Sie sind auf Seite 1von 21

Making Oral


i !
! 'i
Luis Lamela makes presentations
to a variety of internal and external
audiences including medical
professionals, providers, clients.
CAC Medical Centers,
headquartered in Coral Gables,
Florida, is a comprehensive medical
delivery network comprised of 28
single- and multispecialty medical
he key to a successful oral presentation is to keep things simple. centers in south Florida. It is a
federally qualified health
I try to stick to three points. I give an overview of the points,
maintenance organization (HMO).
present them to the audience, and summarize them at the end. Its parent company is United
HealthCare Corporation, a national
My purpose and the audience mix determine the tone and leader in health care management.
focus of the presentation, the kind ,of vi-
suals,the number of anecdotes, and the jokes or ex-
amples that I use. Most of my presentations are de- "My purpose and the audience mix determine
signed to sell, to explain, or to motivate. When I plan the tone and focus of the presentation. "
the presentation, I think about the audience. Are they
professionals or nonprofessionals? Purchasers or sell-
ers?Providers or users? Internal or external?
When I make a presentation, I use the visuals as the outline. I will not use
notes. I like to select the kind of visual that not only best supports the message
but also best fits the audience and the physical location. PowerPoint, slides,
overhead transparencies, and flip charts are the four main kinds of visuals I use.
PowerPoint and slide presentations work well when I am selling a product
or an idea to large groups (15 people or more). In this format, I like to use ex-
amples and graphs and tables to support my message in a general way.
In small presentations, including one-on-ones and presentations where the
audience is part of the actual process, I like transparencies or flip charts. They
allow me to be closer to the audience and to be more informal.
I get very, very nervous when I speak in publk. I handle my nervousness by
just trying to look as if, instead of talking to so many people, I'm walking in and
talking to a single person. I don't like to speak behind lecterns. Instead, I like to
get out and just be open and portray that openness: ''I'm here to tell you a story. II

I try not to lecture but to use anecdotes, and I think that people find them
interesting and relate better to them. For example, our multispecialty medical
centers differ according to the demographics of the area. In Hispanic areas,
examination rooms need to be bigger because as Hispanics we bring the con-
cept of the extended family right into the examination room. But if we're go-
ing to build a center in an Anglo area, exam rooms will be smaller ..
I try very hard for people to enjoy my presentations by showing enthusi-
asm on the subject and by being sincere. In addition, it helps that I am speak-
ing about something that I very strongly believe in and something that I re-
ally, really enjoy doing.
he power to persuade people to care about something you believe Oral mt

in is crucial to business success. Making a good oral presentation is
more than just good delivery: it also involves developing a strategy • Use eme
that fits your audience and purpose, having good content, and or- • Focus th
ganizing material effectively. The choices you make in each of these • Answer
areas are affected by your purposes, the audience, and the situation. • Modify i
Make Your Message
Memorable* • Get imm
At a beverage conference in Spain, Purposes in Oral Presentations Oral ant
Nick Rosa, then president of The Nu-
traSweet Company, began, "Every Oral presentations have the same three basic purposes that written documents • Adapt tll
time I practice soccer with my sons, have: to inform, to persuade, and to build goodwill. Like written messages, • Show tht
aged seven and eight, I am reminded most oral presentations have more than one purpose. or produ
of the generation game. When I con- Informative presentations inform or teach the audience. Training sessions • Overcorr
sider my area of expertise, my boys in an organization are primarily informative. Secondary purposEls may be to
• Use you-
represent this new generation per- persuade new employees to follow organizational procedures, rather than do-
fect~y.First, they're young. Second, • Use visu;
ing something their own way, and to help them appreciate the organizational
they're thirsty. Third, they have grown cultuni(:lCICp. 62). '. • Specifye
up with diet drinks in the fridge."
Persuasive presentations motivate the audience to act or to believe. Giving
Then Nick launched into his speech.
information and evidence is an important means of persuasion. In addition,
Six months later he met a confer-
the speaker must build goodwill by appearing to be credible ancisympathetic Planning
ence delegate who greeted him by
saying, "How's it going? I haven't to the audience's needs. The goal in many presentations is a favorable vote or Astrategyi
seen you since that great speech decision. For example, speakers making business presentations may try to per-' In all ora
where you talked about your kids." suade the audience to approve their proposals, to adopt their ideas, or to buy you want t
By adding a personal touch, Nick their products. Sometimes the goal is to change behavior or attitudes or to re- easy to foU.
helped make his speech memorable. inforce existing attitudes. For example, a speaker at a meeting of factory work- your words
-Quoted from Elizabeth Urech, Speaking ers may stress the importance of following safety procedures. A speaker at a An oral F
Globally: Effective Presentations Across church meeting may talk about the problem of homelessness in the community audience. If
International and Cultural Barriers and try to build support for community shelters for the homeless.
(Dover, NH: Kogan Page, 1998),31.
graph. Hea(
Goodwill presentations entertain and validate the audience. In an after- tohelp read
dinner speech, the audience wants to be entertained. Presentations at sales whatthespt
meetings may be designed to stroke the audience's egos and to validate their tionsrequin
commitment to organizational goals. Analyze'
Make your p'urpose as specific as possible. message. It'
Weak: The purpose of my presentation is to discuss saving for retirement. proposal to
Better: The purpose of my presentation is to persuade my audience to put their 401 K funds in stocks
side the org
and bonds, not in money market accounts and CDs.
or: The purpose of my presentation is to explain how to calculate how much money someone diencebe ti]
needs to save in order to maintain a specific lifestyle after retirement. \oYill
the gr01
Note that the purpose is not the introduction of your talk; it is the principle that betteryou G
guides your choice of strategy and content. For exam
Wantto talk'
offersas ent
Comparing Written and Oral Messages takesoff his '
ofthe pharrr
Giving a presentation is in many ways very similar to writing a message. ~
of the chapters up to this point-on using you-attitude and positive emphasls/
developing reader benefits, analyzing your audience, designing slides, over-
cated,that ge
coming objections, doing research, and analyzing data-remain relevant as
thenext wee]
you plan an oral presentation. alwaysreme
A written message makes it easier to
• Present extensive or complex financial data. ChOOSing thE
• Present many specific details of a law, policy, or procedure.
~oose one (
• Minimize undesirable emotions. Ston, Ormter,
Ibelieve oral messages make it easier to
ltation is I Use emotion to help persuade the audience.
strategy ,FocUSthe audience's attention on specific points.
,and Or-
,j\11.Swerquestions, resolve conflicts, and build consensus.
of these
,Modify a proposal that may not be acceptable in its original form. What CEOs Learn about
, Getimmediate action or response. Presentations*
Oral and written messages have many similarities. In both, you should Executives preparing to take their
companies public make scores of
,Adapt the message to the specific audience.
2UInents presentations in dozens of towns
.essages, , Show the audience how they would benefit from the idea, policy, service, over a few short weeks. The pur-
or product. pose of this "road show" is to intro-
sessions , Overcome any objections the audience may have. duce the company to investment
ay be to professionals--persuading them to
, Use you-attitude and positive emphasis.
than do- buy, or at least to chart, the stock.
, Use visuals to clarify or emphasize material. To prepare for these crucial pre-
'. Specify exactly what the audience should do. sentations, many CEOs take lessons.
Four days of intensive training from
. Giving
one expert costs $20,000. Here are
ddition, some of the lessons three CEOs
pathetic leamed:
! vote or Astrategy is your plan for reaching your specific goals with a specific audience. • Trip Hawkns, CEOof The 300 Co.
y to per-' In all oral presentations, simplify what you want to say. Identify the one idea 'I had to suppress my 'ums' and
r to buy you want the audience to take home. Simplify your supporting detail so it's 'ahs'-people don't know how
or to re- easy to follow. Simplify visuals so t~ey can be taken in at a glance. Simplify many times they use those in
ywork- your words and sentences so they're easy to understand. 4 conversation. And I have a ten-
ker at a An oral presentation needs to be simpler than a written message to the same dency to look around too
ununity much-my eyes were zigging
audience. If readers forget a point, they can turn back to it and reread the para-
and zagging around the room. '
graph. Headings, paragraph indentation, and punctuation provide visual cues
m after- • Scott Cook, Chairman of Intuit
tohelp readers understand the message. Listeners, in contrast, must remember
'If I got negative questions, I'd
at sales what the speaker says. Whatever they don't remember is lost. Even asking ques- get defensive and put a chill on
l.te their tions requires the audience to remember which points they don't understand. things .... He taught me that
Analyze your audience for an oral presentation just as you do for a written when somebody asks a nega-
message. If you'll be speaking to co-workers, talk to them about your topic or tive question, restate it posi-
proposal to find out what questions or objections they have. For audiences in- tively, answer it positively' '.
side the organization, the biggest questions are often practical ones: Will it • Timothy Koogle, CEO of Yahoo!
work? How much will it cost? How long will it take?l 'He had me ... loosen up. Get
Think about the physical conditions in which you'll be speaking. Will the au- rid of the podium death
grip .... Connect with the audi-
dience be tired at the end of a long day of listening? Sleepy after a big meal?
ence physically, with my eyes.
Will the group be large or small? The more you know about your audience, the
Encourage them to drink in a
better you can adapt your message to them. really important slide by having
For example, Matt Hession knew that his audience of pharmacists didn't a big pause in my speech.:
want to talk to salespeople. So he devised·.a one-minute presentation which he
'Quotations quoted from Quentin Hardy,
offers as entertainment-and as a challenge. Figure 17.1 gives his script. He
"Meet Jerry Weisman, Acting CoaCh to
takes off his watch to drive home the point that he really will take only a minute CEOs," The Wall Street Journal, April 21,
:lge. All of the pharmacist's time. He starts off with reader benefits (=c p. 72) and uses 1998, B1.

