Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The start-up meeting and The Presentation...

This past week I flew out to the west coast to meet up with 60 team members from 20 locations for a start-up meeting. At this meeting there were several Project Managers who presented their parts of the project to the team members. This face to face meeting was great to finally meet several of the key team members I have been working with over the past few months to set the project up.

I was also asked to give a 45 minute presentation on my section of the project. I have and continue to enjoy getting up in front of people to convey a message to the masses. When I give presentations I always do a few key things that help me shine (if I can toot my own horn).

1. Lay out the different sections of your presentation within the 1st couple of slides so the audience knows what to expect.

2. Get the audience involved at the beginning, middle and end. How? Come up with some basic questions and ask for a raise of hands; at the end ask questions to the audience on some key points you emphasized during your presentation (this will help cover this point one last time).

3. Don't just read your slides! If all you do is read your slides your audience will fall asleep since they can just read them themselves!

4. If you show hands on items in your slides think about having a table set up to allow the attendees to view/handle these items during your meeting breaks. During this time be at the table to answer any questions.

5. Use your hands, face and vocal tones to keep your audience interested. No one is interested in a mono-tone frozen speaker.

6. If others are presenting similar parts, name drop ("I will briefly cover this topic, but after lunch Bob will give a more in-dept talk about this").

7. Be confident in yourself. If you walk in with confidence your audience will see that in your talk and the first jitters will be short because you can feel the positive vibe from the audience.

8. Have a brief closing statement and emphasize, "that we are all a team and we will all work together to make this project happen"

Sunrise from my hotel room (Looks like another great start for a new project):