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Presentation Tips and Considerations for Specific Contexts

The particulars of your presentation will depend on different things. Among those factors is the context of your presentation.

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Are you presenting at a big industry event? Or are you discussing tasks with colleagues in a meeting? Whatever the case, different presentation tips and considerations apply for different occasions.

Seminars and conventions

These are often held in large venues like auditoriums. Usually, you’ll be presenting from a stage with a huge projector screen looming behind you.

For these occasions, the most important thing you have to think about is how well the audience can see your slides. This won’t be a problem for people sitting in the front row, but you’ll need to make sure that the experience remains the same for those seated in the back.

To avoid any issues with visibility, here are a few presentation tips to consider:

  • Learn what you can about the venue beforehand – Ask the organizers about the particulars of the venue where you’ll be presenting. Estimate the stage size, and prepare for any restrictions.
  • Optimize your presentation for the equipment You should also check the equipment you’ll be using, especially the projector and the screen. Familiarizing yourself with the type of projector can also help you diagnose some PowerPoint display issues.
  • Practice blocking and how you’ll move around the stage – Obviously, your presentation is more than your PowerPoint slides. As the presenter, the audience will also have to see you properly. Make sure you practice how you’ll move around the stage. Own as much of the space as you can.

Workshops

Workshops allow for more interaction between the audience and speaker. Because you’re expected to instruct the audience about a certain subject matter, the venue is optimized to make sure that there’s plenty of opportunity for face to face conversations.

Unlike seminars and conventions, the obstacle you have to overcome is making sure the audience can easily follow the structure of your presentation.

Here are some important presentation tips to remember when preparing for workshops:

  • Make sure you can easily navigate through your presentation – A workshop involves two-way communication. Someone in your audience might start asking questions that you expect to cover in a later slide. When this happens, it helps if your deck utilizes hyperlinks for easy navigation.
  • Distribute presentation handouts – A quick way to make sure the audience follows what you’re saying is by creating handouts. Distribute it at the beginning of your presentation and encourage them to add their own notes along the margins.
  • Prepare to improvise – Lastly, keep in mind that because of its interactive quality, you can’t always stick to the script you planned. Always be flexible and don’t be afraid to follow the curve balls that the audience throws at you.

Executive or board presentations

When you’re presenting to executives or board members, keep in mind that the stakes are unbelievably high. In more formal business settings, the outcome of your presentation affects what comes next for your career. For instances like this, you need to value brevity and clarity above anything else.

Keep your delivery well-polished by following these presentation tips:

  • Focus on your core message: Executives and board members aren’t interested in long and winding discussions. Get straight to the point and keep your focus on the core message.
  • Back up your points with concise data: For formal business presentations, fancy rhetoric isn’t enough to win your audience over. You also need to make sure that your points are backed up by evidence. Present your data in a concise manner using eye-catching visuals.
  • Take the time to rehearse: It’s totally normal to feel nervous about high-stakes presentations. To make sure things over perfectly, take the time to rehearse every aspect of your presentation. Learn your points and practice how you’ll incorporate your slides to your speech.

Small group meetings

There are also presentations that involve a smaller crowd. If you’re leading a meeting, you’ll likely face just a small group of participants. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be as prepared as you would be on other presentation scenarios. You also need to make sure that your points are well-prepared. Make the audience feel included in your discussion.

Stanford professor JD Schramm presents five questions to ask yourself when faced in small group meetings. Apart from his initial five questions, Schramm provides a few extra notes:

  • Opt for a printed or tablet presentation deck: It will be easier to facilitate a small group meeting if everyone can navigate through your presentation deck at their own pace. Create a printed presentation deck instead. You can also distribute your PowerPoint file ahead of time so that participants can sync them to their own devices.
  • Don’t take your nonverbal cues for granted: Even is small-scale presentations feel a lot more casual, you shouldn’t take nonverbal cues for granted. Make sure you present an aura of authority the same way you would while you’re on stage.
  • Leave room for open discussion: Meetings are supposed to be collaborative in nature. Make sure you allot specific moments for the participants to join in your discussion.

There’s plenty to consider depending the context of your presentation. To achieve the best outcome, prepare according to context and occasion. These presentation tips will help you figure out what to consider.

