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IN THE SPOTLIGHT - PRESENTATION SKILLS CHAPTER 4

The presentation has been written out, the slides have been made. Now present it!

Keeping a monologue is something other than a dialogue. In a dialogue you get immediate reaction, they nod, answer and you react back yourself. A monologue to a group is a different story. The group behaves like a group and will not feel called to look nodding at you all the time. Beginning presenters get this reaction, which in a dialogue would point to complete disinterest, sometimes the idea that what they do is uninteresting and that the audience is 'against'. Think of the familiar example of a drowning man in a pond. This man has a much greater chance of being saved if there is only one person around. This person is approached by the man in need and jumps into the water. If a whole group is to be watched, a group effect occurs.

Be prepared that a group reacts differently than an individual.


A monologue does not mean that you will not make contact with the public. There is a tendency for many to protect themselves against the group. This is done by staying anxiously behind a lectern, hiding behind a written text and prodded slides or by being shielded with arms crossed. That way you can't make contact. You only get contact if you show yourself! If all goes well, you have a substantive story in which your involvement (and if possible passion) is interwoven. You have created supporting slides and no slides behind which you can hide. The content is ready. Now you have to show it in yourself (through yourself).

The story you are going to tell has been written out, but you are not going to read it. You're going to tell it by heart. Fluent, with mimicry, gestures and an expressive voice. In your hands you hold at most a small cardboard card with key words and the operation for the Powerpoint. You are right in the spotlight. You show why you stand and what you stand for. You are going to shine. You are going to make contact with the public. You will ensure that they feel involved with your story.

From the head, just about naked in the spotlight, no shelters: that never goes well! Michel and Bas shoot in slightly panic. That's not necessary. After all, an educated presentation does not work anyway. Hardly contact with the public is then made, so that the public is not involved in the presentation. The audience sees nothing of the presenter, the presenter will not have a facial expression and will not make gestures. Plus recitation is often done very monotonously.

body posture

A lot of practice will make it speak smoothly and naturally. When speaking out of the head it is much easier to make contact with the public. Make a lot of eye contact with the audience, look around the room. If you have trouble looking around, choose before you start out a few people scattered around the room you look at so you look around. Do not fix yourself too long on one person. (No longer than about 4 seconds.) Make sure you stand upright, legs slightly apart. Hold hands in front of you as if holding a tennis ball (or the cardboard card!) Or along your body. Speak with expression in your voice and vary in pitch and volume. Speak clearly, articulate consciously and speak loudly. After a while, your talk will be more and more natural and you will follow the facial expression and hand gestures automatically. It can all be slightly larger than you would usually do in a dialogue, because you are at a greater distance. Here too, do not do anything that you would not feel comfortable with. Michel, who is known as that man with a heart for his people, does not have to keep a flashy and commercial presentation at all. It is important that the public continues to recognize Michel. He must shine, but as himself! It is important that the public continues to recognize Michel. He must shine, but as himself! It is important that the public continues to recognize Michel. He must shine, but as himself!

Carlijn does not know her public yet. She too must try to make herself shine. The best thing is when the audience gets to know her during the presentation, so that after the presentation they have an idea of ​​who Carlijn is and what Carlijn wants to do for each other. After all, you prefer to do business with people you know.

question round

After the presentation there is usually room for questions from the audience. Take the time for this. It often takes a while before the first question presents itself and there will be few questions with a presenter who is running away. Do not be afraid of questions. Look at the questioner when he asks his question. Summarize the question for the room and check with the questioner if you have correctly formulated the question. Answer when you make eye contact with the whole room again. Never stand in the defense, stay open, courteous and professional. Do not respond to the man, even if you are attacked on the man. The group will take it for you if you remain professional. You do not know anything, no man overboard. Summarize the question so that you are sure that you have understood the question well. Then do not turn around, be honest that you do not know the answer,

After the question round can really be closed. Thank the audience and indicate the location where any handouts can be included.

Exercises: In the spotlight

- Stand in the mirror, introduce yourself and do your elevator pitch. If it is possible: take yourself. In image and / or sound. View yourself in image and sound. Evaluate how you stand and sound. Where are your arms? How is your eye contact with yourself in the mirror? How is your expression? How does your voice sound?

- An exercise to shed your shame. Ask for help from some friends or family (more than two). Let them each time name an animal, a remarkably well-known Dutchman or a fairy-tale figure. It is up to you to express that task as well as possible with sound. Of course it is strange to copy a turtle, but it gets used and, more importantly, it pays. So you get used to acting for the public and using your body and voice.

A voting exercise. Read a children's story out loud and standing. Use the following votes:
- Kakker in the square
- Street coffee
- A Surinamese accent
- A Drents accent
- Frans Bauer
- Miss Ant
- Miss Piggie
- Like a king
- A fair guy
- A witch

- Search YouTube for presentations from famous Americans and presentations of children. Americans teach you a lot about professionalism in presenting. Sometimes they only lack credibility and authenticity. The videos of the children can inspire you to authenticity. Tips: King, Clinton, Bush, Oprah. See what they do, what they say, how they say it (example, story, anecdote, use of statistics, figures of style?), How they use their voice, how they watch, how they use their bodies.

- Practice your presentation, standing, out loud and in its entirety. Practice together with the use of Powerpoint. Always finish the presentation completely, even if it went wrong along the way (otherwise you get the effect that the start of the presentation is much better because it is practiced more often). During the practice, make a card with the key words you need. Remember: presenting naturally is a matter of practicing a lot! Continue.

- Now record your complete presentation. View yourself critically. How do you stand, do you look closely at the (not really present) audience, how is your mimicry, your use of your voice, your attitude, your use of Powerpoint. Does the content of your presentation come across clearly. Is this simple? Is there a clear structure?

- Ask the help of a few friends or relatives. Ask them if they want to listen to your presentation for two evenings and ask them in advance if they want to provide honest (constructive) criticism. On the first evening you present the presentation as you have prepared it. Ask everyone afterwards what they think of it and write down the reactions. Do this really. Then ask specific questions: What was the most important thing I wanted to say? How was my use of voice? How was the tension curve? What did you like best? What did you think was the worst? How was my visual support? How was my body language in my face and gestures. Did you feel involved in my story?
Review the evaluations the next morning and see what you can improve. The next day you present again the presentation for the same group of people. Compare the reactions: did things go better, worse or equal?

- Practice until you know the presentation through and through. This reduces the nerves on the day itself.

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