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1. Don't forget your purpose:
Too many presentations ramble on an on with no clear sense of purpose. The temptation is to throw in every clever quotation and every interesting fact you can muster that is even remotely related to the purpose of your presentation. The reason that this temptation is so bad is that you most likely haven't identified what you hope to accomplish with your presentation. In other words you haven't pinned down your purpose.
2. Don't become a slave to your slides:
PowerPoint makes such beautiful slides that the temptation is to let them be the show. That's a big mistake. You are the show, not the slides! The slides are merely visual aids, designed to make your presentation more effective, not to steal the show.
4. Don't overwhelm your audience with unnecessary detail:
On November 19, 1863, a crowd of 15,000 gathered in Gettysburg to hear Edward Everett, one of the nations most eloquent orators, speak for two hours about the events that had transpired during the famous battle.
5. Don't neglect your opening:
As they say, you get only one opportunity to make a first impression. Don't waste it by telling and showing information that has nothing to do with your topic, don't apologize a for a lack of preparation, and don't list your credentials. Don't pussyfoot around; go right to the point.
6. Relevant facts only:
The objective of any presentation is to lead your audience to say, "Me too". Unfortunately, far too many presentations leave the audience thinking," So what?".
7. Practice, practice, practice:
Somehow a rumor got started that Abraham Lincoln hastily wrote the Gettysburg address. In truth, Lincoln agonized over every word of the address.
Practice, practice, practice. Work through the rough spots. Polish the opening and all awkward transitions. Practice in front of a mirror or with a tape recorder. Time yourself.
8. Don't panic:
Don't worry! Be happy! Even the most gifted public speakers are scared silly every time they step up to the podium. Whether your speaking to one person or 10,000, relax. In 20 minutes, it will all be over!
No matter how nervous you are, no one knows it except you. That is, unless you tell them. The number one rule of panic avoidance is " never apologize for your fears".
9. Expect the unexpected:
Expect things to go wrong, because they will. The light bulb in the overhead projector will burnout. The microphone won't work. You'll drop your notes as you approach the podium. Who knows what else?
10. Above all else, don't be boring:
An audience can overlook almost anything, but one thing they cannot overlook is being bored. Above all, you must never bore your audience.
This guideline does not mean that you have to tell jokes, jump up and down, or talk fast. Jokes, excessive jumping, and rapid speech can be as boring as formatting disks. If you obey the other commandments -- if you have a clear cut purpose and stick to it, avoid unnecessary detail, an address real needs -- they will never be boring. Just be yourself and have fun. If you have fun, so will your audience.
11. Images and color:
Be sure that your text stands out clearly. Consider using complimentary colors or creating high contrast between background and foreground (Ex. white text on a black background). Color images usually look best on a plan black or white background. Avoid placing black and white images on colored backgrounds! The viewers attention is unnecessarily focused on the background.
Many of the above points were taken directly from PowerPoint 4 -- Windows for Dummies, IDG books Worldwide, An International Data Group Co., San Mateo, California 94402.
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