lphasis, psychological description (=c p. 233) so that the pharmacists can see them-
3, over- selves enjoying those benefits. Because the commission structure is compli-
vant as cated, that goes in a handout rather than in the presentation itself. When he calls
the next week, he says, "This is Matt. I did the one-minute presentation .... They
always remember me." And 90% of them eventually sign contracts.

I Choosing the Kind of Presentation

Choose one of three basic kinds of presentations:
I sion, or interactive.
monologue, guided discus-

tions as CD
*"When 1 walk into 11 store, 1 spot the clerk closest to the pharmacist. Because the pharmacist is behind the itwithoUJ
counter, 1 can't get to him directly. So 1 speak loudly, and I know he is overhearing what's going on. If 1 walk uations, b
in looking like a salesman, the pharmacist immediately thinks, 'I don't want to buy anything or talk to you.' I since the;
nullify that feeling right off the bat. The pharmacist thinks, 'He's entertainment. It's only a minute, and it
Linda r
doesn't cost anything.' I'm not threatening anymore. Customers smile; they want to hear what I have to say. I
take off my watch to show that I'm serious."
material a
cussion, tJ
My name is Matt Hession with Key Medical. I know the pharmacist is real busy. But dience ha
when he has a moment, I have a one-minute presentation. (Start to take off watch.) And all the an~
he can leave his wallet in his po!:ket. own knm,
*"As I walk behind the counter, I try to 'assess how promising a partner this would be. How busy is the place? sults of cc
Is it handling any medical equipment--.iike walkers-already? Is the back of the store neat, clean, and well the audieJ
organized? I'm also thinking of anything I can quickly add to personalize the presentation. For example, if sions neec
there is a pediatrician next door, I'll point out that we handle nebulizers-small machines used by kids with ence resp(
asthma-and that we can get same-day approval on Medicaid. I hold up my watch again to emphasize that I'm the result.
serious about this taking only one minute." Aninte
infront of
(The clerk acknowledges and relays the request. But the pharmacist has overheard the
conversation. "I'll be with you in a bit," he says. A couple of minutes later, he motions for interactivE
me to step behind the counter. As we shake hands, I introduce myself again and hold up ihebuyer'
the watch.) . mitment t,
willtalk a
*"I am telling the pharmacists that this is something the chains do not have. This strikes an immediate note. saJespeopJ
Independent pharmacists, who are usually also the store owners, complain that chains like Wal-Mart have (:cc p. 28E
certain advantages. Now, they think, they will have an edge. They have two questions: How much time will it
take? How much will it cost me? I answer those right up front."
Adapting ~
We're in the home-medical-equipment business. Our company has developed a
program just for independently owned community drugstores. Our program costs you Measure tJ
nothing and takes up very little of your time. Jf your aU!
Here's how it works: a customer walks into your store and sees one of the signs that we
Don't SE
provide to you, indicating that you can get customers any type of home-medical encehas a:
equipment. The customer inquires about a home oxygen system that her father needs. lion can co
You answer, "Let me get our equipment partner on the phone for you." You dial our BOO toa small ]
number and tell us who you are, the name of your store, and its location. Then you give maybe abl
us your customer's name and her question. We either talk to the customer right there or Can't do ar
call her at home-your choice. We see if we can answer her questions and help to meet tationmay
her needs. If it results in a sale or rental, we deliver the equipment, and we teach the smallbusir
customer how to use it. We do the insurance filing or billing. We service the equipment. you try to 1
The whole nine yards. Your job is to educate your customers that they can obtain home- Makeyc
medical equipment through you. to their eXF
*"It would take longer than a minute, obviously, to explain the commission structure. There are three different themdirec
scenarios--a sale, a rental, or a lease-to-own option--and I can't cover those in under two minutes. And with the topic tc
customers in earshot, we don't have privacy, anyway. But I will give answers on two questions the
pharmacists often ask: Where is your home office, and how do you deliver these things? The details are very
clearly spelled out in the material I give them. " When was'
Here's a copy of our partnership agreement. It spells out your commission structure as diet, or may
well as other important concerns.

