How to approach whenever delivering presentations to a group of people.
Whenever preparing a presentation for a specific audience I undertake a number of steps to guide my intervention.
In this pedagogical practice the audience will be the residents at the DRH school. This audience is quite diverse in terms of ages, gender, awareness and lifestyle. I could divide the audience into the next groups the teacher council, saving up individuals, students, work-aways and other associates.
Despite this specific environment I trend to prepare the courses in a similar way.
The next list presents a numbers of steps to present my sessions:
1. Know as much as possible my audience, in terms of ages, cultural background, relation with the subject I will present, special events that are happening on their lives or experienced in the past. Knowing your audience is key to prepare and succeed, do more you know the more you can adapt the information and vocabulary used, to name a couple.
2.Understand my personal relation with the subject to deliver; the more I understand my motivation, necessity and worth doing the bigger the impact of my intervention.
3. Have a sound understanding of the subject I would like to present, it require to by critical about the information I want to present looking for different points of view among academic or liberal thinkers. This process of contrasting different point of view will help me to decide which way undertake or offer both sides to allow the audience to decide for themselves.
4. Create a list with the objectives of the presentation, to make clear my intention. This help me to focus in what is important and essential so I do not get lots in ambiguity or lack of direction.
5. Engage the audience within the presentation as much as possible; interacting with the audience is central to obtain good result. Part of the presentation needs to involve consultation to understand the personal views and positions, it will help me to adapt my delivering and engage actively the audience.
6. Evaluate my intervention from audience feedback and personal reflection comparing the results with the list of the desirable objectives. This process help to identify mistakes and what works and what doesn’t.
Summary of how it went
The presentations went as expected; I managed to achieve my plan and intentions.
Each time I deliver a presentation helps me to improve my capabilities and approach. I do reflect on how it went, how I could improve next time and if the aim was achieved.
Gather information about personal information require sensibility and time. Knowing people takes time as well as collecting and understanding the collected information. In Lindersvold we work together so this information is coming slowly. I asked question to a number of people to have a basic understanding regarding the subject and their personal relation with the topics.
I undertake presentations that matters to be, subject that I believe have a meaning and are relevant. Just a topic always is doubting because is not only about your personal interests is also about what the audience needs and willing to undertake.
Be familiar with the topic was a big challenge due the time frame, there is not too much time for each tasks and on top of it I always like to write what I would like to say thinking in the possible questions or comments from the public. It takes time and master it is a challenge within the time fame available.
Create a list of objective always help me to prepare my presentation and this times was not different. Have a clear message is key, the audience appreciate when you explain at the beginning the presentation what is the reason for it and what is predicted to learn or explore. It makes people focus and also helps me on the process.
Interact with the audience is great because we all learn from it and the audience are more engaged and participative. People usually like to share their opinion although sometime is hard if you do not have an opinion about the subject.
I like to ask question to reinforce the message and be sure everyone understood the message.
As I said at the beginning, I am quite please with my interventions, people got the message and participate actively all through. People showed gratitude and thanks me for the effort.
Overall it is a learning curve that needs practice and practice.
These are my thoughts of how I handle the situation
I like to be organised and prepare things with time, the problem is that many things change organically and having all under control is virtually impossible. I learned to be flexible and adapt to this reality although for me to improvise and be spontaneous whenever presenting is quite hard. Especially when I am not mastering the subject that I am presenting.
When you are familiar with the audience it is much easier, although I learned to do not relax too much or making it too informal; because it is necessary to follow an standard and practice it. It helps to have a good understanding and training for future presentation and interventions.
I do like to communicate and interact with people, it is a easy part for me, I get nervous like anyone else but there is not a big issue the idea of being in front of people and talking to them. I learned that I good way is to focus in one individual in the audience and talk to everyone but focus in one at time, it help me deliver the message better because is more natural and less intimidating.
The approach used is not fix it is in constant development, I reached some video tutorials about public speaking were you learn some tips such as project the voice to reach everyone, breathe deeply to have plenty oxygen, stand firmly and do not make too much gesture, the use of eye contact sweep the audience, now where to do pause to create impact, math body language with verbal message, to name a few.
In conclusion I think that is very important to learn to present information as well as communicate and understand the public; it is a skill that is essential and necessary during all life, socially and professionally.
These are my recommendations to myself
On my feedback some people stated that I need to speak much more slowly and take more pauses. I tend to speak faster when I am nervous; I don’t like when the audience needs to wait for the message, although I do not like either that the audience have difficulties to following me due the speed.
My accent is also quite strong so I need to improve the way I articulate for better pronunciation. I also need to learn to have better listening skills: sometimes I tend to guess what the person wants to say than what is seeing, sometimes get the wrong message.
There is also exercises such as physical, facial and in throat that helps before talking that I should practice to improve my voice and muscles.
I hope to keep improving my presentation by practicing and searching tips and tricks.
By Pedro, from Spain