What You Can Learn from Recent Presentation Challenges

Continuing with the presentation-improvement topic I introduced in my recent newsletter, I want to share with you a few challenges I have faced in recent presentations and what I learned from them.\r\n\r\n1. I was surprised to find out I only had one minute left in my presentation. The good thing is I was almost done and I had been taking questions throughout the presentation. The bad thing is I had taken my eyes off the clock in the last 15 minutes, which is a potential recipe for trouble. Following the “rule of three” outlined in a previous blog article, I now write down the time I plan to allocate to each of my three main points. This way, I have three checkpoints throughout the presentation, allowing me to make adjustments as I go.\r\n\r\n2. I arrived to find an “unfriendly” computer and podium setup. When I arrived at the location where I was going to give a keynote speech, I found out the computer was in the back of the room and the podium was placed where a column partially blocked the view of the audience. This setup would not allow me to view my digital notes from the computer or use my printed notes at the podium. The good thing was I had rehearsed the presentation enough times to feel confident delivering it without relying on my notes or continually turning around to read off the slides (a big no-no). I ended up using my printed notes only to refer to the questions I had received from the audience ahead of time. Two lessons learned: Arrive early, and rehearse.\r\n\r\n3. A participant was monopolizing the questions. In a recent three-session workshop I gave on defining and achieving success in life, there was one participant who constantly asked questions and gave suggestions on the topics being covered. What I did right was to respectfully ask him to hold off on his interventions and let others speak. This only partially worked. What I should have done was give him the chance to speak with me during the breaks, hopefully lowering his need to speak up during the sessions.\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Speaker, Consultant, Facilitator & Coach\r\nwww.cannon.consulting

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