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References:

Designing PowerPoint Decks for the Smartphone.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 23, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015.
PowerPoint Design Tips for Presenting Data.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 1, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015
PowerPoint Tutorial – Hyperlinks.” UPenn Workshops. Accessed January 12, 2016.
Schramm, JD. “How to Present to a Small Audience.” Harvard Business Review. August 20, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2015.
Tips for Small-Scale Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 13, 2014. Accessed January 12, 2016.

 

Featured Image: University of the Fraser Valley via Flickr

9 Trade Show Tips for a Flawless Outcome

Trade shows, conventions, and other similar industry events offer countless opportunities for your business. These events allow you to learn current trends in your field and outdo your competitors.

But more than that, they’re a great venue to showcase the best of your brand. As startup CEO David Adelman pointed out, a few days in an industry event allows you to achieve what could take months of cold calls and emails. To get the same results, we’ve compiled 9 trade show tips to help you out.

Pre-Show Planning

Success comes from careful planning. Our first three trade show tips will help you smooth out details before the big event.

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1.) Set your goals. Participating at trade shows is an investment, so you need to be aware of what you want to achieve. Are you looking to promote a product you’re launching? Are you hoping to meet industry professional and potential clients? List down the outcome you want to achieve and this will help guide you make decisions along the way.

2.) Do some research. Not all trade shows are created equal. Make sure the trade show you’re signing up for is the best match for your brand. Before you commit to anything, look through websites and past programs to help you determine which event matches your goals. Choose shows that can help you reach out to key decision makers to get the best ROI.

3.) Prep your team. Gather your team and have regular meetings to plan and prepare for the trade show. Trade show exhibits are a lot like presentations. Aside from the visuals, you need to be able to engage the crowd with good delivery.  This won’t happen unless all of you are on the same page. Discuss your goals and train your team long before you’re slated to attend the event.

Exhibit Set-Up

Once everything has been set in place, it’s time to prepare your visuals and display. Here are trade show tips to guide your exhibit set-up.

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4.) Don’t be caught unaware. Get in touch with the organizers and learn the specific details about your exhibition space. Learn more about the layout and technical requirements to avoid any unpleasant surprises. You don’t want to be setting up your booth only to find out that there are no electrical outlets near your assigned space.

5.) Make a trade show loop. Aside from decorating your booth in subtle colors that match your brand logo, you should also have a trade show loop set up. Crowds at industry events won’t spend more than a few minutes in each booth. A trade show loop can quickly show those just passing by what your exhibit is about. You can use PowerPoint to make one. You can read our tutorial here or ask the help of our professional PowerPoint designers.

6.) Be organized and creative. Draw the crowd’s attention by keeping your booth organized, but with an element of fun. Your display will be easier on the eyes if you arrange your materials in levels. Place smaller items up front and larger objects at the back. Arrange your flyers and brochures in a place where people can easily reach for them. You can also display a portfolio so others can learn about your past projects. These are usual things for a trade show booth, so don’t forget to integrate something new. It’s common to offer giveaways at a booth. Most exhibitors like to give office supplies. Deviate by coming up with something more creative with a care package, or food.

Networking

Engage the crowd by giving them a pleasant experience. These trade show tips are useful for networking with prospects.

trade show tips: networking
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7.) Utilize social media. Most big industry events will have a strong online presence.  Even for smaller shows, organizers will likely integrate the use of social media. If this is the case, tweet about your involvement using the trade show’s official hashtag. This will serve you two ways. You can draw attendees to your booth if they see your tweet in the event’s live feed. It will also give your followers a chance to get a glimpse of your exhibit, even if they’re far away.

8.) Make conversation.  It’s important to strike up a conversation with those visiting your booth. It doesn’t have to be too long. Chat up people who stop by your exhibit, using the opportunity to introduce others to your brand. Don’t forget to exchange business cards. You should also have some press kits prepared, just in case someone from the media stops by.

9.) Don’t forget to follow up. Connect with contacts you’ve made right after the trade show. Write an email with a personalized message. Use the opportunity to re-introduce  them to your company. Frame it in a way that relates to their own interests. Learn more about making follow-ups here.

Industry events are the perfect venue to introduce your brand to potential customers or clients. Make sure you put the best foot forward. Follow these trade show tips and you’ll meet a successful outcome.

 

 

Reference

Adelman, David. “10 Simple Tricks For Getting More Out Of Conventions And Trade Shows.” Forbes. Accessed August 18, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Think Geo Energy via Flickr