Presentation Skills - POSTby Judith Bowman on 03/25/20
This is the third in a series of three articles dedicated to the topic of Presentation Skills.
Endeavor to conclude within the designated timeframe. Doing so demonstrates respect for your audience and their time, and also eliminates the possibility of being placed in the ungainly position of having to apologize for running over-time. Concluding within the allotted interval speaks to your credibility, and is extremely important toward achieving your end-goal of advancing trust.
Return to the focal point of the stage. Unearth all of the graciousness and sincerity displayed during the opening of your presentation. Make targeted eye-contact with as many individuals in the audience as possible to once again establish and reinforce connection. Re-state your purpose and be prepared to give a one-sentence capsule of your key message. In so doing, you end as persuasively and authoritatively as when you began and now, bring it all together. Make your conclusion the beginning of what is next for your audience. Give them the action step they need to take it to the succeeding level. Also, just as you conveyed individual acknowledgements in your opening, do so again now in your conclusion. Thank (name) your esteemed host, audience, recognized sponsors (ABC) and make eye-contact with each as you salute them.
Bowing. Graciously accept applause or a standing ovation and ... bow. Yes, bow. So few people do these days that the time-honored practice of bowing is an easy and elegant way to demonstrate respect toward your audience, show yourself as a professional and stand apart. Bowing is observed and especially respected in High Context Cultures such as China and Japan. There are three levels of bow: the 15% angle, 35% angle and a 50% angle. Bowing at the lowest (50%) angle demonstrates the highest level of respect and appreciation and shows that you truly honor your audience and value their confirmation.
Handling People In-Line. As you endeavor to meet, greet and have dialogue with those standing in-line, be certain to artfully acknowledge these individuals. Remember, they are going out of their way for time with you. Return the flattering effort with an ever-so-brief courteous acknowledgement such as eye-contact, a head-nod or the two-finger wave. Be diligent and avant soif not to slight the person with whom you are speaking. Promptly return your utmost attention to be "fully present."
Accepting Compliments. Accept compliments graciously! Our noted tendency is to push compliments away ... and to belittle the compliment is to belittle the person offering the gesture. Simply say, "Thank you!" And remember, "never accept a compliment without returning one." For example: "Thank you! I'm sure I could learn a lot from you, too!"
*Ask facilitators in advance if you may provide a sign-up sheet to collect attendee contact information. This is an efficient way to help facilitate your own follow-up and expand your database with qualified individuals.
Return to the door to personally thank each person for coming, just as you would a guest in your own home. Thank them for their participation and personalize the conversation with specific references whenever possible. Shake hands with each of course, and use names.
Thank your host for inviting you and send a quick email note of thanks within 24 to 48 hours. Also send a hand-written note on your personal, quality stationery. (Be sure your note arrives before your invoice!) Write a note to each relevant person who helped coordinate and facilitate your presentation, remembering an accolade letter to the Hotel/host venue's GM.
The true essence of the holidays is not only being with friends and family, but also celebrating them in our lives. Amid astonishing high technological advances and global and cultural influences, a marked disparity and irrational dysfunction in our culture today has evolved. Despite noted differences and personal beliefs which should be celebrated, our values and way of life needs to be preserved and respected at all costs.
Opinions in matters pertaining to education, politics, religion, border security, the environment, government, big business, taxes, tariffs, women's rights, birth rights, death rights and more, matter. We traditionally pause to reflect in the Holiday Season. And, as we look ahead to the New Year, one which bodes full of challenge and promise, I hope and pray that as our differences persist, civilized conduct and respectful behavior will percolate among us and permeate our homes and workplaces, schools and playgrounds. Make a conscious effort to listen respectfully, keep an open mind and think before you speak. This takes effort and forethought. Please remember the Golden Rule. Speak to and treat others the way in which you yourself would like to be spoken and treated.
I believe in us as a Country and celebrate you, as individuals. I remain grateful for our many years of friendship and our sustained association. Thank you for continuing to enrich me as a person and challenge me as a professional. I value and honor your support of our important work which is more important and direly needed now today, more than ever before.