Planning a
ence aJ
In a monologue presentation, the speaker speaks without interruption;
questions are held until the end of the presentation, where the speaker func-
tions as an expert. The speaker plans the presentation in advance and delivers
it without deviation. This kind of presentation is the most common in class sit-
uations, but it's often boring for the audience. Good delivery skills are crucial,
since the audience is comparatively uninvolved. Adapting the Presentation
Linda Driskill suggests that guided discussions offer a better way to present to the Audience*
material and help an audience find a solution it can "buy into." In a guided dis-
cussion, the speaker presents the questions or issues that both speaker and au- When Jerry Stackhouse turned pro,
dience have agreed on in advance. Rather than functioning as an expert with many companies made presenta-
all the answers, the speaker serves as a facilitator to help the audience·tap its tions designed to sign him to repre-
sent their products. Fila won, in part
own knowledge. This kind of presentation is excellent for presenting -the re-
because of a presentation and visu-
sults of consulting projects, when the speaker has specialized kIlowledge, but
als specifically adapted to Mr.
the audience;must implement the solution if it is to succeed. Guided discus- Stackhouse.
I sions need more time than monologue presentations, but produce mor~ audi- During his initial presentation to
I ence response, more responses involving analysis, and more commi1:l:Tientto Mr. Stackhouse, Fila executive Howe
the result? Burch placed a poster directly
An interactive presentation is a conversation, even if the speaker stands up . across from where Mr. Stackhouse
in front of a group and uses charts and overheads. Most sales presentations are was sitting. It listed the names of 18
. interactive presentations. The sales representative uses questions to determine NBA Nike endorsers in fuzzy, hard-
the buyer's needs, probe objections, and gain provisional and then final com- to-read type. But there was no mis-
mitment to the purchase. Even in a memorized sales presentation, the buyer taking the slogan printed in big let-
ters: "Looks like the Swoosh [Nike's
will talk at least 30% of the time. In a problem-solving sales presentation, top
logo] is becoming a blur. At Fila,
salespeople let the buyer do 70% of the talking up until the action close
Stackhouse will be a Standout."
(xz p. 286).3 Mr. Burch also brought along a
prototype of the Stackhouse shoe, a
model that was ready to go into
production but just needed a name.
Measure the message you'd like to send against where your audience is now. At a second meeting, Mr. Burch ar-
Ifyour audience is indifferent, skeptical, or hostile, focus on the part of your rived carrying a paper bag that he
message the audience will find most interesting and easiest to accept. placed on a side table. Mr. Stack-
Don't seek a major opinion change in a single oral presentation. If the audi- house asked, "Is that my shoe in
the bag?"
encehas already decided to hire an advertising agency, then a good presenta-
Fila knew right then that it had
tioncan convince them that your agency is the one to hire. But if you're talking
Mr. Stackhouse in the bag, too.
toa small business that has always done its own ads, limit your purpose. You
maybe able to prove that an agency can earn its fees by doing things the owner 'Paragraphs 2-4 quoted from Roger
Thurow. "A Rookie Guard Scores Big at
can'tdo and by freeing the owner's time for other activities. A second presen- Marketing," The Wall Street Journal,
tationmay be needed to prove that an ad agency can do a better job than the February'9, 1996, A6.
smallbusiness could do on its own. Only after the audience is receptive should
youtry to persuade the audience to hire your agency rather than a competitor.
Make your ideas relevant to your audience by linking what you have to say
totheir experiences and interests. Showing your audience that the topic affects
themdirectly is the most effective strategy. When you can't do that, at least link·
thetopic to some everyday experience. .

Whenwas the last time you were hungry? Maybe you remember being hungry while you were on a
diet,or maybe you had to work late at a lab and didn't get back to the dorm in time for dinner.

Speech about world hunger to an audience of college students

Planninga Strong Opening and Close

~e beginning and end of a presentation, like the beginning and end of a writ-
aen~ocument,are positions of emphasis. Use those key positions to interest the
~qlenceand emphasize your key point. You'll sound more natural and more
effective if you talk from notes but write out your opener and close in advance Thisp
and memorize them. (They'll be short: just a sentence or two.) utives
Consider using one of the four modes for openers that appeared in Chapter 11: You
startling statement, narration or anecdote, question, or quotation. The more Some 1
you can do to personalize your opener for your audience, the better. Recent joke cc
Strategy for a Corporate
events are hetter than things that happened long ago; local events are better rected
Speech* than events at a distance; people they know are better than people who are only selves
Security directors of the 50 most
prominent international banks meet
periodically to discuss common
problerns. BankAmerica's Bob Beck
wanted to talk to the group about HUll
chemical dependency and
BankAmerica's approach to the
This presentation to a company's executive committee went on to show that close, y
Audience's initial position: Re-
sistant. Most favored testing, not the company's distribution system was inadequate and to recommend a third (2)refe
treatment. warehouse located in the Southwest. vivid, ]
One point to leave with audi- probler'
ence: Treatment is a practical al- combir
ternative that works. dience
Adapting message to audi-
ence: Used terrns frorn sports,
banking, and security to make it A mother was having difficulty getting her son up fQr school. He pulled the covers over his head. Plain a
easy for audience to identify with "I'm not going to school," he said. "I'm not ever going again." ucts. V
message. Backed up points with
"Are you sick?'! his mother asked. out. Tu
details and statistics. Explained
"No," he answered. "I'm sick of school. They hate me. They call me names. They make fun of me. staterr
problems of drug testing. Did not
Why should I go?"
ask for action.
Opener: Hard-hitting statistics on "I can give you two good reasons," the mother replied. "The first is that you're 42 years old. And
the second is you're the school principal. ,,4 Whe
how much chernical dependency
costs US businesses- $26 billion
a year.
This speech to a seminar for educators went on to discuss "the three knottiest sound i
Outline: (1) Chemical dependency
as a disease; the size of the prob-
problems in education today." Educators had to face those problems; they nouns,
lern; testing as the usual response. couldn't hide under the covers.
(2) BankArnerica's treatment ap-
proach: policy, prograrn design, and
education in the workplace. (3) The Visuals
business advantages of treatment: busines
protects investment in trained peo- slides a
ple; confines business losses too. YOl
caused by chemical dependency.
'Based on RobinWeliing, No Frills, No This presentation to a group of potential clients discusses the value of using people'
Nonsense, No Secrets (SanFrancisco:
the services of a professional financial planner to achieve one's goals for One:
InternationalAssociationof Business
Communicators, 1988). 290-93. retirement. ceivedc
des see:
According to Towers Perrin, the profits of Fortune 100 companies wouid be 25% lower-they'd go fectivei .
down $17 billion-if their earnings statements listed the future costs companies are obligated to pay Use c'
for retirees' health care. Sible,lIE
Page, s(
heads. )
This presentation on options for health care for retired employees urges exec-
utives to start now to investigate options to cut the future costs.
Your opener should interest the audience and establish a rapport with them.
Some speakers use humor to achieve those goals. However, an inappropriate
joke can turn the audience against the speaker. Never use humor that's di-
rected against the audience. In contrast, speakers who can make fun of them- Cultural Styles of
selves almost always succeed: Presentations*

When you make an International

presentation, be sensitive to your
host country's cultural preferences
for presentations.
Humor isn't the only'way to set an audience at ease. Smile at your audience 4n Japan, speak in a modest, per·
before you begin; let them see that you're a real person and a nice one. so~al, conversational sjyle. Look at
The end of your presentation should be as strong as the opener. For your the· whole group; remember that the
oldest person is probably the most
close, you could do one. or more of the following: (1) restate your main point;
important Plan carefully so that
(2)refer to your opener to create a frame for your presentation; (3) end with a
your presentation fits in the avail-
vivid, positive picture; (4) tell the audience exactly what to do to solve the able time-and remember that in·
problem you've discussed. The following close from a fund-raising speech terpretation cuts your actual speak-
combines a restatement of the main point with a call for action, telling the au- ing time in half.
dience what to do. In Sweden, don't save points for a
qU8stion-and-answer session.
Swedes consider it rude to ask ques-
Plain and simple, we need money to run the foundation, just like you need money to develop new prod- tions at the end of a presentation: to
ucts. We need money to make this work. We need money from you. Pick up that pledge card. Fill it do so suggests the speaker has not
been clear. Instead, include all your
out. Turn it in at the door as you leave. Make it a statement about your commitment ... make it a big
material in the body of the presenta-
tion. The best close is a well-crafted
question that applies the material
When you write out your opener and close, be sure to use oral rather than from the presentation, leaving the
audience something to think about
written style. As you can see in the example close above, oral style uses shorter
sentences and shorter, simpler words than writing does. Oral style can even *Based on Bronwen Jones, Doing Busi-
sound a bit choppy when it is read by eye. Oral style uses more personal pro- ness in Japan: An ABC for Better Com-
munications ([Tokyo:] JETRO. 1991), 16;
nouns, a less varied vocabulary, and more repetition. and H. Ned Seelye and Alan Seelye-
James, Culture Clash (Lincolnwood, IL:
NTC Business Books, 1995), 30-31.
Planning Visuals and Other Devices to Involve the Audience
Visualscan give your presentation a professional image. As more and more
businesses buy computer graphics packages, more and more presentations use
slidesor overhead transparencies, which, confusingly, are often called slides,
too.You design the graphics on your computer, then give the disk to a service
bureauthat produces slides. As color printers become more common, business
peoplewill be able to produce color overhead transparencies in-house.
One study showed that presenters using overhead transparencies were per-
ceivedas "better prepared, more professional, more persuasive, more credible,
andmore interesting" than speakers who did not use visuals. They were also
morelikely to persuade a group to adopt their recommendations? A study
C~l1lparingthe use of different kinds of visuals found that presenters using
s~desappeared more professional, but presenters using overhead transparen-
CIes seemed more interesting. Colored overhead transparencies were most ef-
fectivein persuading people to act.8
. Use at least 14-point type for transparencies; IS-point is even better. If pos-
e, a square area for your text or visual, rather than the whole vertical
Page,so that your transparency will fit on the screen without your having to
~oveit. For PowerPoint slides, use 44-point type (or larger) for titles and main
ads.Your smallest subheading should be no smaller than 2S-point type.
early E
ences i
up to E
sure at
sure the
forth. T
make a'

