The Art of Presenting
When invited to make a presentation to a meeting or other gathering, what is the best approach to adopt? How should one prepare? I am asking these questions at the moment as I get ready to lead a number of gatherings on leadership over the next couple of months.
When considering presentations, I have traditionally thought about a speaker giving input. Normally this involves preparing a PowerPoint or Keynote, including good quality content and relevant stories. More recently, however, before thinking about content, I have been wondering how to engage the participants.
Below is an eight point approach I would normally use:
1. Begin with dialogue about the presentation, its rationale and the context in which it is being given.
2. Find out what participants know about the topic and their expectations for the presentation.
3. Offer some quality input. Include personal stories.
4. Invite people to respond to the input thus far. This discussion could take place in groups of two, three or four.
5. Invite some total group response.
6. Offer further input including an exercise for the participants. This could involve writing, workshopping or other creative activity.
7. Invite responses to this second input and the exercise.
8. Finally synthesise the input and discussions with the goal of forming conclusions and recommendations.
Is this sufficiently participant centered? Is there a better way?