Designing and Delivering Presentations
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Introduction: Connecting Your Learning
In many careers, you’ll be required to deliver a business presentation to a group at some point. In this lesson, you will learn about the best way to draft a presentation and how to develop the parts of a presentation, and you will explore methods to make a presentation most effective. Building your public speaking skills in the business environment for large and small groups requires a tactical approach and dedicated practice to develop confidence.
Readings, Resources, and Assignments
Required Textbook Readings Chapter 12, “Designing and Delivering Business Presentations”
Multimedia Resources Textbook Companion Web SiteRequired Assignments Project: Presentation
Check Prior Knowledge
What are the important parts of a speech or presentation? Now, think about what makes a speech most effective in reaching an audience in your experience.
Focusing Your Learning
Official Course Competencies
• Plan and participate in an efficient and effective business meeting.
• Prepare and present an oral business presentation using visual aids.
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
1. Identify presentation objectives.
2. Compose and develop effective presentations.
3. Evaluate presentation design, strategy, and delivery tactics.
As you read your assignment for this lesson, pay close attention to the key terms and phrases PDF that are listed throughout the chapter. These terms and concepts are important to your understanding of the information provided in the lesson.
Approaching the Objectives
A business presentation is a message with a specific intent and audience. The intent might be an oral briefing, a quick, less-formal message to provide feedback on a business event that staff or leadership needs to know without notice. The intent might also be a more formal presentation where some preparation and advanced thought are required.
Creating an effective presentation requires you to know your audience. Many times, you may think or assume that you know who the audience is, why they want or need to hear the message, and the best way or environment to deliver the message to them. Watch Seven Questions to Knowing Your Audience (1:03) for preliminary questions to help you identify your audience.
A presentation has several parts for conveying an effective message. You should start with an introduction. Your introduction should be informational, inviting, and generate interest. It should provide insight into what your presentation will discuss, make the audience feel welcome and connected to the presenter, and grab their attention to help generate interest.
“7 Excellent Ways to Start a Presentation and Capture Your Audience’s Attention”
This article describes techniques you might use to generate interest in your presentation.
Once you have used one of these techniques to grab the audience’s attention and introduced the topic, it is time to move on to the body of the presentation. The body discusses the topic and makes your chosen points. Your main points should be easy to follow, include relevant facts, and be interesting. However, it is very important to involve the audience and even use humor at times to capture and maintain your audience’s interest. Using humor is great way to create familiarity or to ease a tough crowd. You must be careful to keep the humor appropriate and applicable.
Example: Using Humor
One way to use humor in a presentation is by incorporating a funny visual aid. You might use a photograph like this one below to introduce a topic that you know won’t be well received by your audience: budget review. For example, you might say, “I know this is what you all feel like when you are evaluating your budget overages, but it’s a necessary evil. So let’s discuss those now.”
To bring the points home while making them memorable, you should end your presentation with a closing. Some key ways to make the close effective are to tie your close to the introduction by building on an element in the introduction like the story, quote, or question you initially asked. Also, you should clearly transition from the body to the close to notify the audience that you are moving to close the topic. Some example phrases to move to the close include “in summary,” “to close things up today,” or “in conclusion.”
Now that you’ve learned the parts of a presentation and some methods for making them effective, you will explore visuals and how they can make or break a presentation. Visuals should be appropriate to clarify key points and aid in increasing audience attention. You learned about visuals for proposals in Lesson 11, and some types can be effectively used in presentations, such as graphs. Figure 12.2 on page 211 of your textbook covers ways to design compelling slides. While visuals are helpful, you never want to use too many visuals or complex aids with too much content. This practice can confuse, bore, or distract the audience from the presentation. Also, make sure your visuals have an effective and complementary color scheme and a clean font.
Example: Color Schemes
Using too many colors, like every color in the rainbow, or colors that are difficult to view, such as yellow cursive letters on a white background, can quickly kill a presentation’s effectiveness.
