1. Effective Presentations Module 1

Lesson 1: Preparing for a Presentation

1. Read the following abstract and summarize the main points

Can you believe how much time executives devote to speeches and presentations? Practically no one likes giving them think of all the tedious hours spent preparing mind-numbing PowerPoint slides. Even fewer people like being on the receiving end. And all for naught, really: study after study shows that presentations are a particularly ineffective way to transmit information, whether to colleagues, subordinates, or clients. People just dont absorb much of what they hear.
So why do presentations persist? Because a good one, even if it ultimately conveys little detailed information, can have a powerful emotional impact. It can win peoples trust and motivate them to act, thereby sparking organizational change. And on a personal level, the ability to move the audience can shape the trajectory of a managers career.
Its a pity that few managers capitalize on the power of a speech or presentation, whether its delivered to a large audience or to six people sitting in a conference room. The reason for their failure is simple but not obvious. Most speakers dont make a strong audience connection-personal and emotional-needed to inspire trust and action. Many good speakers will connect aurally with their audiences telling dramatic stories and effectively pacing their speeches to hold peoples attention. Others will connect visually, with a vivid film clip or with a killer slide. Some do both.
You may open the presentation with a joke to get the audiences attention. Even if you write out your entire speech beforehand, youll undoubtedly work to sound informal and conversational, possibly posing a few questions directly to the audience throughout the talk. Youll probably nod and smile, just like the speaking coaches and the how-to books suggest. You must vary the volume and the speed of your delivery. Instead of standing stiffly in front of the audience, you must move back and forth between the podium and the screen, drawing peoples attention to the key points of the slides.
At the conclusion, you may summarize the three or four points you hope the audience will walk away with.
. . .     . . .     . . .

Lesson 2: Structuring Your Introduction

Remember first impressions count.
So let the audience see your best qualities.
In particular try to be: 2.1. Practice

The beginning is crucial in any presentation. Here is a list of what could be included in an introduction. Mark them from 9 to 1 according to how necessary they are.
Subject / title of talk.
Introduction to oneself, job title, etc.
Reference to questions and / or discussion
Reference to the programme for the day.
Reference to how long you are going to speak for.
Reference to the visual aids you plan to use.
The scope of your talk: what is and is not included.
An outline of the structure of your talk.
A summary of the conclusions.

2.2. Listening 2

Now listen to the beginning of 2 presentations:
1 on the marketing plans for the new telecommunications system produced by Telco,
2 on plans to develop a new production plant in Taiwan.
a) Is it a good introduction?
b) Why? Why not?
c) Label the structure of the talk.

2.3. Practice

Prepare your own Introduction on one of the topics below using the key phrases listed and the sequence in which they occur:
Your home town
Your favourite sport
Your first ever job
A thing you really like
Eating out
Your hobbies


Let me just start by introducing myself. My name is .... Im in charge of ....
As some / most of you already know, I am ....

Id like to ....
... say a few words to you about ....
... talk to you about ....
... explain to you today the main features of ....
... describe the operation of ....

Ive divided my talk into 3 main parts.
During my talk Ill be looking at 3 main areas.
First(ly) ... second(ly)... third(ly) ... finally

My talk will take about 15 minutes.
I aim to talk for about 15 minutes.
I shall take about 15 minutes of your time.

To illustrate my talk ....
... Ill be using some transparencies.
... Ive brought along a few slides.
... I intend to show some diagrams.

If you have any questions ....
... please feel free to interrupt me.
... Ill be glad to answer them after the presentation.

OK. Lets start with the 1st point which is ....
Right. We can begin by looking at ....