Executive Presentation Skills

Barbara Boltax, Consultant

  • Preparation: Organize your notes on a worksheet to make sure your main points are clear and not too complex. Limit of three or four supportive points under each of three main headings.
  • Formalize your Agenda
    • keep it visible for the audience and refer to it periodically
    • place it on a flip chart on the wall
    • or on a repeating slide or overhead

Remember - Your audience has a short attention span.

  • Listening: The audiences will listen better when they have a framework for what they will be hearing.
  • Limit the number of categories in your agenda to three broad categories
  • Opening: allow the audience and speaker to get used to each other. Especially important if the speaker's accent is unusual for the audience.
  • Plan to use a quote, anecdote, photo, for the opening. Be flexible: modify your opening if a better idea or opportunity emerges based on what happens right before you begin.
  • Introduction: One crisp sentence to introduce the main idea. Then give the organization of the talk based on three categories.
  • "Tell them what you are going them, tell them, then tell them what you told them."
  • Summarize: Provide a mini-summary after completing the four points in each main category.
  • Conclusion: Then give your conclusions, with three or four key ideas.
  • Delivery: Be sure to practice your talk several times to increase your fluidity.
  • Visuals: Use examples and slides as appropriate to illustrate core messages.
  • Body language: Face the audience, not the slide, and point out exactly what you and what the audience to be looking at.
  • Style: Study different style of TV journalists and adapt what works for you.
  • Impact: You can increase the impact by lowering your pitch, using pauses.
  • Energy: To be taken seriously you must have energy, not necessarily enthusiasm.
  • Appearance: Get feedback from colleagues on how your dress and appearance are perceived and if they works for the purpose of your talk.
  • Gestures: Use forceful gestures to release nervous energy in a positive way.
  • Credibility: Credibility comes from your command of the topic and your comfort with the audience.

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Barbara Boltax
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Barbara R. Boltax Inc.
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