your visuals and that you’re using them for the right reasons.
  • Make them simple, colorful, consistent, and relevant.
  • They should visually aid your talk and not distract from it with verbal printouts.
  • The 10-second rule

Rule #8: Remember, it's all about selling your ideas and yourself.

  • Persuading, Convincing, and Selling:
  • Understand your listener’s needs
  • Appeal to the hearts as well as to the mind
  • Show enthusiasm
  • Involve your listeners
  • Control the discussion
  • Get commitment

Summary: Preparing and Planning Your Presentation

1. Understand how people listen.

2. Preparation and planning are most important.

3. Make your presentation easy to follow.

4. Practice your delivery.

5. Pay attention to your body language.

6. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

7. Be selective in your use of visual aids.

8. It's all about selling your ideas and yourself.


What Presentations in E140?

1. E140A Case Openings: 5/4, 5/11, 5/13, & 5/18.

2. E140A Term Project: 6/1

3. Your Summer Internship

4. E140B Employer Open House

5. E140C Company Presentation


Case Openings - Guidelines

  • 1. Be organized
  • Summarize the situation at the time of the case, including the pending decision.
  • Describe your plan of action regarding the decision at hand.
  • Provide the key points of your analysis including references to E140A models.
  • Explain what could go right and what could go wrong.

Case Openings - Guidelines (cont.)

  • 2. Be concise
    • No more than 5 overheads.
    • No more than 10 minutes.
    • Get everyone on the team involved.
  • 3. Be creative
    • Use humor appropriately.
    • Use technology if it makes sense.

Term Project Presentation

  • Teams will lead a 15-20 minute discussion in Session on June 1. (60% of credit)
  • Be prepared to share the key insights in the term paper and what they believe are the key characteristics of entrepreneurs.
  • You may use slides as you see fit, but should submit two hard copies of any additional material you use for your presentation.