Presentation Skills – Jay Leno Does It, Do you?

The following happened when I was in Orlando a few days ago. It bugged me so much I had to write about it.

So there I was, along with Dave, standing in the front of an almost empty meeting room. Dave had heard me speak to a group of managerial accountants in Boston. It went over so well, he invited me to present to a group of 425 college accounting students. He knew my abilities and trusted my judgment.

So there we were, along with the AV guys, setting up the room for my motivational speech, “Want to be Good, Great, or a Champion?” I asked Dave how many students he expected? He told me “at best” 425, but we both surmised that the room had been set up for many more.

Now, it’s a fact that people do not like to sit in the front rows. It is human nature for people to want to be comfortable. We tend to spread out, so that we are not too close to others if we don’t have to be. That’s why most people prefer to cluster in the back, leaving rows and rows of empty seats up front.

This is not fun for the presenter. Speaking is intimate; a speaker looks to connect with the audience. And rows of empty chairs become an invisible barrier, one that literally and emotionally creates distance between a speaker and the audience.

Did you know that when Jay Leno took over the Tonight Show he added rows of chairs and extended Johnny Carson’s stage to allow him to get closer to the audience? Like Jay, it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to connect better with the audience.

Dave had given many presentations himself. So he understood the problem immediately. He and I agreed that we should either remove some chairs or tape off the back rows, forcing people to fill in the front first.

The event planner for the organization came into the room just then. We asked her if she could take care of doing just that. She replied, “We’ll just have the room monitors at the doors ask everybody to sit up front.” She then ran off to handle another issue.

Dave and I look at each other in shock. “WHAT? They’ll never listen. It doesn’t work that way!” Granted, she was trying to be helpful and thought she had solved the problem. And yes, she had about a million things to attend to. But the fact was, she just didn’t get it. She never had to give a presentation before. She didn’t understand the effect a row of empty chairs had on the speaker.

At almost every conference I’ve spoken, I’ve noticed that they put out way to many chairs: “Just in case.” Just in case what? In case people walk in off the street to go to an accounting conference? Not very likely.

If you have a track record of 100 attendees, even with better promotion, you still have a good idea as to how many people are registered, and how many people might register at the door. So be reasonable. It looks better when tables and chairs have to be added-much better than having lots of empty seats.

In her defense, this was only the second conference so there was not as much of a track record. Yet, I still believe it is better to put out fewer chairs than you need. It lends an air of “excitement” when you need to set out more. Too many empty chairs gives the perception of “low turn out” or “this meeting can’t be that good.”

In the end, it turned out not too bad in Orlando. As people came in last minute, they did not go to the front. There were five rows on the left side of the room that only had 1 person. It could have been much worse.

Event planners: Yes, it is easier to have all the chairs set out ahead of time. But are you going for easier, or a better event? Speakers will do better when the setting is optimal. Attendees will have a more fruitful experience.

Speakers: It is our job to create the best atmosphere, to generate the best connection with the audience. Sometimes we may have to gently educate the event planners. If they are not opened to it, keep in mind that speakers are just one part of their event. Whether we are a big part or not, we must not let our egos ruin our reputations. They are the ones paying you. Do everything you can to optimize the setting for your speech.

Be like Jay: Take responsibility and make the room the best setting for you. If NBC had said “No,” do you think Jay would have thrown a hissy fit? Do the best you can with what you have.

The Only Way to Make a Perfect Presentation

Almost 100% people who rarely speak in front of public will face mentality problems. Fear, nervous or even shock when presenting powerpoint presentation are the most often occurred mentality problems . Drying up and not being able to speak in front of public, forgetting all of the presentation material you’ve prepared before or unable to answer audience’s questions are some of mentality problem impact. Moreover some people rather to choose fever than speak in front of public. Thing will changes 180 degrees if you already familiar and experienced in powerpoint presentation, and of course you will also eliminate all kind of mentality problems.

Yes, the solution is only one, Practice.

Why practice ?

-Routine eye-contact when speaking in front of public will give you immune from nervous or fear. Presenter with twenty times presentation experiences, will have stronger mental of presentation in front public rather than presenter who just have four times presentation experiences. In other words, experienced presenter will have better and trained mentality than less experienced presenter.

-Routine speech practice in front of public will enhance your speech skill, you will have a better speech management if you often practice speaking in front of public. You wont drying up again when presenting your material.

-Routine practice also enrich your deep knowledge to solve presentation technical problem, handout problem, timing, or even the way you present the presentation material will definitely better.

If you have do it all, you wont feel drying up or unable to speak in front of public, you wont forget the material you’ve prepared, and you will easily answer all audience questions correctly. You can do you presentation practice in front of your parents, sisters or brothers and friends, after get it smooth you can practice in front of your class or office, if you can do it all smoothly, you will be familiar and love powerpoint presentation.

Ten Qualities That A Good Presenter Should Possess

In the corporate world, presenters are crucial to closing a deal, establishing good relationships with other companies, influencing others to be part of the company, and many others. With these good advantages, it is important that a presenter possess superb qualities to achieve and enjoy the benefits it offers. The question is what these qualities are. In a study conducted for qualities of a skillful presenter, there are 28 qualities that emerged. Some of these qualities are listed below.

1. Confidence. A presenter should be confident in what he presents no matter his lack of knowledge. Oftentimes confidence exceeds knowledge so if you are to present, make sure you embody this quality.

2. Clarity. A presenter should be clear on the information he relays and should leave no doubt to his audience. This is the reason why it is important for every presenter to research what he would present and prepare for any questions that may be asked of him.

3. Commanding. A good presenter should be authoritative. He should know how to own the room in a way that every participant attentively listens to him and participates in every activity he asks.

4. Understandable. A good presenter should be understandable to his audience. This is actually a crucial part in presenting otherwise the whole goal of presenting is defeated.

5. Natural. A good presenter should be natural in a way that everything from the presentation or multimedia used to the delivery of the message is polished. This can be managed through constant practice of your presentation.

6. Credible. A good presenter should be credible in a way that he is convincing and believable to his audience.

7. Adept verbally and non-verbally. A good presenter should use great words and should show great tone, volume, and correct pacing. He should also be able to enunciate the words he is speaking. Also he should possess clear communication with body language. This includes body movements, gestures, posture, and facial expressions.

8. Animated. A good presenter should be animated in a way that he is lively and enthusiastic when presenting. There are different kinds of personalities that compose an audience. It is crucial that you should be able to learn to entertain each one of them to avoid getting them bored.

9. Relaxed. A good presenter should be relaxed and comfortable in what he does. A relaxed person is neither tense nor anxious.

10. Focused. A good presenter should be focused especially to the topic at hand. No matter the problems at home or at work, he should learn how to manage these worries for it not to show when he presents.