As a professional in providing a variety of different types of meeting space in Midtown Manhattan, I have seen a lot of presentations, from intimate groups to larger training sessions. Due to my constant interaction with meeting attendees, I can offer advice about planning a presentation. The first thing I tell my meeting clients over and over -BE PREPARED!
PREPARATION IS THE KEY
The purpose of a presentation is to inform, persuade and build good will. But, at the same time, you have to keep things interesting and organized. A presentation must be crafted for listeners. Figure out your content and manner of presenting.
A study done by the Wharton School of Business study showed that the use of visuals reduced meeting times by as much as 28 percent. Another study found that audiences believe presenters who use visuals are more professional and credible than presenters who merely speak. People are visual creatures. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is especially apropos in the context of a talk.
Make sure you have the technology and tools available at your meeting facility to support your visual details. Providing a check list to my clients in advance helps them to think about what they are going to need to support their presentation.
You may be using a Powerpoint and need a projector, speakers or extension cords. Part of your presentation may involve using a whiteboard or flipchart. Find out if you will have remote or virtual attendees. Will you want phone or video conferencing available? ReadySet! Offices has multiple meeting and conference rooms in a Class A building, tech support on site and the latest technology to support the needs of my clients.
You will definitely want to consider breaks for your audience and where they best fit into your presentation. Listening is work and you need to keep your listeners alert and engaged. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. How long you are willing to listen to a speaker? You may also want to consider a light snack or luncheon. If you have an all day meeting planned, a good caterer can be your best friend. ReadySet! Offices can help with coordinating your catering.
Make sure your audience is comfortable participating. Tell them to wave a hand if you can’t be heard, even if you have a booming voice. You should give your audience time for questions, so finish your talk within the time limit. Summarize your key points at the beginning and again at the end. Tell them what you’re going to tell them; tell them; and then tell them what you’ve told them. This ancient principle still holds true.
You will want to send your audience home with something to remember you. Make sure your handouts look nice and are organized. I tell my clients that if they need help putting together handouts, name tags or making changes, ReadySet! can assist. There is a professional and friendly Business Services team on-site who are ready to support meeting clients and handle last minute requests and changes.
When you are organized, have great content, compelling visuals and the technology to back it all up, you are ready for your presentation.
For more information about holding your next meeting in Midtown Manhattan, call me at 212.257.0936. I look forward to helping your next meeting or training session a success!