[A spea
by a tor
set up [
said, ".
You'd nl

Well-designed visuals can serve as an outline for your talk (see Figure 17.2),
eliminating the need for additional notes. Plan at most one visual for every
minute of your talk, plus two visuals to serve as title and conclusion. Don't try Choosi
to put your whole talk on visuals. Visuals should highlight your main points, Choose t
not give every detail. SWers th
Use these guidelines to create and show visuals for presentations: points. b
• Make only one point ","ith each visual. Break a complicated point down subpoint
into several visuals. lationshi
• Give each visual a title that l1l.akes a point. lIlto the f
• Limit the amount of information on a visual. Use 35 words or less; use.
simple graphs, not complex ones.
• Don't put your visual up till you're ready to talk about it. Leave it up until The incre
your next point; don't turn the projector or overhead off. of materi;
See Chapter 6 for information on designing slides and Chapter 16 for infor- Shifts she
find out v
.., '
mation on how to present numerical data through visuals.
Se~ the BA~ Web site for links to sites on how ~o use advanced p~~~
r- .

@ . Pomt techniques and for backgrounds, graphICs, and MIDIs yo

use royalty-free in your presentations.
. Back u
Visuals work only if the technology they depend on works. When you give
presentations in your own office, check the equipment in advance. When you
make a presentation in another location or for another organization, arrive
early so that you'll have time not only to check the equipment but also to track
down a service worker if the equipment isn't working. Be prepared with a
backup plan to use if you're unable to show your slides or videotape.
You can also involve the audience in other ways. A student giving a presen-
tation on English~French business communication demonstrated the differ- How do you persuade investors,
ences in US and French handshakes by asking a fellow class member to come bankers, and securities analysts to
up to shake hands with her. Another student discussing the need for low-salt want to invest in your company?
products brought in a container of salt, a measuring cup, a measuring spoon, You tell t~em a story.
Presentation coach Jerry
and two plates. As he discussed the body's need for salt, he measured out three
Weissman leads business people
teaspoons onto one plate: the amount the body needs in a month. As he dis-
through an entire day on identifying
! cussed the amount of salt th~ average US diet provides, he continued to mea- the best ~tory. Presentation skills
sure out salt onto the other' plate, stopping only when he had IX pounds of 0ike building in pauses so listeners
salt-the amount in the average US diet. The demonstration made the dis- can absorb information) come later.
crepancy clear in a way words or even a chart could not have done.9 To make Before coaching, client David
sure that his employees understood where money went, the CEO of a specialty Angel described his company like
printing shop in Algoma, Wisconsin, printed up $2 million in play money and this: "Information Storage Devices
handed out big cards to employees marked Labor, Depreciation, Interest, and so provides voice solutions using the
forth. Then he asked each "category" to come up and take its share of the rev- company's unique, patented
enues. The action was more~dramatic than a color pie chart could ever have multilevel storage technique .... "
After coaching, Angel started his
been.lO Another speaker who was trying to raise funds used the simple act of
presentation this way: "We make
asking people to stand to involve them, to create emotional appeal, and to
voice chips. They're extremely easy
make a statistic vivid: to use. They have unlimited
applications. And they last forever."

'Based on Dan Gillmor, "Putting on a

[A speaker] was talking to a luncheon club about contributing to the relief of an area that had been hit Powerful Presentation," Hemispheres,
by a tornado. The news report said that 70% of the people had been killed or disabled. The room was March 1996. 31-32.
set up [With] ten people at each round table. He asked three persons at each table to stand. Then he
said, "... You people sitting are dead or disabled. You three standing have to take care of the mess.
You'd need help, wouldn't you?""

ChoosingInformation to Include in a Presentation

Choosethe information that is most interesting to your audience and that an-
swersthe questions your audience will have. Limit your talk to three main
points.In a long presentation (20 minutes or more) each main point can have
subpoints.Your content will be easier to understand if you clearly show the re-
lationship between each of the main points. Turning your information into a
~toryalso helps. For example, a controller might turn charts of financial data
Ultothe following story:

Theincrease in sales income is offset by an increase in manufacturing costs. Why? Because the cost
of material is out of line. Material costs for product #503 tripled last month. An analysis of the three
shifts shows that the cost of materials jumped 800% on the second shift. Now, the problem is to
find out why the second shift uses so much more material than the other shifts making the same
product,' 2

"B~ckup each point with solid support. Statistics and numbers can be con-
\Ulcu:gif you present them in ways that are easy to hear. Simplify numbers by
teducmgthem to two significant digits.
Hard to hear: If the national debt were in pennies, it would take 17,006,802,720 people, each
carrying 100 pounds of pennies, to carry all of our debt.
Easier to hear: If the national debt were in pennies, it would take 17 billion people, each carrying 100
pounds of pennies, to carry all of our debt.13 v
In an informative presentation, link the points you make to the knOWledge •I
An Alternative your audience has. Show the audience members that your information an- 1
to PowerPoint* swers their questions, solves their problems, or helps them do their jobs. When iJ
you explain the effect of a new law or the techniques for using a new machine, • 1
[Once Barbara Waugh had analyzed
use specific examples that apply to the decisions they make and the work they s
her survey data-po 367-she had
to plan a presentation,] But how
do. If your content is detailed or complicated, give people a written outline or F
could she capture and communi- handouts. The written m~terial both helps the audience keep track of your ]
cate what she'd learned? How points during the present~tion and serves as a reference after the talk is over.
could she share this powerful cri- Quotations work well as long as you cite authorities whom your audience
tique with senior management? The genuinely respects. Often you'll need to paraphrase a quote to put it into sim- tm;.
last thing she wanted was to ple language that's easy to understand. Be sure to tell whom you're citing: Ac- II
preach through PowerPoint. So in- cording to Al Gore," An article in Business Week points out that," and so forth.

