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Presentation Skills: Your Presentation Body [Part 2]

Posted by on December 13, 2011

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Presentation BodyLast time we got you started on your presentation body, discussing the need for a main point and its supporting evidence. That was a good start, but since the body is the “meat” of your presentation, we still have a lot to cover. I am so excited to share my knowledge with you because I know you can take these skills with you wherever you go!

Okay, let’s get to it. Once you have decided on your point, or message, you need to present evidence to support it. But although you may know something, how do you put together supporting information in a way that speaks to your audience? Here are some specifics for each of the 5 types of evidence:

  1. Personal Experience: A specific firsthand situation in which you participated that supports or clarifies your point.
    • The personal experience should always be communicated in the first person. For example:                  I said “                       .” He said “                       .”
    • This allows you to use actual dialogue which adds an emotional dimension to the incident, makes it more interesting to the listener and is easier for you to relate. Literally relive the experience.
    • Remember, to most listeners the personal experience is the most interesting and unique form of evidence. People remember stories long after they have forgotten the storyteller.
  2. Analogy: A similarity between things or situations otherwise unlike.
    • This can be a very creative form of evidence and when presented visually, can be quite dramatic.
    • For example, to communicate the concept that we only see part of something and do not have the whole picture, the iceberg can be an effective analogy. To communicate the fact that we do not have the proper equipment, an analogy might be “like trying to keep a football field dry with a box of tissues.”
    • A good analogy allows the speaker to graphically exaggerate a point without offending the intelligence of the listener.
  3. Judgment of Expert: A statement made by a person the group will recognize as an authority on the subject.
    • The statement should be supportive in either a positive or negative manner. If the source is not readily known to the entire group, credentials, qualifications and accomplishments should be identified prior to using a quote. Some sources for judgments of experts are newspapers, journals and trade magazines.
  4. Example: A specific situation where various key factors are similar to those that support your point.
    • Examples make a presentation more interesting and help your audience understand your point.
  5. Facts/Statistics: A fact is something that already happened or a condition that exists.
    • Statistics are a quantification of a fact and are used primarily for comparison. Statistics are used to report on a past activity or to predict the results of future activity.
    • When using statistics, ask yourself:
      • What do they represent? (Results? Predictions?)
      • What do they tell the listener? (Comparison? Conclusion?)
      • How do they support or clarify my point?

It is most important to use visual aids to display statistics. Be graphically dramatic; you will be amazed at the amount of statistical information your audience is able to retain!

Delivery Tips for the Body

Use a flip chart for each key point. This will keep you organized, emphasize points to your audience and allow you to speak from the chart without looking at your notes.

What next? Oh yes, the dreaded conclusion. Let’s leave that for next time

It is essential to get hands-on, practical training in the classroom to bring these concepts to life.

Presentation Skills

Karen Holmes is a CGWA Senior Consultant and Trainer, based in the U.S. and delivering programs such as  Coaching, Positive Power and Influence, Presentation Skills, and many more.

Presentation Skills: Your Presentation Body [Part 1]

Posted by on December 5, 2011

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Presentation BodyLast time, we talked about creating your presentation introduction. Now it’s time to work on the body, which will consist of your key points and the evidence you will use to support each key point. Evidence makes your key points more interesting and helps you emphasize them more strongly. By providing evidence, you clarify and expand your point and answer any questions you anticipate your audience might have.

When developing the body of the presentation, you should use the following format:

  • State the point (the message you want your audience to receive)
  • Back up each point with evidence (information the listener needs to know about that point to understand it and take action)

To help you develop your supporting ideas, discuss each point with yourself. Keep your audience in mind and remember your objectives. Imagine yourself conversing with your audience. You know the subject. Each point will probably trigger another related point. By talking each point out, you will see in which direction your thoughts take you. Decide which thoughts you need. Look for details. Be concrete. Avoid generalities. Reinforce ideas with specifics.

Evidence can take many different forms. There are five forms of backup evidence we will cover in this program:

  1. Personal Experience
  2. Analogy
  3. Judgment of Expert
  4. Example
  5. Facts/Statistics

This is an excellent beginning to your presentation body, but there’s a lot more to it. Don’t worry…we have all the tips and tools you need! Next time, we’ll dig deeper into how to create your presentation body. Before you know it, your presentation will be ready for the real world, and you’ll be ready to shine!

Karen Holmes is a CGWA Senior Consultant and Trainer, based in the U.S. and delivering programs such as  Coaching, Positive Power and Influence, Presentation Skills, and many more.