Tips for Presenting

Prepare

  • Make a plan. Find a lesson plan template you can use. Think about the process of chunking your presentation into small bits of information. When you break up a presentation into small parts, it's easier for you to deliver.
  • Think about when you first learned the topic or when you’ve helped someone else with the topic, and use that knowledge to anticipate what the attendees might find helpful. Knowing what questions might be asked helps you manage fears of the unknown.
  • Make sure the data you’re going to use does not contain any personally identifiable information (PII), and is set up with the right examples and scenarios.


Practice

  • Practice with someone who knows your topic. Practice with someone who doesn’t know your topic. Make adjustments based on feedback.
    • Does it flow logically?
    • Are there any gaps?
    • Can you, and have you, made connections (if they exist) between each part of your presentation?
    • How’s your timing – is the presentation too long, or too short?


Present

    • Demonstrate within the application unless the presentation is on conceptual functions, such as how data is being calculated or what is occurring behind the scenes.
    • Be conversational and engaging. Make eye contact with individuals as you speak. Ask pertinent and relevant questions when possible.
    • Pause after asking questions or introducing a new concept or terminology to allow the attendee to process the question/concept.
    • Repeat attendee questions to ensure everyone (including your virtual audience) heard the question before you respond.
    • Always have your materials (PPT, documents, reports) on a flash drive for backup.
    • Become familiar with your physical and virtual presentation room before you record or present your session. Knowing the environment helps settle nerves.
    • Never eat food or chew gum during your session. If you need to drink water during your session, do so quietly.
    • Dress professionally. Plain-colored shirts without patterns/stripes tend to display well on remote sites.
    • A colleague will be in your presentation room for technical support and moderation. If they know your topic, that’s a bonus and you can call on them as a resource (but only if you really need to, remember it’s your presentation).
    • When possible, engage learners by asking them to share their thoughts and experiences about the topic. Use open-ended questions to get their feedback.
    • If someone asks a question you don’t know the answer to, that’s okay, but be willing to perhaps work with them to find the solution (after the session).


    Bonus

    • Smile and enjoy yourself – even if your audience cannot see you, it will come through in your presentation!

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