Planning a Presentation - Free eBook in PDF Format

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Planning a Presentation eBook  

Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-964-0 (41 Pages)
One of the most important management skills to develop is the ability to quickly plan and structure a presentation so that you can give a strong performance even when you have minimal time in which to prepare it. This free eBook describes a simple four-step process that you can use to create a presentation plan, whether you are making a formal presentation to senior management or a routine presentation to your own team.

Chapter 1 - Planning a Management Presentation
People already feel that there are too many presentations and that most of them go on far too long. There are very few circumstances in which you will find an audience that is enthusiastic about what you are about to say. When you get up to speak the most common thought likely to be in people's minds will be 'This had better be short, to the point, and worth listening to as I've got a stack of things to do!'

Chapter 2 - Everyday Management Presentations
Most management presentations are fairly low-key and involve passing on information. However, these presentations are still important because you are visible to your own team or to your senior management, both of which are important to your career.

Chapter 3 - Advantages and Disadvantages of Presentations
Presentations offer you the opportunity to: interact with your audience, observe their reactions, gauge the level of their understanding, emphasize key points, and assess the level of acceptance of your message.

Chapter 4 - Four-Stage Presentation Planning Process
Irrespective of how much time you have, the best approach to planning is to use a method that will give you a usable structure as quickly and efficiently as possible. You can always refine it later if necessary. There are four key stages to planning your presentation: identify your aim, profile your audience, define your key message statement, and outline the scope.

Chapter 5 - Audience Profiling
It is essential to know your audience and to make sure that your presentation takes account of their existing knowledge, level of interest, and what they want from it. Audience profiling can help you with this, but you also need to use common sense and experience.

Chapter 6 - Presentation Environment
Audience size will also have a bearing on the kind of visual aids that will be appropriate and whether or not you should rely on notes or a full script. If your presentation is part of a larger event then you need to know who is presenting before and after you, and whether your time slot is guaranteed.

Chapter 7 - Define Your Key Message Statement
A key message statement makes it clear in as few words as possible why the audience should give you their full attention right now. The key message statement must: be created specifically for the audience, be one sentence long, and be simple enough to be memorable. In most cases, the statement does not need to be clever, witty, or dramatic, but is does need to reflect your own aim for the presentation and should be phrased in a way that is 'audience-centric.'

Chapter 8 - Outline the Scope of Your Presentation
Using your presentation aim and the amount of time you have been allocated, select whether you need a broad scope with less detail, or a narrow scope with greater detail.

Chapter 9 - Management Presentation Planning Guidelines
Any presentation you give should engage the audience as quickly as possible and should keep them focused on your message all of the time you are speaking. To achieve this, you need to develop an approach to preparing presentations that gives you a clear 'key message' and supporting structure, so that even when you don't have much time to prepare you can still capture and hold the audience's attention.

You will learn:
  • The importance of creating an aim statement to help you focus on what to include in your presentation.
  • The key facts you need to find out about your audience before you begin.
  • How to define your key message statement and why this is such an important step.
  • How to produce an outline scope as efficiently as possible.
  • How to quickly draft your content so that you can go forward into the preparation phase.

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Helped me focus my thinking
Anyone who has ever worked in a management position knows the importance of giving a quality presentation. While I have given many presentations for various reasons through the years, I have never been altogether comfortable or confident with the process. I have always felt that my presentations could be improved on so I took some time to read the 'Planning Presentation' eBook and see if I could pick up some tips that would make me more confident and polished when it comes to giving presentations.

One of the early returns from reading this book was the differentiation that it offered between different types of presentations. I feel that I am guilty of treating all presentations essentially the same, so it was nice to gain an understanding of the different kinds of presentations and how they should be approached. Depending on the audience and the purpose of the presentation, I now have an idea of the various ways in which I can prepare and give the presentation to be most effective.

I also appreciated the section that discussed the pros and cons of presentations and actually presented some times and situations where a presentation may not be called for. I feel that presentations lose their impact when held too often, so this section rang true to me and I am going to be careful to only offer a presentation when it is the best option and is truly necessary.

For me, by far the most valuable portion of this book was the specific steps that it provided for planning your presentation and bringing it all together. I don't know how many hours I have lost by going around in circles while thinking about the best way to put together the presentation I needed to give. I am hopeful that using the steps that are offered in this book I will be able to save time and also create more effective presentations. The four steps are simple in nature but have already helped me focus my thinking as to what material is really important for the final product.

The idea of thinking carefully about the scope of a presentation and how much detail is relevant based on the audience and purpose is something that I will also take away from this eBook. This point goes hand in hand with the steps for planning the presentation that I mentioned above, but is worthy of its own section. I think I have tended to broader scope presentations with little detail in the past. While this is sometimes effective, my presentations probably could have hit home a little more in certain situations if I had been willing to narrow down the scope of the content.

It is my feeling that anyone who is regularly tasked with giving presentations can benefit from the content within this eBook. As it was for me, I imagine some of the content in the book will be review for you. However, I found many pieces of fresh material, and also enjoyed the review of some basic presentation concepts. If you decide to invest some time in reading this book, I expect that you will be pleased with the information that you come away with.
Ollie Lorrimer

Plenty of practical information
Working in management, I have prepared more that my fair share of presentations for staff, clients, and supervisors. Over the years I have learned two things, the first being that you are only as good as the data you provide and the second, someone will usually want to know about something you didn't prepare for well enough. Priding myself on being a professional, I really enjoy continuing to learn and perfect my craft. That being said I am glad that I came across this series of management books. As much as I love to learn, I also enjoy teaching others and sharing what I have learned, which is why I really enjoyed the simple four step process identified in this book.

Prior to getting down to the nuts and bolts of how, this book first covers who, which is a very important part of any presentation. Keeping the clear and simple approach, this book breaks your potential audience down into three groups, senior management, your team, and external groups such as clients. Clearly your audience should influence the type and tone of you presentation and this book does a great job of going into the details of each group. One particularly useful tip I found was to create presentations to management that can be effective even if cut short as it will allow you to make key points when time is short, potentially helping to advance your career. Another factor about this book I found particular useful was the fact that is focuses on low-key presentations which are most likely what you will provide as a member of management.

Although less thrilling, low-key presentations are geared around presenting facts and information and as such are a vital part of the role of a leader. These presentations should not be taken lightly though as they often impact your career progression and visibility at the company, a fact that is easily lost sight of without a reminder from this book. Turning towards the more technical, this book will offer a needed refresher in the importance of verbal, Para-verbal, and non-verbal communications in a presentation. Unlike speaking alone, a presentation often invites the use of visual aids as well which when used properly will help you make a more meaningful presentation. Tips and techniques to maximize you success are prevalent in this book. This book also offers a reminder of just how important your role as the speaker is and how you alone can impact the overall effectiveness of the presentation. If you presentation skills are rusty, this book will certainly get you headed in the right direction.

Those of you who are more confident in present can still learn from this book as it covers specific ways to identify your audience. The book suggests that your audiences will either be supportive, emotive, reflective, or directive. Taking the time to learn about each of these groups will be worthwhile as it will allow you to maximize the effectiveness of your message and like earlier topics, a thorough explanation is offered for each within the book. The author also goes on to cover how you cannot rely solely up this as it is often too shallow and does not take dynamic personalities into effect. Essentially, theory and practice do not align keenly in this instance. Luckily they do not leave you hanging with what does not work. You will find plenty of practical information that can be applied to real world presentations, making you better at your job.
Sarah Brewer


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