May 23, 2012 at 6:01 am (Communications)
Tags: presentations, Public speaking
If you follow the presentation tips here, you’ll have an audience that pays attention.
We’ve all been to conferences and workshops where the speaker had good information to share but something was lost in the presentation. If you’re asked to present, here are some tips to help make your presentation memorable.
- Provide us with a quick update about your background. We want to know what makes you an expert and why we should listen to you. Then move on and give the presentation because that’s why we are here.
- Respect the time schedule. We want to hear what you have to say, but when you go over your time limit, you make us antsy. We’re thinking about getting to the next session, or even the restroom.
- Speak to the audience, not the screen, which ties directly to the next tip.
- Don’t use so many slides that we don’t get to focus on you. Do use enough slides to give us visuals and another means to understand the topic. If you’re simply reading from the slides, you could have sent us the presentation to read on our own time.
- Use the microphone. Room acoustics can be challenging. For many of us our hearing isn’t what it used to be.
- Leave time for questions. No matter how much information you share with us, we’ll still have questions.
If you follow these tips, you can be sure your audience will not only learn but will enjoy learning.
May 20, 2012 at 5:29 am (Improvement)
Do you listen?
Are you sure?
I recently participated in a global leadership meeting and one of our facilitators spent time coaching us on listening.
He asked us: What’s the opposite of listening?
We all answered: Talking!
Then he asked us, “What’s the opposite of talking?”
Of course, we wanted to say, “listening,” but we suspected we would we wrong. The answer? “Waiting to talk.”
He challenged us to consider if we really are listening or if we are simply waiting to talk.
It’s something I struggled with for years and still do at times. As a newspaper reporter, I would only half hear answers to questions because I was always waiting to ask my next question. When I finally started to really listen, my stories became stronger.
Our facilitator noted we could approach a conversation from sides, or we could approach it to find the center together.
The next time you are conversing with someone stop and ask yourself if you really are listening.
May 16, 2012 at 5:51 am (Communications, Public Relations)
Tags: request for proposal, RFP
(Photo illustration by Cynthia Price)
A few years ago I didn’t even know what an RFP (request for proposal) was. Now I found myself reviewing them and sometimes writing them.
A request for proposal is a document that an organization posts to elicit bids from potential vendors for a product or service. The quality of an RFP is important to successful project management because it defines the deliverable and identifies risks and benefits at the beginning of a project.
I’ve learned a few things along the way. And whether you are on the receiving end or are writing one, good RFPs have a few things in common, including:
- The RPF should clearly spell out objectives and benchmarks. If I can’t articulate what I would like the company to deliver, how will the company succeed in delivering it? I also include benchmarks so we all know what we want to achieve.
- Set a realistic timeline. All too often we want everything yesterday. But we have to account for travel schedules, other meetings and projects and yes, even vacations. If the timeline is not reasonable the project will quickly get off track or extra money will have to be allotted to remain on schedule. Read the rest of this entry »