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Now is the moment you've been building up for. The audience is ready to hear your words of wisdom and your slides are ready to impress. In this chapter, we will cover the delivery process from start to finish, making sure everything is covered. Let's start with the Introduction. If it seems appropriate, have someone else introduce you. This is especially helpful in any situation where the audience might not know who you are. You want the audience to trust you and if someone that they already trust brings you onto the stage, then you're halfway there. Don't hesitate to give someone an index card that helps them introduce you.
It should include your name, company and position, a tiny bit about your background and experience, and why you're here. Introduction shouldn't last more than a minute. Even in informal settings like a company meeting, having someone else introduce you gives the presentation more class and respect. Obviously this varies widely with different kinds of presentations, but just close your eyes and imagine the best possible way for you to take the stage and make that happen. After you've been introduced, you're going to set the tone of the entire presentation in just three seconds.
Think about what you want. Here are two examples. The Pause. If you want to reflect analysis and deep thought, nothing works better than a pause, as you just glance over the audience and smile. Count to three in your head and continue. Or The Charge. If you're going for high-energy, excitement, and enthusiasm, charge onto the stage with a loud voice and lots of movement. Those are just two examples. However you do it, make sure it suits your style and matches your presentation's tone.
If you were already introduced by someone, you can generally skip the self-introduction, unless they mispronounced your name or left out some crucial detail. Otherwise, keep it short. If you're spending more than 60 seconds talking about yourself, it's too much, unless of course the presentation is about you. The next part of your presentation is the delivery, which should be followed by a final Q&A opportunity. I'll be covering both of these in more detail later in the chapter. When it's time to leave after the Q&A, wrap up quickly with these four steps.
First, tell them again in 10 words or less the action you want them to take. Second, thank them for their time. Third, invite them to contact you for follow-up. Your final slide should have your email address, your website, Twitter account, and phone number. Fourth, if appropriate, return the mic or lectern to the person who introduced you. Tap B on your laptop to black out the screen. When you're finished, stick around; don't run off after your presentation is done.
The after delivery can be the most lucrative use of your time, especially in sales presentations. Take a seat in the back or stand by the door and thank people personally as they leave the room. Keep an eye out for those folks who linger, they're likely discussing your presentation and you never know who might be interested in discussing your ideas further. So that's the program, your stage presence from start to finish.
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