stead of creating bullet-point slides, Demonstrations can prove your points dramatically and quickly. During the
she drew on her experience with
investigation of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, the late physicist Richard
street theatre and created a "play"
Feynrnan asked for a glass of water. When it came, he put a piece of the space
about HP Labs. She worked pas-
sages from the surveys into dia-
shuttle's a-ring into the cold water. After less than a minute, he took it out and
logue and then recruited executives
pinched it with a small clamp. The material kept the pinched shape when the
to act as staff members, and junior clamp came off. The material couldn't return to its original shape.14 A techni-
people to act as executives. The cal explanation could have made the same point: the a-ring couldn't function
troupe performed for 30 senior. in the cold. But the demonstration was fast and easy to understand. It didn't
managers. "At the end of the play, require that the audience follow complex chemical or mathematical formulas.
the managers were very quiet," In an oral presentation, seeing is believing.
Waugh remembers. "Then they To be convincing, you must answer the audience's questions and objections.
started clapping. It was exciting.
They really got it. They finally un-
Some people think that working women are less reliable than men. But the facts show that women
'Quoted from Katherine Mieszkowski, "I take fewer sick days than men do.
Gre'w Up Thinking That Change Was
Cataclysmic. The Way We've Done it
Here is to Start Slow and Work Small."
Fast Company, December 1998, p. 152. However, don't bring up negatives or inconsistencies unless you're sure that
the audience will think of them. If you aren't sure, save your evidence for the
question phase. If someone does ask, you'll have the answer.

Organizing Your Information

Most presentations use a direct pattern of organization, even when the goalis
to persuade a reluctant audience. In a business setting, the audience is in a
hurry and knows that you want to persuade them. Be honest about your goal,
and then prove that your goal meets the audience's needs too.
In a persuasive presentation, start with your strongest point, your best ~ea-
son. If time permits, give other reasons as well and respond to possible obJec-
tions. Put your weakest point in the middle so that you can end on a strong
Often one of five standard patterns of organization will work:
• Chronological. Start with the past, move to the present, and end by
looking ahead. .
• Problem-causes-solution. Explain the symptoms of the problem, identlfy
its causes, and suggest a solution. This pattern works best when the
audience will find your solution easy to accept.
• Excluding alternatives. Explain the symptoms of the problem. Explain the
obvious solutions first and show why they won't solve the problem. End
by discussing a solution that will work. This pattern may be necessary
when the audience will find the solution hard to accept.
• Pro-con. Give all the reasons in favor of something, then those against it.
This pattern works well when you want the audience to see the weaknesses
1 an-
in its position.
men Creation
hine, • 1-2-3. Discuss three aspects of a topic. This pattern works well to organize
1. Think of your last summary slide
they short informative briefings. "Today I'll review our sales, production, and first-then make sure each of
l.e or profits for the last quarter." those key bullet points are
your Make your organization clear to your audience. Written documents can be clearly explained in the body of
ver. your presentation.
reread; they can use headings, paragraphs, lists, and indentations to signal lev-
ence 2. Use simple,1:lear graphics and
els of detail. In a presentation, y.:ouhave to provide explicit clues to the struc-
sim- pictures of iamiliar people to
ture of your discourse. capture attention and build au-
" Ac- Early in your talk-perhaps' immediately after your opener-provide an dience identification.
orth. overview of the main points you will make. 3. Get someone else to check
t;the spellings and the logical flow of
hard your slide show. Another pair of
pace First, I'd like to talk about who the homeless in Columbus are, Second, I'll talk about the services The eyes will often pick up an error
and Open Shelter provides, Finally, I'll talk about what you-either individually or as a group-ean do to that you have missed.
1 the Presentation .
:hni- 1. Practice, Practice, Practice,
:tion Rehearse several times-aloud
ldn't An overview provides a mental peg that hearers can hang each point on. It and standing up, with the same
ulas. alsocan prevent someone from missing what you are saying because he or she equipment you will use for your
wonders why you aren't covering a major point that you've saved for later. IS presentation.
2. Make eye contact with more
Offer a clear signpost as you come to each new point. A signpost is an ex-
than one audience member dur-
plicitstatement of the point you have reached. Choose wording that fits your
ing the course of your presenta-
style.The following statements are four different ways that a speaker could use tion,
tointroduce the last of three points: 3, Always carry backup disks of
your presentation program, your
slide show, and any special
Nowwe come to the third point: what you can do as a group or as individuals to help homeless peo- fonts that were used in its cre-
that ation.
ple in Columbus.
: the
"Quoted from Shonan Noronha and John
Rhodes, "Power Presentations,"
Presentations, special advertising sec-
tion, n.p,

al is


Deliveringan Effective Presentation

~diences want the sense that you're talking directly to them and that you care
up ~ they understand and are interested. They'll forgive you if you get tangled
IlL a sentence and end it ungrammatically. They won't forgive you if you
seem to have a "canned" talk that you're going to deliver no matter who the
audience is or how they respond, You can_cop.vey a sense of caring to your au-
dience by making direct eye contact with them and by using a conversational

Being Interviewed
by the Press*
Feeling nervous is normal. But you can harness that nervous energy to help
Business people and community you do your best work. As one student said, you don't need to get rid of your
leaders are often interviewed by the butterflies. All you need to do is make them fly in formation.
press. To appear your best on cam- To calm your nerves before you give an oral presentation,
era, on tape, or in a story,
• Be prepared. Analyze your audience; organize your thoughts, prepare
• Try to'ilnd out in advance why
visual aids, practice your opener' an~ close, check out the arrangements.
you're:being interviewed and
what Information the reporter • Use only the amount of caffeine you-TlOrmally use. More or less may make
wants. you jumpy.
• Practice answering possible • Avoid alcoholic beverages. ~'hl,"
questions in a single sentence. • Relabel your nerves. Instead of saying, ''I'm scared," try saying, "My YWllw
A long answer is likely to be cut adrenaline is up." Adrenaline sharpens our reflexes and helps us do our Tv< 41111t1

for TV or radio news. best.

• Talk slowly. You'll have time to
think, the audience will have Just before your presentation,
more time to understand what • Consciously contract and then relax your muscles, starting with your feet
you're saying, and a reporter
and calves and going up to your shoulders, arms, and hands.
taking notes will record your
words more accurately. • Take several deep breaths from your diaphragm.
• To reduce the possibility of be- During your presentation,
ing misquoted, bring along a
cassette recorder to tape the in- • Pause and look at the audience before you begin speaking. George F
terview. Better still, bring two- • Concentrate on communicating well. speaking vo
and offer to give one tape to the • Use body energy in strong gestures and movement.
interviewer. • Close you
you find t
'Based on James L. Graham, 'What to
This pitch
Do When a Reporter Calls," IABC Using Eye Contact
Communication World, April 1985, 15; • Sing doWl
and Robert A. Papper, conversation with Look directly at the people you're talking to. In one study, speakers who and sing L
Kitty Locker, March 17, 1991.
looked more at the audience during a seven-minute informative speech were • Ifyou hav
judged to be better informed, more experienced, more honest, and friendlie~ highest fal
than speakers who delivered the same information with less eye contact. of the dist.
An earlier study found that speakers judged sincere looked at the audience
63% of the timet while those judged insincere looked at the audience only 21% WhenyOl
of the time. I? .
~asily.If yOl
The point in making eye contact is to establish one-on-one contact with the mg. When y
youcan che,
individual members of your audience. People want to feel that you/re talk-
Illent.If you
ing to them. Looking directly at individuals also enables you to be more cO
scious of feedback from the audience, so that you can modify your approach
J ofthe room?
The biagE
VOice all fhe
like Our inJ

Developing a Good Speaking Voice To enunci

People will enjoy your presentation more if your voice is easy to·~~ ferentSound
find out what your voice sounds like, tape-record it. Also tape the v01ce;ew Noneare m'
people on TV or on campus whose voices you like and imitate them. Inll Il'
weeks, tape yourself again. Pensate,prOf
the Organizations such as
au- Toastmasters International
help members become
mal Welccmew more effective speakers by
Toastmasters International providing a good place to
practice their skill and
Making /ilfot:rJ1ItJ ClJmmUnlCfJ'f;/ofl
A Worldwide RCl1Jity receive feedback from
r their peers.

