MGMT 100 AMU Week 5 lesson Presenting Information Human Relations American Military University
- Week Five
- Did you ever feel like someone knew which buttons you did not like pushed? Or how about the person who knows exactly what to say to make you understand their point or view or motivate you to perform a task?
By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
- Identify effective interpersonal skills and specific features of cognition, personality and intelligence, necessary for understanding human behavior in a work setting
- Apply tactics for improving relations with coworkers and customers
- Examine ethically relevant situations and apply ethical standards to those situations
In this lesson, we will discuss:
- Presenting Information
The following activities and assessments need to be completed this week: Assignment – Week 5 PowerPoint Project
Week 5 Forum
When people have tried to help you professionally or personally were they successful?
Quiz Week 5 Mid-Term Quiz covering chapters 1-8
Most people want to do a good job, but when it comes to presentations, many fail miserably. As we read, Chapter 7 discusses the ways to develop more effective presentations and connect with your audience. When getting ready to present one of the first things that you need to ask yourself is “What is the purpose of this?” what do I want to communicate or achieve?”
All presentations are not created equal. Some can save your life while others can change your life and some can allow you to buy your husband (or wife) something nice (smile). As described by the textbook, there are basically three reasons you have a presentation. To inform, persuade or explain. Let’s take a look at each one of these.
When you are giving a presentation to inform it is “the passing of information”, you are trying to inform someone of something. There are many examples of this, think of the presentation that flight attendants give prior to each flight. They are informing you (or passing along information that they have and you don’t) of the flight time, the service offered, and the best way to get off of the airplane in an emergency as well as how to get their attention in case of an emergency. Now, this is routine information. However, if there is an emergency, this is information that you want to be able to retrieve and take action on. Which brings us to persuasive presentations.
Preparing for a Presentation
Now that we know the “why” of your presentation, let’s look at the “whom and how”. Presentations can be like an interview, if you have prepared for an interview then you can take those skills and prepare for a presentation. Just think of it as an interview with a large audience! What are some of the steps in preparation for a presentation?
Knowing Your Audience
After you have determined why you are giving a presentation as yourself “who are giving the presentation to? Are they peers? Employees? Employers? Senior Executives? Or, fear of all fears…COMPLETE strangers?
Knowing who your audience allows you to tailor your presentation to them. For example, if you are presenting sales data to a senior team of executives, you will probably pick a format that informs them on how sales are doing and what your team quotas your team is trying to meet. If you are giving the same speech to your sales peers, you may pick an explanatory format to go over the new quotas and how the billing will be accomplished. If you are giving this speech to potential buyers for your advertising services, you may pick a persuasive style of speaking to show them that your agency is increasing quotas and streamlining billing to give them (the client) the best possible value for their money!
The size of your audiences will also determine your approach and delivery of your presentation. Will the audience be just one or two people at a desktop in a very informal setting? Or will it be an entire boardroom where everyone expects read-ahead handouts and presentation? Or will it be in a lecture hall, where you are alone on a stage and use a screen to present your information and visual aids. Preparing for each one brings it’s own challenges.
A small intimate presentation over a desktop does not take as much work as some of the others types, however, familiarity with your topic and being able to anticipate questions (and in this setting, there will be questions!) are critical to success in this venue. You focus should not be on physical materials as much as the information presented. However, if you do have slides, handouts or a memo it should succinctly and accurately explain why you are there and if needed any action to be taken.
Giving a presentation to a boardroom or room of others can also be intimidating. Normally you will provide a read-ahead so that whoever you are giving your presentation to will have familiarity with your subject and start formulating questions. This will be a formal presentation and as such you should prepare for it by knowing your material and practicing. Be aware of areas in the presentation that may cause questions to come up and anticipate them. Being able to move from a presentation to answering a question and returning to the presentation smoothly are the hallmarks of an accomplished speaker.
How about walking out on stage to a filled auditorium of 500 or more strangers and giving a speech or presentation? Does this make your knees weak? This final presentation size one that probably scares people the most and causes what is known as “Glossophobia” or the fear of speaking in front of people. There are estimates that an average of 35% – 70% of people fear public speaking even more than death!
When you give this type of speech it is critical that you know your material, backwards and forwards. Not necessarily memorized (you run the risk of forgetting) but rather being able to speak from bulleted statements on an index card or slides that are presented to your audience. This might be more of a formal speaking event and in this case, most of your questions will come at the end.
Below are some of the public speaker guru Brian Tracy’s tips to help you overcome your fear of speaking, (there are 27, but I’ve only listed the 10 that I really like here). Please feel free to visit his website for the entire list.
PRACTICE AND PREPARE EXTENSIVELY
WATCH YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR
GIVE YOUR SPEECH TO ANOTHER PERSON
EXERCISE BEFORE SPEAKING
MAKE NERVOUS ENERGY WORK
FOCUS ON THE MATERIAL
KNOW 100 WORDS FOR EVERY WORD THAT YOU SPEAK
AVOID TALKING TO FAST
Feedback and Answering Questions
Now that you know some great ways to present, what in the world do you do when someone asks you a question? Yikes, this throws everything off! You were in the zone, gave your speech and next thing you know someone asks you what you meant in slide 3 (and you are now on slide 7). How do you give feedback while giving a speech and answer questions?
Answering questions effectively when presenting information can be tricky, however, it is a necessary function. You have to decide when you want to the questions to arrive (and remember, you are in control). Questions during the speech can get you off track and cause you to lose time.
Questions after main points are good, however, they can also break up some of those hard earned transitions that you worked on all night! Questions at the end might be the best for some, however, remember, at the end of a presentation some of the audience may be shyer when asking questions (until the ball gets rolling so to speak) or the audience may be ready to leave and questions just prolong their exit.
As the speaker remember you control the audience, if you have asked for people to hold their questions there is nothing wrong with telling someone that you’ll be happy to answer them at the end of your presentation you don’t want to get off track and go long. With this in mind, don’t let your presentation get out of control with too many visual aids or demonstration that take time, below are some hints on both of these.