We've all had to give, and sit through, "presentations." I'm convinced that once a conversation is called a "presentation," evil gremlins take over the process. People who are normally conversant and affable can morph into PowerPoint Bots. That's just the stylistic part.
What really bugs us about meetings and presentations is the value of our time. If you're presenting, you've got a room of people who also have other things on their minds and their to-do lists. So, what you offer up better be valuable.
Here's a simple way to make that happen:
Talk with the participants in advance.
Tell them your topic. Ask them what they want to know. Ask them what they don't care about. They'll give you the important content from their perspectives (which is the whole idea, isn't it?). And your prep time will be reduced because you'll know exaclty how to focus on "the right stuff."
The other benefits?
1. You will have established a relationship before they walk into the room. You'll feel more comfortable. They will, too.
2. If your presentation is intended to lead to a decision, you'll have the pulse of the group in advance.
3. You'll know who else to bring into the meeting if other support or technical/financial information is important.
4. They'll tend to be on your side. When was the last time a speaker called you and said "What do you really need from this topic?"
5. As a result of #4, participants will know you took time to prepare. Your credibility goes up. So does their willingness to "be there."
image source: bigstockphoto.com