Wl\...-:hfil ytvfa. " rfN'AlAlf'..nAI.

At.1; ~l. At.)"'ll.'~A p .•::~i. f,J ~lf.u (r~i·-'JoYI«tAU.u,11tA holl-t
W. 111U11'prtlt~ Y""f" I:nrU1'1UU-",,", Ilix fiQUduuudtlOl' t,,"IIM!tt Yrnllun \t.l( IloOO' 111!lIlJl\1:
"' "klll'l •• WUI•. Iht4. Wi' .,~p 'f\IV ""'" fli\lff I'U~'\"").t \tt \'J!faLllI"M P'f1.~\~
i.f!; "'hfol,,lI.
't'w'll PI: " \o'·H~ kll~'t,.
•.'f, VvJ1 \ViI!l" h:ud kvnq .lid ~1I,,,h.t,'l ,"n1~'Jl1~ 1'",*1 "~IlWr
w~ vml t\ ~''a'''''l'AI\n:lM' "",~vctlm.Vw un...Jy lilt,." 'IVlml "'"'in WUI1!n' vWb. ~I
TW.lllh,)h:l' •.. ,¥"
tIiil ,,1UIIlJn\" lIMn .

•... -.....,., •.......•....•..
• 1MJ
,-rw ••••••••••
•••. \.1I ••
•.••• _~
\b .••.r":'t~ •.Mb
•••••• .,~
•..~~ ••••••• a..

George Fluharty and Harold Ross suggest three ways to find your best
speaking voice:
• Close your ears with your fingers and hum up and down the scale until
you find the pitch where the hum sounds loudest or most vibrant to you.
This pitch will be near your optimum pitch.
• Sing down the scale as far as you can go without forcing. Call this note do
and sing up the scale to sol. This note will be near your optimum pitch.
• If you have a piano, locate the lowest note you can produce and also your
highest falsetto note. Your optimum pitch will be approximately one fourth
of the distance from your lowest note.18
When you speak to a group, talk loudly enough so that people can hear you
easily.If you're using a microphone, adjust your volume so you aren't shout-
ing.When you speak in an unfamiliar location, try to get to the room early so
youcan check the size of the room and the power of the amplification eqUip-
ment.If you can't do that, ask early in your talk, "Can you hear me in the back
ofthe room?"
The bigger the group is, the more carefully you need to enunciate, that is,
Voiceall the sounds of each word. Words starting or ending with f, t, k, v, and
~areespecially hard to hear. "Our informed and competent image" can sound
likeflOur informed, incompetent image."
Toenunciate, use your tongue and lips. Researchers have identified 38 dif-
~rent sounds. Of these, you make 31 with your tongue and 7 with your lips.
,oneare made with the jaw, so how wide you open your mouth really does-
I 1l t matter. If the tongue isn't active enough, muscles in the throat try to com-
pensate,producing sore throats and strained voices.19
Tongue twisters can help you exercise your tongue and enunciate more adding 1
clearly. Stephen Lucas suggest~ the following: limit.
Put y<
~ .•. •

Sid said to tell him that Benny hid the pem1y many years ago.
Fetch me the finest French-fried freshest fish that Finney fries.
use 4-by
notes ne
• Three gray geese in the green grass grazed. phrases I

