• open panel

Check, Please



by Bob Goodyear

Imagine that a friend stops by and asks you to come along to help with some kind of an errand.  The first questions you may ask is where are you going and what are you going to be doing.  Wouldn’t you want to know that?

When we present, we need to tell our audience the same things.  We need to tell them where they are going and what they will be doing or hearing.  We need to give them a road map of our presentation up front.

A road map helps fulfill the old speaker maxim that says:

Tell the audience what you are going to tell them.

Tell them.

Tell them what you told them.

When we present using PowerPoint, the road map is generally an Agenda slide that highlights the topics that will be discussed.  However, after each topic is completed, the road map slide should be updated.  This shows that a topic has been “checked off”.  The audience will also be reminded of the upcoming topics.  This way they will see progress during your presentation and not keep asking the question “Are we there yet?”

When speaking WITHOUT PowerPoint, you can and should do the same thing.  You can write your topics on a whiteboard or flip chart.  As you discuss each one, then you can check off that topic and move on to the next.  Even without any visual aids, you can do this by simply stating up front what you will cover and then at the end of each topic you can remind the audience of what you’ve talked about and what’s next.  It’s pretty simple and yet very effective in helping your audience know where they’ve been and what’s coming next.

So your key takeaway is simply this:  When you are going to take your audience on a journey with your presentation, always give them a road map to follow.

Bob Goodyear is a veteran speaker on technology who understands the communications challenges that technical professionals face. Find out how Bob can help your organization with their presentation. 

Reach Bob by email or by phone at 678.447.7272