1. 幻灯片不能作为会上分发的文字材料。不要分发毫无意义的幻灯片打印材料。用MS Word或InDesign等文档创建工具准备一份在会上分发的文字资料。
Before the preparation
1. Who: Understand the target. What does an average person sitting in the auditorium look like? Feel them, imagine them, draw them. What level of competency do they have in the subject you are going to present? Tailor the content to your audience. Never try to go over their heads or beneath their feet. Once you start visualizing the audience and get them into their heads, you can make an emotional bond with them.
2. Why: Understand your motive. Why are you presenting? What are you planning to achieve after the presentation? Is it to attract investors? Is it to convince a scientific audience about the validity of your work? The presentation is just the marketing of your content and cannot be a replacement for your main content (a detailed deck & metrics in case of fund raising & a paper in case of a research presentation). The presentation is one of the weapons that should lead you to that strategic objective.
3. What: Understand the context. What is the broad context of your presentation. Is it a part of a demo day? Is it part of an academic conference? Is it a company meeting? Is it a fund raising event for a charity? Is it a product demo? The context should drive your content and intent.
4. Understand the Bikini rule of life - Reveal enough and conceal enough to spark interest. Most of us have the temptation to dump all the stuff we got into the poor little Powerpoint. That leads to intimidation and confusion. The goal of the presentation should be to spark that interest in your work so that your target comes towards you. In essence it is a conversation starter by gaining their attention.
The Marketing Mindset
When you are presenting, you are actually marketing [to eventually lead to a “sale” – of whatever you are attempting]. Get into that mindset. You can never sell someone an important idea through a single shot. You need go through a series of stages in the process of them buying your idea. First get them to be aware of your product, generate an interest and eventually lead them to process that leads them to “purchase”. Your presentation should do the first two stages below.
Preparing for your presentation
1. The powerpoint deck is not a handout. Don’t be that guy handing out irrelevant printouts of your powerpoint. Prepare a document handout prepared through a document creator like MS Word or InDesign.
2. The powerpoint deck should not be a readable one. Certainly not a printable one. [If they are reading, they are not listening to you]. It should be to connect. To get your audience to be interested in you. No more than 7-10 words. Once the audience like your idea, they should have the handout to read more and then come to you for a much detailed walk through.
3. Prepare a script. Powerpoint deck is not your cheat sheet to read from. Don’t rest on that. Have a strong script and use the projection to complement what you say. When you have finished rehearsing, rehearse hard. Whenever I present without rehearsing, the result shows immediately in the audience [boredom].
4. Get to the empty stage. Before an important presentation, get to the stage when the whole place is empty. Pace the stage and let the physical world consume you. Feel at home and let the environment absorb you.
5. Do a dry run. During one of my recent presentations, I didn’t do a tech dry run. Not surprisingly the tech melted down and there was precious minutes lost. Make sure the technology doesn’t fail you.
6. Be very comfortable with the clothes you are going to wear. You should feel those clothes are an extension of your body. I have a favorite suit I bought 7 years ago and I don’t wear any of my other suits for the most important presentations. I take it ceremonially and feel like a knight in his armor. That suit provides the cloak of invincibility. Once I’m in, I feel all the good omens from the past presentations come in and push me and give the confidence.