• Shy Sarah saw six Swiss wristwatches. or illustr

When you make a presentation on • One year we had a Christmas brunch with Merry Christmas mush to Look;
video, be informal and friendly. munch. But I don't think you'd care for such. We didn't like to munch to meml::
Look at the camera when you talk mush much.2° doesn't t
to create the effect of making eye notes ani
You can also reduce pressure on your throat by fitting phrases to your ideas.
contact with the audience. If you
If you cut your sentences into bits, you'll emphasize words beginning with
Since the sound repruduction
vowels, making the vocal cords hit each other. Instead, run past words begin- Ifpossib
equipment may deaden voices,
make a special effort to-vary pitch ning with vowels to emphasize later syllables odater words:21 ence, not
and expression. Don't interrupt an- Choppiness We must take more responsibility not
call atten
other speaker. Two people talking at hurts vocal Only for
cover up
the same time on camera produce cords: Ourselves
eral visu;
gibberish. And
list your
Dress for the camera.
Our families but for
• Don't wear white. Only very ex- Our communities Keept
pensive cameras can handle And pIe to fall
pure white. . Our country.
• Don't wear bold stripes, checks, Smooth We must take more
plaids, or polka dots.
phrasing Responsibility
• Don't wear large accessories. protects Mt only for our Prepare f(
• Red, blue, and green photo- throat: selves and our lenges yo
graph well. If an entire outfit in Families but for our deal with
red seems too bold, consider Communities and our one point
wearing a red tie or blouse. Country. tion. Spea
'Based on Robert A. Papper, conversa- pared.
You can reduce the number of uhs you use by practicing your talk several
tion with Kitty Locker, March 17, 1991. During
times. Filler sounds aren't signs of nervousness. Instead, say psychologists at
Columbia University, they occur when speakers pause searching for the next you have
tions or 0
word. Searching takes longer when people have big vocabularies or talk about
topics where a variety of word choices are possible. Practicing your talk makes
your word choices automatic, and you'll use fewer uhs.22 .
Vary your volume, pitch, and speed. Speakers who speak quickly and who
you agree
vary their volume during the talk are more likely to be perceived as compe-
answer th
tent.23 Sound energetic and enthusiastic. If your ideas don't excite you, why
"That's a!
should your audience find them exciting?
- If the at
Standing and Gesturing think,rep(
you madE
Stand with your feet far enough apart for good balance, with your knees
mind, and
flexed. Unless the presentation is very formal·or you're on camera, you can
If a qUE
walk if you want to. Some speakers like to come in front of the lectern to re- askingwh
move that barrier between themselves and the audience. lemswith .
Build on your natural style for gestures. Gestures usually work best when Whichis b
they're big and confident.
Using Notes and Visuals «
lion is to s
Illent of yc
Unless you're giving a very short presentation, you'll probably wan.t to~: aboutsam
notes. Even experts use notes. The more you know about the subJect, aJ1e. .swerthe q
greater the temptation to add relevant points that occur to you as ,You \U1 derstand a
Adding an occasional point can help to clarify something for the audIence,
adding too many points will destroy your outline and put you ov~r t~e time
Put your notes on cards or on sturdy pieces of paper. Most speakers like to
use 4-by-6-inch or 5-by-7-inch cards because they hold more information. Your
notes need to be complete enough to help you if you go blank, so use long
phrases or complete sentences. Under each main point, jot down the evidence
or illustration you'll use. Indicate where you'll refer to visuals.
Look at your notes infrequently. Most of your gaze time should be directed On behalf of Greenpeace USA,
, to members of the audience. Hold your notes high enough so that your head Christopher Childs gives more than
doesn't bob up and down like a yo-yo as you look from the audience to your 100 presentations a year to
schools, colleges, and churches,
'deas. notes and back again.
"For the question-and-answer
. with If you have lots of visuals and know your topic well, you won't need notes .
period, I try to stay in touch with
, legin- If possible, put the screen to the side so that you "von't block it. Face the audi-
our campaigners to find out what's
ence, not the screen. With transparencies, you can .use colored marking pens to most important. But I also try to
call attention to your points as you talk. Show the entire visual at once: don't stay aware of my personal motiva-
cover up part of it. If you don't want the audience to read ahead, prepare sev- tions, When I'm very clear about
eral visuals that build up. In your overview, for example, the first visual could what I want to accomplish, the
list your first point, the second the first and second, and the third all three questions take care of
points. themselves, , ..
Keep the room lights on if possible; turning them off makes it easier for peo- "Occasionally Iget hostile ques-
ple to fall asleep and harder for them to concentrate on you. tions, and while I try to deal on a
factual level with the issues, I look
to see if I can tell what's going on
with the person, Oftentimes they're
not hostile at all, but very con-
Prepare for questions by listing every fact or opinion you can think of that chal- cerned. When it's workable in a
lenges your position. Treat each objection seriously and try to think of a way to public forum, I might suggest to
dealwith it. If you're talking about a controversial issue, you may want to save them what I hear them really say-
ing. Often they really appreciate the
one point for the question period, rather than making it during the presenta-
tion. Speakers who have visuals to answer questions seem especially well pre-
pared. 'Quoted from Jess Wells, "Stage
~veral Presence: Professional Speakers Share
During your presentation, tell the audience how you'll handle questions. If Their Techniques," PUblish, December
ists at
you haye a choice, save questions for the end. In your talk, answer the ques- 1990,82.
tions or objections that you expect your audience to have. Don't exaggerate
yourclaims so that you won't have to back down in response to questions later.
During the question period, don't nod your head to indicate that you un-
derstand a question as it is asked. Audiences will interpret nods as signs that
1 who
youagree with the questioner. Instead, look directly at the questioner. As you
answer the question, expand your focus to take in the entire group. Don't say,
, why
"That's a good question." That response implies that the other questions have
beenpoor ones.
If the audience may not have heard the question or if you want more time to
tltink,repeat the question before you answer it. Link your answers to the points
knees you made in your presentation. Keep the purpose of your presentation in
,u caIl mind,and select information that advances your goals.
to re- If a question is hostile or biased, rephrase it before you answer it. "You're
askingwhether .... " Or suggest an alternative question: "I think there are prob-
lemswith both the positions you describe. It seems to me that a third solution
Whichis better than either of them is.... "
Occasionally someone will ask a question th~t is really designed to state the
speaker's own position. Respond to the question if you want to. Another op-
tionisto say, ''I'm not sure what you're asking," or even, "That's a clear state-
~ent of your position. Let's move to the next question now." If someone asks
a Outsomething that you already explained in your presentation, simply an-
~er the question without embarrassing the questioner. No audience will un-
erstand and remember 100% of what you say.
If you don't know the answer to a question, say so. If your purpose is to in- • Over
form, write down the question so that you can look up the answer before the • Use'
next session. If it's a question to which you think there is no answer, ask if any- • Use ~
one in the room knows. When no one does, your "ignorance" is vindicated. If • Spec
an expert is in the room, you may want to refer questions offact to him or her. • An ora
Answer questions of interpretation yourself. same a
At the end of the question period, take two minutes to summarize your main • In a m(
point once more. (This can be a restatement of your close.) Questions mayor
may not focus on the keypoint of your talk. Take advantage of having the floor
to repeat your message briefly and forcefully.
have a~
the ans
I7lan carefully to involve as many members of the group as:possible in speak- provisi(
ing roles. ", • Adapt 3
. The easiest way to make a group presentation is to outliDe the presentation • Use the
and then divide the topics, giving one to each group member. Another mem- emphaE
ber can be responsible for the opener and the close. During the question period,
• Using v
each member answers questions that relate to his or her topic.
more p{
In this kind of divided presentation, be sure to
• Use a di
• Plan transitions. • Limit y(
• Enforce time limits strictly. immedi,
• Coordinate your visuals so that the presentation seems a coherent whole. you will
• Practice the presentation as a group at least once; more is better. signpos
• To calm
The best group presentations are even more fully integrated: the group
writes a very detailed outline, chooses points and examples, and creates visu- • Be pre
als together. Then, within each point, voices trade off. See the BAC Web sual ai
site for links to advice on giving this sophisticated kind of team pre- • Use or
sentation. This presentation is most effective because each voice speaks • Avoid
only a minute or two before a new voice comes in. However, it works only • RelabE
when all group members know the subject well and when the group plans adrem
carefully and practices extensively. .
Whatever form of group presentation you use, be sure to introduce each Just befo
member of the team to the audience and to pay close attention to each other. If
other members of the team seem uninterested in the speaker, the audience gets • Consci
and ca
the sense that that speaker isn't worth listening to.
'. Take s{
Durino- y
I b

• Pause (
• Informative presentations inform or teach the audience. Persuasive • Concer
presentations motivate the audience to act or to believe. Goodwill • Use bo,
presentations entertain and validate the audience. Most oral presentationB , Convey c
have more than one purpose. Withther
• A written message makes it easier to present extensive or complex 't , Treatque
information and to minimize undesirable emotions. Oral m~ssages make 1 Youhad i
easier to use emotion, to focus the audience's attention, to answer t Youmad,
questions and resolve conflicts quickly, to modify a proposal that may nO .•, Repeat tn
be acceptable in its original form, and to get immediate action or response. heard it 0
• In both oral and written messages, you should questionE
• Adapt the message to the specific audience. .' . ''The best I
• Show the audience how they benefit from the idea, policy, serVIce, or Outline,d
product. Within ea,
to in- • Overcome any objections the audience may have.
:e the • Use you-attitude and positive emphasis.
: any- • Use visuals to clarify or emphasize material.
ed.If • Specify exactly what the audience should do.
,r her. I An oral presentation needs to be simpler than a written message to the
same audience.
main I In a monologue presentation, the speaker plans the presentation in
ayor When a student took a job at Intel,
advance and delivers it without deviation. In a guided discussion, the
floor her first assignment was to present
speaker presents the questions or issues that both speaker and audience a strategic plan to CEOAndy Grove
have agreed on in advance. Rather than functi'oning as an expert with all two weeks later.
the answers, the speaker serves as a facilitator to help the audience tap its Five minutes into her presenta·
own knowledge. An interactive presentation is a conversat~on using tion, he interrupted her: "Please flip
questions to determine the buyer's needs, probe objections;:and gain to page 22. That's what I need to
provisional and then final commitment to the purchase. . know."
I Adapt your message to your audience's beliefs, experiences, and interests. 'Based on Evelyn Pierce, Thomas Had·
:ation I Use the beginning and end of the presentation to interest the audience and juk, and Richard Young, "Using Verbal
Protocol Research to Determine What
nem- emphasize your key point. Business Audiences Want in Docu-
~riod, I Using visuals makes a speaker seem more prepared, more interesting, and ments," Association for Business Com·
munication Conference, Chicago, IL, No-
more persuasive. vember 6-9, 1996.
I Use a direct pattern of organization. Put your strongest reason first.
I ~imit your talk to three main points. Early in your talk-perhaps
immediately after your opener-provide an overview of the main points
you will make. Offer a clear signpost as you come to each new point. A
signpost is an explicit statement of the point you have reached.
I To calm your nerves as you prepare to give an oral presentation,
;roup I Be prepared. Analyze your audience, organize your thoughts, prepare vi-
sual aids, practice your opener and close, check out the arrangements.
: Web
I Use only the amount of caffeine you normally use.
l pre-
I Avoid alcoholic beverages.
I Relabel your nerves. Instead of saying, "I'm scared," try saying, "My
adrenaline is up." Adrenaline sharpens our reflexes and helps us do our
plans best.
each Just before your presentation,
I Consciously contract and then relax your muscles, starting with your feet
and calves and going up to your shoulders, arms, and hands.
I Take several deep breaths from your diaphragm.
During your presentation,
IPause and look at the audience before you begin speaking.
IConcentrate on communicating well.
IUse body energy in strong gestures and movement.
• Convey a sense of caring to your audience by making direct eye contact
with them and by using a conversational style.
• Treat questions as opportunities to give more detailed information than
you had time to give in your presentation. Link your answers to the points
you made in your presentation.
• Repeat the question before you answer it if the audience may not have
heard it or if you want more time to think. Rephrase hostile or biased
questions before you answer them.
, • The best group presentations result when the group writes a very detailed
outline, chooses points and examples, and creates visuals together. Then,
Within each point, voices trade off.
Exercises and Problems

