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ASK WHO WHERE AND WHY - PRESENTATION SKILLS CHAPTER 1

The first thing you do is roughly estimate the how and the why of the presentation. These questions seem so simple to answer that most people skip them and immediately open PowerPoint. Do not! Often it is not at all obvious what the purpose of a presentation is.

What is expected of you? Is it intended to inspire, convince, or inform? About what? Who is the presentation intended for? What is the level of the audience and their background knowledge about the presentation? Where and when is the presentation? Do you have enough time to prepare? Refuse resolutely if you have too little time to prepare and estimate this time well. For a half-hour presentation, take at least two weeks. You will not consume this time completely, but you will certainly need those days.

How is the location? Are there several speakers and what are they talking about? Always offer to be first or last speaker; the audience is refreshed at the first lecture and the last words heard will also last well. Should you speak after lunch, keep this in mind. The audience will then be more tired than in the morning.

Why is a presentation the best form for this purpose? Why are you the best presenter for this presentation? These two questions are very important. Only information transfer is never sufficient reason to hold a presentation. The public can therefore read an article, memo or a book on the subject. More happens at a presentation. It is a moment of contact between you and the audience. The subject gets a face: yours. This can be a big advantage. Why you? What is your involvement with the subject?

Three examples of presentations and their goals and presenters.

Michel , human resource manager at a large company. Asked to give a presentation about a new personnel policy regarding an upcoming merger. The staff is buzzing about possible forced redundancies. This is not the case, but there will be a change in vision on the company culture and a number of new rules of conduct.
Aim : To inform the staff about the changes regarding the upcoming merger (no redundancies, other views) and convince the staff that the changes are good.
Is the public waiting for this : Yes, it's about their future.
Why Michel is the man of human resource, the staff knows this and knows him. He is known as a suitable guy with a heart for his people. He is the designated person.
Why a presentation : A presentation is better than a memo for this subject. The staff is directly addressed and feels involved in the subject. Michel immediately sees the reactions and atmosphere, any misunderstandings can immediately be corrected and any negative reactions can be answered immediately.

Bas , IT process developer in a medium-sized company. Asked to present a newly developed application for the management team and the sales department of his company.
Aim : To inform the management team and the sales people about the operation and possibilities of the new application. Be proud of the development department.
Is the public waiting for this : Yes, for the sales people it is necessary that they know something about the products and for the management team it is just as necessary that they know what is happening in their company.
Why Bas is the best developer. He is a supernerd, never seems to come out and is recognizable by the cup of coffee that he always runs after. He is the designated person, because he is the heart of the development department.
Why a presentation : A presentation is better than a written article for this subject. The public does not have the same background and will not easily read something technical voluntarily. Seeing the developer personally will also contribute to the feeling involved.

Carlijn , independent filmmaker. Has devised a project for a new film with a few other people. She was chosen to hold a presentation with potential donors.
Aim : To convince the money-lenders that this film is worth investing in.
Is the public waiting for this : Yes, but conditionally. They must first be convinced that it is really a good investment.
Why Carlijn : She is the engine in the project. It is her passion. She is the designated person.
Why a presentation: A promotional leaflet will never be able to convey the message in such a way that it is face to face with one of the initiators. There is the possibility to respond directly to questions from the donors and possibly do business immediately.

Assignments: Where, who, what and why

For these assignments you need blank cards or sheets of paper. (Do not use the computer) Take the time to complete the assignments and write things if you think up more later.

- Write down the word Objective on 1 paper. Write down what the purpose of your presentation is. What do you want to achieve? Is it informative, argumentative or inspiring? What do you want the public to remember? Break up the goal if necessary in sub goals as Michel should do: what are the most important things that the staff must know afterwards. Write down on the same paper below the advantages of a presentation over a written memo or article for this purpose.
- Write down the word Public on 1 paper. What do they expect and who are they? Write everything you know about the audience. Size of the group, background knowledge, mood, expectation. At Carlijn, the public will be small with a lot of knowledge and a wait-and-see attitude. They expect to be inspired. At Bas it will be a larger audience with little knowledge and they expect to leave the presentation with more knowledge.
- Write down the word Circumstances on one paper. Write down everything you know about the circumstances of the presentation. Where is it? How long does it take? When is it? What kind of room is it? Which audiovisual aids are available? What happens after the presentation? (such as a drink)
- Write down your own name on 1 paper. Write down here your personal involvement with the purpose of the presentation. Why were you asked? What is your contribution to the presentation? Where is your passion?
- If you have written the above assignments, write on a separate card in one sentence on what the goal of the presentation is: the target sentence.

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