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Wednesday, 28 September 2011.

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Practise on a colleague or friend. Think about who your audience is and what you want them to get out of an effective presentation. Think about content and style. If you video yourself get someone else to evaluate your performance and highlight your best skills; you will find it very difficult to be objective about those skills yourself. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Reconnoitre

Go into the presentation room before the event; practise any moves you may have to make, e.g. getting up from your chair to the podium. Errors in the first 20 seconds can be very disorientating.

Avoid 'Blue peter syndrome'

Try not to over prepare. Trust those skills you know you have. Don't rehearse the whole thing right through too often. Your time is better spent going over your opening beginning and your finish. Pick a few choice bits to learn by heart.

Technical support

Test the equipment before the presentation; get familiar with it before you start. PowerPoint and OHPs often seem as though they're out to get you, so make sure you have enough technical skills or backup so that you look like you're in charge.

Visual aids

The skill with visual aids is to use them to give a big picture quickly. Graphics, pictures, cartoons bar charts etc; you can then use words to elaborate. Slides with words on are of limited value. If you seem to have a lot you may find you are showing your audience your speaker notes!

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