Presentation Fundamentals
Illustration by Neil Webb

Presentation Fundamentals

with Tatiana Kolovou
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lynda.com's PMI® Program
This course qualifies for 1.50 PDUs towards maintaining PMI® certification. Learn More

Video: Smart use of space

Own your space. What do I mean by that? I mean look like you've been there before. Use the space like you've been in front of the group 100 other times. And if you're sitting at a conference table instead of standing, pick the middle of the table, not the head. The middle exudes confidence and, from a practical standpoint, gives you better eye contact. Use of space has to do with both posture and movement. Let's look at posture first. Standing strong and confident, yet relaxed and comfortable is a speaker's best secret.

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Watch the Online Video Course Presentation Fundamentals
1h 31m Appropriate for all May 12, 2014

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What makes a compelling presentation? A presentation that is built on strong research, tailored to your audience's interests, and designed to anticipate and answer questions about your message. In this course, author and Kelley Business School professor Tatiana Kolovou teaches you how to prepare strong business presentations. Learn how to find your story, appeal to logic and emotion, gain credibility, build a deck, and deliver a compelling presentation. Along the way, follow Katie, a young professional, as she prepares to give a presentation to the executives at her organization.

This course qualifies for 1.5 Category A professional development units (PDUs) through lynda.com, PMI Registered Education Provider #4101.

Topics include:
  • Analyzing your audience
  • Strategizing for possible audience reaction
  • Building credibility with your audience
  • Collecting information
  • Organizing content
  • Designing slides
  • Practicing your presentation
  • Holding a Q&A session

  • The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
Subject:
Business
Author:
Tatiana Kolovou

Smart use of space

Own your space. What do I mean by that? I mean look like you've been there before. Use the space like you've been in front of the group 100 other times. And if you're sitting at a conference table instead of standing, pick the middle of the table, not the head. The middle exudes confidence and, from a practical standpoint, gives you better eye contact. Use of space has to do with both posture and movement. Let's look at posture first. Standing strong and confident, yet relaxed and comfortable is a speaker's best secret.

When you speak, stand tall with your shoulders relaxed, your chest lifted, and your center of gravity holding strong. These tips are equally important whether you're standing in front of an audience or sitting at a conference table. Always keep your shoulders squared towards your audience so you can be heart to heart with them. Even if the group is large enough for you to rotate around, I encourage you to stand tall and navigate with your eyes instead of navigating with your shoulders.

When you interact with slides projected behind you, practice so that you reach out to point to the slides but you're still heart to heart with the audience. We've all see the speaker who turns her back to the group in front of her, trying to point to the right place. Don't be that speaker. If you tend to sway side to side or if you tend to shift your weight from one hip to the other, try these tips. Plant your feet in a V so that you don't sway.

Even if you're sitting in a chair it's important not to swivel. Ground your feet to the floor. If you're a mambo talker, one foot planted on the ground while the other one steps forward and back and forward and back. You've probably seen that. I encourage you to place all of your weight on the front leg, letting the back leg just balance you. This stance only looks like you're leaning forward towards your audience, but it keeps you from being distracting and just moving too much.

If you tend to shuffle around while you stand, practice standing on a newspaper or better, a piece of tinfoil. The auditory feedback coming from your feet while you practice your speech will remind you to stand still. Last, if you present while sitting in a chair and you worry about slouching, consider sitting at the edge of your chair, keeping your core muscles tight and your chest still lifted. Let's look at movement. If you have the space to move, use it to your advantage.

Professional speakers often refer to the speakers triangle, a movement space that allows them to walk and plant while making important points. Using space to accentuate points in your speech is beneficial if it's strategic. If you have a strong closing point to make, consider taking a step or 2 forward for effect. That's at the tip of the triangle. If your speech involves a podium, your movement will be a lot more restricted. Your gestures will help project some of the energy to the audience and if a closing point allows you to step away from the podium, do it.

One last note on movement and use of visuals. We've all seen the speaker who nervously ends up in front of the projector light with the word "deficit" slapped on his forehead. Don't be that person. Practice with the projector on and then consider blanking your slides when you want to make a point that grants only the power of your words. So, remember to practice in the room where you'll be speaking. And practice some of the tips that I shared. Strong posture and deliberate movement can exude confidence during your presentation and make you shine.

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