Giving a Presentation In A Day For Dummies®

Table of Contents

What You Can Do In A Day
Foolish Assumptions
Icons Used in This Book
Chapter 1: Preparing to Deliver a Great Presentation
Hitting the Essentials of Effective Presentations
What makes a presentation
What breaks a presentation
Preparing the Presentation
Timing for Maximum Impact
Making your presentation time out just right
Filling time or trimming back
Chapter 2: Overcoming Stage Fright
Changing Your Perceptions
Realizing how your audience really feels
Visualizing success like a pro
Talking yourself into a great speech
Transforming Terrified to Terrific
Discovering stress-busting exercises
Discovering the real secret: Don’t look nervous
Preventing and Handling Stage Fright
Writing out your intro and conclusion
Practicing makes perfect — and confident
Anticipating problems and preparing solutions
Arriving early
Double-checking your visuals and equipment
Watching what you drink
Dividing and conquering
Using your nervousness
Having water handy
Keeping your breathing even
Avoiding Popular “Cures” That Don’t Fight Fright
Imagining the audience naked
Taking booze and pills
Chapter 3: Using Body Language to Enhance Your Message
Understanding Body Language
Sending a message with facial expressions
Punctuating your speech with posture
Giving the right message with gestures
Making Eye Contact Count
Mastering Physical Positioning and Movement
Managing entrances and exits
Moving around
Getting into the power position
Working from a podium
Paralanguage: Engaging the Audience with Your Voice
Chapter 4: Handling the Audience
Reading an Audience’s Reaction
Checking the energy level
Noticing body language
Asking questions to gauge the audience
Making the Audience Comfortable
Handling a Tough Audience
Examining types of tough audiences
Haggling with hecklers
Dealing with other distractions
Handling a Nonresponsive Audience
Reviving interest in your presentation
Getting a volunteer from the audience
Chapter 5: Fielding Questions
Discovering the Basics
Anticipating questions
Answering questions at the end
Avoiding letting a few people dominate
Letting the questioner ask a question, not give a speech
Listening to the question
Repeating the question
Guessing isn’t the answer
Ending the Q&A strongly
Coming Up with a Perfect Answer
Treating the questioner properly
Designing your answer
Delivering your answer
Using Question-Handling Techniques
Reversing the question
Redirecting the question
Rephrasing the question
Exposing a hidden agenda
Putting the question in context
Building a bridge
Dealing with Common Types of Questions
Chapter 6: Where to Go from Here
Taking Your First Steps
About the Authors
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Giving a Presentation In A Day For Dummies®




Whether you’re dealing with one person or a thousand, the ability to transmit ideas in a coherent and compelling fashion is one of the most important skills you can ever develop. It’s a basic survival skill, and it always has been. From the earliest caveman who yelled “Fire!” to the latest blogger who flamed someone on the Internet, people have given presentations to motivate, persuade, and influence each other.

Want to get a good job? Want to get promoted? Want to command the respect of your peers? The key to success is what you say. To get what you want in life, you have to present yourself assertively, credibly, and convincingly. Sure, you can speak softly and carry a big stick, but the real winner is the person who talks you out of the stick.

In the information age, presentation skills are more important than ever before. We live in a society of sound bites. Communication is the currency of the realm. In survey after survey, presentation skills are cited as a key factor in hiring and promotion decisions. The days when you could rise to the top just by being good at your job are over. Boards of directors, executive committees, and customers want more. You have to know how to get your message across.

What You Can Do In A Day

If you want to improve the full range of your presentation skills in about a day’s time, then reading this entire book will give you all the tools you need in order to prepare for and practice a great presentation. Too busy to read a whole book in one sitting? Don’t worry. Giving a Presentation In A Day For Dummies is designed with your time constraints in mind. The book is divided into easy-to-read segments that cover very specific topics, so you can dip in and out whenever you have a spare moment. Choose an area of interest, such as overcoming stage fright, using body language, handling the audience, or fielding questions, and turn directly to it.

Foolish Assumptions

We assume that at least one of these descriptions applies to you and your knowledge of giving a presentation:

check.png You’re fretting about your next presentation because you don’t understand how to engage the audience.

check.png You know nothing about presentations but would like to be prepared in case you’re ever asked to give one.

check.png You know quite a bit about presentations and have a lot of experience, but you want to polish your presentation development and delivery.

check.png You know that you shouldn’t fear giving a presentation, but you fear it anyway — and you want to know how to overcome your anxiety.

Icons Used in This Book

Key information in this book is marked with little pictures (or icons) in the margins. Here’s what the icons tell you:

tip_4c.eps This icon signals important advice about how to maximize the effectiveness of your presentation.

warning_4c.eps This icon indicates potential problems.

remember_4c.eps An elephant never forgets, but people do. This icon alerts you to information you want to remember.

5minuteexercise.eps This icon highlights a basic presentation skill that you can practice a couple of times in a few minutes. Of course, you’ll ultimately want to spend more than five minutes on all of the exercises in this book.

exploresomemore.eps When you see this icon, head to this book’s companion website at Online, you’ll find more-detailed information about topics that we cover in the book.