Getting Started
. 17.1 Analyzing Openers and Closes

The following openers and closes came from class pre- c. Opener: You don't have to know anything about
sentations on information interviews. . computer programming to get a job as a teclmical
Does each opener make you intereste,d in hearing the writer at CompuServe.
rest of the presentation? .. Close: After talking to Raj, I decided technical
Does each opener provide a transition to the writing isn't for me. But it is a good caree.t if you
overview? work well under pressure and like learnil}g new
things all the time.
Does the close end the presentation in a satisfying
way? d. Opener: My report is about what it's like to work
in an advertising agency. .
a. Opener: I interviewed Mark Perry at AT&T.
Middle: They keep really tight security; I had to
Close: Well, that's my report. .
wear a: badge and be escorted to Susan's desk.
b. Opener: How many of you know what you want
Close: Susan gave me samples of the agency's ads
to do when you graduate?
and even a sample of a new soft drink she's
Close: So, if you like numbers and want to travel,
developing a campaign for. But she didn't let me
think about being a CPA. Arthur Andersen can take
keep the badge.
you all over the world.

Presentation Assignments
17.2 Making a Short Oral Presentation
As Your Instructor Directs, 9.15 Recommend a co-worker for a bonus or an
Make a short (three- to five-minute) presentation, with award.
three to eight Power Point slides, on one of the following 10.6 Motivate employees in your unit to do their
topics: best work.
a. Explain how what you've learned in classes, in 10.9 Ask for more resources for your unit.
campus activities, or at work will be useful to the 11.11 Make a sales presentation for a product or
employer who hires you after graduation. service.
b. Profile someone who is successful in the field you 13.18 Describe your choices in creating a brochure.
hope to enter and explain what makes him or her 18.2 Tell the class in detail about one of your
successful. accomplishments.
c. Describe a specific situation in an organization in 19.4 Explain one of the challenges (e.g., .,
which communication was handled well or badly. technology, ethics, international competition)
d. Make a short presentation based on another that the field you hope to enter is facing.
problem in this book. 19.5 Profile a company you would like to work for
1.6 Introduce yourself to the class. and explain why you think it would be a
3.10 Analyze your boss. good employer. '.
3.11 Analyze your co-workers. 19.6 Share the results of an information interVIeW
7.5 Explain a "best practice" in your 20.2 Share the advice of students currently on the
organiza tion. job market.
7.12 Explain what a new hire in your unit needs to . t rviewa!!
20.3 Share what you learn when you 111 e
know to be successful. interviewer.
8.10 Tell your boss about a problem in your unit. 20.4 Explain your interview strategy.
17.3 Making a Longer Oral Presentation
As Your Instructor Directs, 3.13 Analyze a discourse community.
Make a 5- to 12-minute presentation on one of the fol- 5.1 Describe the composing process(es) of a
lowing. Use visuals to make your talk effective. writer you've interviewed.
a. Show why your unit is important to the 6.5 Evaluate the page design of one or more
organization and either should be exempt from documents~
downsizing or should receive additional resources. 6.6 Evaluate the design of a Web page.
b. Persuade your supervisor to make a change that 7.8 Present a Web page you have designed.
will benefit the organization. 8.16 Analyze rejection letters students on your
c. Persuade your organization to make a change that campus have received.
will improve: the organization's image in the 10.15 Persuade your campus to make a change.
community. -.: 11.3 Analyze one or more sales or fund-raising
d. Persuade classmates to donate time or money to a letters.
charitable organization. (Read Chapter 11.) 12.4 Analyze international messages that your
e. Persuade an employer that you are the best person workplace has created or received.
for the job. 14.15 Summarize:the results of a survey you have
f. Use another problem in this book as the basis for conducted.
your presentation. 15.10 Summarize the results of your research.
3.12 Analyze an organization's culture.

17.4 Making a Group Oral Presentation

As Your Instructor Directs, 13.10 Recommend whether a mall should hire ethnic
Make a 5- to 12-minute presentation on one of the fol- Santas.
lowing. Use visuals to make your talk effective. 13.18 Present brochures you have designed to the
1.5 Explain the role of communication in one or class. .
more organizations. 13.19 Describe the listening strategies of workers you
12.6 Report on another country. have interviewed.

17.5 Evaluating Oral Presentations

Evaluate an oral presentation given by a classmate or 9. Providing adequate transitions between points and
givenby a speaker on your campus. Use the following speakers.
Strategy 10. Making direct eye contact with audience.
1. Choosing an effective kind of presentation for the 11. Using a conversational style.
12. Using voice and gestures effectively.
2. Adapting ideas to audience's beliefs, experiences, 13. Using notes and visuals effectively.
and interests.
14. Handling questions effectively.
3. Using a strong opening and close.
4. Using visual aids or other devices to involve As Your Instructor Directs,
audience. a. Fill out a form indicating your evaluation in each of
the areas.
b. Share your evaluation orally with the speaker ..
S.Using specific, vivid supporting material and
c. Write a memo to the speaker evaluating the
presentation. Send a copy of your memo to your
6. ProVidingrebuttals to counterclaims or objections.
7. ProVidingan overview of main points.
8. Signposting main points in body of talk.
17.6 Evaluating Team Presentations

Evaluate team presentations using the following ques- 7. How effective were the visuals?
tions: 8. How well did the team handle questions?
1. How thoroughly were all group members 9. What could be done to improve the presentation?
involved? 10. What were the strong points of the presentation?
2. Did members of the team introduce themselves or
.As Your Instructor Directs,
each other?
a. Fill out a form indicating your evaluation in each of
3. Did team members seem interested in what their
the areas.
teammates said?
b. Share your evaluation orally with the speaker.
4. How well was the material organized?
c. Write a memo to the speaker evaluating the
5. How well did the material hold your interest?
presentation. Send a copy of your memo to your
6. How clear did the material seem to you? instructor.

17.7 Evaluating the Way a Speaker Handles Questions

Listen to a speaker talking about a controversial subject. • If some questions were not answered well, what (if
(Go to a talk on campus or in town, or watch a speaker anything) could the speaker have done to leave a
on a TV show like Face the Nation or 60 Minutes.) Ob- better impression?
serve the way he or she handles questions. • Did the answers leave the audience with a more or
• About how many questions does the speaker less positive impression of the speaker? Why?
As Your Instructor Directs,
• What is the format for asking and answering
a. Share your evaluation with a small group of
students. .
• Are the answers clear? responsive to the question?
b. Present your evaluation formally to the class.
something that could be quoted without
c. Summarize your evaluation in a memo to your
embarrassing the speaker and the organization he or
she represents?
• How does the speaker handle hostile questions?
Does the speaker avoid getting angry? Does the
speaker retain control of the meeting? How?