This week on Inside PR, Terry and David once again discuss the art of presentations, focusing specifically on effective presentation performance this week. Also, they welcome an audio comment from Bob Ledrew. Chris Clarke contributes his weekly commentary. Finally, Terry does his segment of Inside PRoper English.

Show Notes

00:29 Terry introduces the show. He invites listener feedback through email at [email protected], the comment line at 206-600-4741, or comment on the Inside PR show blog.

01:15 Terry and David talk about Third Tuesday Toronto from last week.

03:12 Terry introduces an audio comment from Bob Ledrew, a PR practitioner and blogger from Ottawa, who talks about effective presentation skills. This leads to a short discussion about Powerpoint and into the main topic for the week.

07:30 David introduces the main topic of the week: effective presentation performance.

08:07 Terry’s first point is that when presenting, you must be yourself. You shouldn’t stand in front of an audience and become someone you’re not, although you should dial it up a little bit.

10:45 Terry uses the example of going to the theatre. The actors on stage are not speaking in their normal voices, as they need to be understood by those in the far reaches of the theatre.

11:25 Terry offers his second point: the need to involve the audience. Terry likes to say something about the people he knows in the audience. He finds that asking questions is also effective. With small audiences, David recommends writing down people’s names so he can refer to people by name.

14:10 Terry’s third point: Read the room. Pick up on the communication you’re getting back from different parts of the room. A presentation is actually a dialogue, not a monologue by the presenter.  The audience is sending non-verbal signals.  Pick up on them and adjust as necessary.
15:20 Terry discusses four more technical points  to increase engagement. The first is your voice: you can speak faster or slower, louder or softer, and with more inflection. The second is eye contact: the audience won’t believe you if you’re looking elsewhere. Terry discourages the machine-gun technique of turning your head from left to right, back and forth, in order to make eye contact. David’s tip on eye contact: stare at their forehead. They won’t be able to tell that you’re not looking them in the eyes.

20:30 As for gestures, Terry believes that hand talkers should not try to stifle what comes naturally. David thinks speakers need their hands to project themselves effectively. When David finds something very important, he will reach out and touch it on the screen. The last technical aspect from Terry is movement. A truly great speaker can move away from the podium and walk around. He recommends getting away from the podium if possible. David thinks a handy tool is the remote control slide advancer.

27:00 Terry adds a point about the Q&A: when someone asks a question not relating to the presentation, respect the audience by telling the questioner that you’ll answer it afterwards. With regard to the Q&A, the question may belong to the questioner, but the answer belongs to the audience. As you answer the question, make eye contact with the questioner, but then broaden your focus to make contact with the entire audience. The Q&A is the last thing the audience will remember. David thinks that presenters anchored down by a lectern can move away from it doing the Q&A and closer to the audience.

29:45 David ends by saying that in the PR business, presentations cannot be avoided. He started his career feeling uneasy before presentations, and now he’s at a point where he enjoys them.

33:20 Terry introduces Chris Clarke’s commentary this week.

35:38 Inside PRoper English: better/best, faster/fastest, older/oldest.

37:20 David closes the show and invites listener comments: through email at [email protected], on the comment line at 206-600-4741, or comment on the Inside PR show blog. Also, they welcomes listeners to the Inside PR Blubrry site.

Music: our theme music is Streetwalker by CJacks, and is from the Podsafe Music Network; Roger Dey is our announcer.

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