Now that you have created your presentation, you’ll want to consider the best way to deliver your message. Some speakers choose to use a memorized presentation. You can manuscript the presentation and read it word for word. Manuscript presentations are best for something like a statement to the press where no feedback occurs. Impromptu presentations require you to present without time to prepare, such as when your manager asks you to recall the details of a client’s history and current orders. An extemporaneous presentation involves planning, but the contents aren’t written down like in a memorized or manuscript presentation. For example, your manager might ask you to come to a meeting prepared to talk about ideas for a trade show booth to help attract clients. You might think about some ideas and rehearse how you’ll share them with the group but not necessarily write them down.
The content of your message, including the format of your presentation and visuals, is important as is your body language and tone. Watch The Importance of Body Language in Presentations (12:24), which demonstrates the importance of your body language when giving a presentation.
You should practice your presentation so you will be familiar with the content and confident in your delivery. In addition, you should anticipate questions that might arise and allow the audience time to ask those questions. Thinking about today’s business climate, how should you prepare if the audience is culturally diverse or if you are presenting to an audience in another location?
For the culturally diverse crowd, the goal is to simplify the language and learn more about the culture’s communication and cultural preferences. You want to be cognizant of any differences in nonverbal communication between your culture and their culture, adapt your dress to the culture, and solicit feedback to ensure you are understood. For distance presentations or Internet conferencing, be sure to learn the Internet software or service you are using and to connect with the audience by building rapport upfront. This helps keep the audience engaged and feeling connected to the message. Sometimes, you might be presenting in a group with a team of other people. When this happens, you should select only the top performing teams who can contribute; make certain all team members have a common understanding and agree on the purpose of the presentation and its contents.
In this lesson, you’ve learned about the structure and contents of a presentation, and some ways to successfully present ideas and information to others. In the end, you must organize your thoughts, convey ideas clearly, and hold the audience’s attention while doing so. You can do so by considering to whom you are delivering your message and by writing content that will appeal to their needs. These skills can help you communicate well and achieve success in any business field.
Summarizing Your Learning
The following activities are meant to help you practice the concepts that you studied in this lesson and prepare you for the graded assignments. They are not turned in to your instructor.
1. Read the assigned chapter in the textbook.
2. Review the key terms flashcards.
3. Download Audio Summaries from the textbook companion Web site for on-the-go review.
4. Play “Beat the Clock” on the textbook companion Web site to master concepts.
5. Complete the crossword puzzle on the textbook companion Web site to review key terms.
6. Watch the chapter video on the textbook companion Web site to learn about communication issues at a fictitious company.
Assessing Your Learning
The following are required assignments for this lesson.
1. Read Chapter 12: “Designing and Delivering Business Presentations.”
2. Complete the Lesson 12 Project: Presentation (30 points).
Select ONE topic from the list below to use for the Lesson 12 Project.
Select ONE topic from the following list.
A. Proposal to develop a policy to present to leadership that provides up to five paid days annually for volunteer work
B. Proposal to leadership to implement an in-house recycling program
C. Proposal to a local business to enhance the customer experience without increasing costs
D. Proposal to the board of directors to forge a strategic alliance with another company
E. Proposal presented to leadership to extend your company’s domestic retail market into an international market
1. Research the topic you selected from the list. Using Microsoft Word, create a 5- to10-minute written speech on the topic you selected, including the benefits related to the proposal you are planning. The speech should be written word for word as you plan to deliver it to your audience. Note in the presentation where you would use three PowerPoint slides as visuals.
2. Create the visuals using PowerPoint. Remember, you must include at least three slides.
3. Place the Word document and the PowerPoint file into a single folder. Zip the folder. Note: You must submit the files together in a zipped folder. They will not be accepted separately.
4. Submit the zipped folder, which is Lesson 12 Project in the Gradebook.
Have You Met The Objectives For This Lesson?
Designing and Delivering Presentations