Sufi Stories

Celebrating innovation, creation and entrepreneurship

Presentation Checklist

  1. Create interest and make it dynamic

    • Plan for something you can whiteboard live or draw on paper to illustrate a point. This makes the presentation dynamic.

    • In your presentation, include video links from YouTube, TED, Vimeo.

    • Create a short video to illustrate a point using an online animation tool.

    • If you are over phone and no whiteboarding possible – ask your listeners questions; you can also ask them if they can go to a particular site whose url you had sent them in advance through email.

    • You can ask the participants to write down the threats and challenges they face relevant to your topic. Then address these later in the presentation.

    • Are you leading a conversation or a presentation? Your effort should be to invilve your audience in a 2-way conversation; not a text-book, old fashioned presentation.

    • Plan on finishing 10 minutes before time. Give back time to the people. Nobody likes a presenter who takes more time than is allocated to him or her.

    • When you bring up a new slide, pause for a moment to let the attendees see it.

    • Effective transitions: Before you bring up the next slide, state the subject of that slide or ask a rhetorical question which leads to that slide. Then pause and bring up the next slide which answers your question.

  2. Plan for remote attendees

    • Are your attendees local or remote? Will you need a webex session? Will your interviewer arrange for a video conferencing or webex session?

    • Join up for a free webex account and experiment with their whiteboarding tool. Just in case you are asked to do a presentation for remote attendees.

    • eMail the slides just before the presentation to the interviewer or take it in a USB key. The interviewer can then email it to everybody else.

  3. Do a self review

    • Record yourself using webcam and observe how you speak. Count the number of times you spoke filler words (ah, uh etc).

  4. Use stories to win over your audience

    • Avoid analogies – they are messy and eat up time. Keep them very short (one sentence) if at all.

    • Use a story with contrast – how something was bad and how it went to a surprising good ending.

    • Stories about how you have helped others succeed.

    • Your stories should include personal details which make the story interesting and memorable. For example – “One evening on a cold, winter night I was working late in office”.

    • Quote from books.

    • Have you included a mini-case study done by you? Use Situation – Action – Result – Quote format.

  5. Make your slides captivating

    • Not more than 3 points per slide.

    • Use minimal text; plan for atleast some picture on each slide.

    • Have not more than one slide per minute. For 10 minutes you should plan on 10 or less slides.

    • To finish quickly, do not speak fast; instead plan on a small amount of good quality content. Avoid information overload.

    • Review your slides to see if there is anything you don’t know. Are there any concepts or acronymns which styme you?

    • Plan an alternate short version of the slide deck – The interviewer may simply say – ” I am sorry, but I only have 5 minutes. Could you give me an executive summary?”.

    • Plan some slides in the appendix for more detailed explantion on some of the possible questions. Veer the interviewers towards these questions so that if they ask, you can bring up this additional explanatory.

    • Be prepared with printouts of slides for those who can not view your presentation on laptop.

  6. Yes, you CAN influence people

    • What is the unique value you bring? How is it different from anyone? What is the proof?

    • Your prospect has to choose to make a change before they choose your idea. And they must embrace your idea before they embrace you.

    • Are you influencing with emotion?

    • Are you using data?

    • Fear of pain is more important than the fear of gain. Can you use this to create an urgency in your favour?

    • Can you create an urgency for the interviewers to hire you?

    • Create a vision of a ticking timebomb – “70% of people who work on mainframes are more than 60 years old. You should start migrating your applications away from Mainframe NOW! I can help with my expertise in migration”.

    • Use numbers as proof points – Use results of external surveys & analysts reports. Include references to your sources.

    • Participants are most attentive during the beginning and the end of the presentation.

    • Plan for some way through stories, questions, props or You phrasing to lift their attention during the middle phase of the presentation.

    • Make your most important points during the beginning; and then repeat them at end of the presentation.

  7. Handle questions with finesse

      • Are there any objections you are asked to address? Can you rephrase these objections to understand them clearly?

      • Repeat the question so you understand it and other attendees also hear it. Don’t assume anything – if you are not clear about the question, ask – “What do you mean”, “Can you explain it” etc.

      • Avoid cliches like “It’s a good question”.