Use this presentation cheat sheet

Smart speakers—even experienced presenters—rely on a checklist to make sure they have all their bases covered before they take to the podium. Use these guidelines as you:

Plan your presentation.

  • Know your audience. Consider age, language, abilities, knowledge, etc.
  • Know your purpose. Is your presentation appropriate?
  • Know your venue. What facilities and amenities are available?
  • Know your budget.
  • Know your timeline. How much preparation and practice time will you have?

Structure your presentation.

  • Identify three things your audience should understand or remember. Then make sure those things are clear and memorable.
  • Check your logic. Information should be presented in a logical sequence.
  • Clarify examples. Offer sufficient evidence to illustrate difficult or key points.
  • Consider handouts. Do you have enough? Are they relevant and accurate?
  • Examine your visuals. Do they enhance or detract from the presentation? Do you know how to work them? Do you have a backup?

Practice your presentation.

  • Check the clock. Can you deliver your key points within the time limit? Did you allow for audience questions?
  • Read or recite your presentation until you can speak clearly and confidently and with sufficient volume and confidence.
  • Eliminate jargon, clichés and timeworn phrases.
  • Anticipate likely questions and objections. Prepare answers up front and practice delivering them.

— Adapted from “Become a Natural Presenter With This Simple Oral Presentation Checklist,” Lyndsay Swinton, Management for the Rest of Us,



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