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Events and Programs
Events and Programs

Presentation Checklist

You owe your audience and yourself a good presentation, but creating an effective presentation takes planning and practice. Here are some pointers:

Start preparing early; don't wait until the last few days to prepare

  • prepare it early, let it rest a little bit and come back to it
  • practice your entire presentation-including your slides
  • if you can practice it before a group of colleagues or friends
  • Timing is everything!
    • Practice your presentation OUT LOUD and time each section
    • Notate in your materials:
      • Length of introduction
      • Mid-point
      • Conclusion
      • Time for Q&A
    • Avoid rushing the end of your presentation because you spent too much time lingering in the middle

Think about Your Audience:

  • who are they and why are they here;
  • what are their interests;
  • what do they know; what do they want to know; what is a worthwhile investment in their time

Be clear about your purpose:

  • are you informing or persuading;
  • tell them what you are going to do, tell them, tell them what you told them;
  • what do you want the audience to know, feel, or believe afterwards

Use an Effective Introduction:

  • orient the audience; explain why it is important; set the tone,
  • establish a relationship between the speaker and the audience; establish credibility;
  • avoid weak introductions such as apologies, jokes, rhetorical questions

Organize your presentation clearly and simply:

  • prioritize topics and allocate time accordingly
  • stick to only 3-5 main points;
  • have a well thought pattern (examples are problem/solution, chronological, cause and effect, topical);
  • use transitions to move smoothly from one point to the next

Use supporting materials to flesh out main points

  • use examples, statistics, expert opinions, anecdotes

Compose for the Ear, not for the Eye:

  • use simple words, simple sentences, markers, repetition, images, personal language ("You" and "I")

Create an Effective Conclusion:

  • summarize, set final image, provide closure; don't trail off, don't use trite phrases
  • don't just present data or summarized results and leave the audience to draw its own conclusions
  • you have had much more time to work with your information than your audience; share your insight and understanding and tell them what you've concluded from your work

Sound spontaneous, conversational, enthusiastic-

  • use key phrases in your notes so you don't have to read, use the overhead instead of notes;
  • vary volume, don't be afraid of silence, don't use fillers like "um"...
  • Practice, Practice, Practice

Use Body Language Effectively:

  • relaxed gestures
  • make eye contact
  • don't play with a pen or pointer,
  • don't block visual aids

Use Visual Aids to Enhance the Message:

  • PowerPoint presentations and transparencies must be designed and used properly in order to be effective
  • use visuals to reinforce and clarify, not overwhelm;
  • keep visual aids uncluttered; use titles to guide the audience
  • if you use tapes or disks, make sure the equipment is compatible

Reference: Dunn, K. 2000. Train the trainer: Effective presentation skills for Facilitators. San Diego: Gateway Computers, Inc.


Upcoming Events

2017 Higher Education Accounting Forum
May 7-9, 2017 | Austin, TX

2017 CAO and CBO Collaborations
August 7-8, 2017 | Washington, DC

Regional and Partner Events

2017 TIAA Leadership Symposium
March 27-29 | Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

2017 SACUBO Annual Meeting
April 30-May 2 | Hollywood, FL

Past Programs

2017 Student Financial Services Conference
March 19-21, 2017 | Las Vegas, NV

2017 Unrelated Business Income Tax
February 22-24, 2017 | Seattle, WA

View All Past Programs »


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CPE Information

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