How to give a presentation: (15) mind the gaps

One of the services that FJWilson Talent Services offers is presentation training. Here our presentation coach, Anthony Haynes, provides the final tip in our ‘How to give a presentation’ series. 

anthony_haynes bnu croppedYou’ve prepared a presentation. You’ve decided on this occasion to use slides — for example, because there are some maps that you wish to show. Now it’s time to rehearse.

The typical behaviour is to run through the presentation slide by slide, working out what to say about each slide.

The problem here is that this ignores the question, what to say between slides? Narrative flow, continuity of argument, control of the presentation by the presenter (rather than Microsoft, the makers of Powerpoint) — all disappear down the cracks between slides.

Worse, the presentation is apt to come out sounding rather jerky. Each hiatus between slides feels like an awkward gear change.

The jerkiness will be even worse if, on beginning to talk about each slide, you use a phrase like ‘Right’ or ‘OK’ (or, worse still, ‘So this one’s about…’).

If you attend a really good presentation that uses slides, watch how the presenter moves from one slide to another. Chances are, the transition from one slide to another will happen mid-sentence. All pleasantly smooth.

The implication is:

rehearse the transitions.



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