Once you have prepared your presentation, now is the time to decide if it hits the mark or is not quite there yet -- before the big day. Nobody likes a critic, so if your presentation needs a critique, why not do it yourself?
Video cameras are so inexpensive these days and this can be one of your most valuable tools in preparation of your presentation. Entice a friend or colleague to make a video of you doing your presentation live, as if it was the real thing. Then sit back and critique yourself like you were an audience member.
Here are ten things to look for:
1. It All Starts at the Beginning
Did you capture the interest of the audience right from the get-go? If your introduction is lame, you have probably lost them in those first 30 seconds.
2. Do You Really Want to Be There?What is your posture and body language like? Is your voice strong, effective and enthusiastic? It must be obvious that you really want to be there.
3. The Eyes Have ItDid you use eye contact with different sections of people in the audience and not just focus in one area of the room? Make sure that everyone in the audience feels included.
4. Timing Really is EverythingDid you rush through the material or go too slowly for the time allotted? The pace of the presentation needs to be consistent and just right.
5. Equal TimeWas any one aspect given too much or too little focus?
6. Don't Be Here, There and EverywhereDid you present the content in a logical manner and not haphazardly? If you are using a slide show as an assist, make sure it is just that ... an assist to your presentation. Always remember that you are the presentation.
7. Edit, Edit, EditIs there a need for editing to delete some of the material? Keep them wanting to know more.
8. And the Conclusion is ...?Always reinforce the topic in your conclusion. In the words of Dale Carnegie on presentations -
"Tell the audience what you're going to say, say it; then tell them what you've said"