Writing your presentation

What if you don't have the time to consult the audience?

On the occasions that you really don’t have time to prepare properly, you might like to start by asking the people in the room some questions about what your they’d like to hear from you and a maybe even give them a “menu” of options with timings for them to choose from.

What if the audience consists of 30 people all with different needs?

a. You can help yourself to avoid difficult events like this, when you’re almost guaranteed to fail to satisfy everyone, by giving separate presentations with slightly different focus for each of the interest groups present. Or if that’s unrealistic…

b. Go with what the most senior/influential people in the room want to hear because there’s a reality that demands you satisfy key people and then most of the rest of the room will follow their lead.

What if you’ve got a really bad news presentation, how do you make that fit?

Give it to people straight, don’t euphemise- a lost job is only “an opportunity to refocus your life” to an HR manager who’s going to stay in his. Answer all of their crucial questions in your presentations (When do I leave? How much do I get? What help is available to me to get another job? What about my pension?)

What if they want a flip-chart presentation and I only do PowerPoint or vice versa?

Get practising with the marker pens or make sure that you explain why you’d choose to use a medium that very rarely adds anything to the quality of the message you convey.

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