Project Master Plan

Becoming the Best Presenter You Can Be: The Ultimate Guide

Theo Millidonis L1, Cyprus

Theo Millidonis L1, Cyprus

We are proud to present our Ultimate Guide to becoming the best presenter you can be! This is the culmination of over two years of hard work, writing technical articles in all aspects of presenting, summarized and split into relevant categories just for your reading pleasure. I do hope you will find it useful.

1. Getting Started and First Steps

So, you want to be able to facilitate great seminars. The first thing you need is Inspiration!
Next, you need to attend a conference and see what you can expect from one both as an attendee and as a presenter. You are excited but at the same time are faced with the daunting prospect of attending for the first time. Here is what to expect from Your First Conference. Once the first step to become a presenter has been made and you decide to take the stage, we have useful advice on Overcoming Stage Fright.

2. Presentation Structure

The structure of a seminar is easily divisible into two key elements: Content and Context. The content revolves around the topic and ideas your seminar is aimed to explore, and the context focuses on the most appropriate format in which the content will be delivered and presented.

a) Content

In order for you to be able to deliver a presentation that will resonate in the minds of your audience, you need to talk about something interesting. Here are suggestions on Picking a Topic and Goal that will be memorable for your audience.

If you are racking your brains, but cannot come up with something truly inventive, you can use an existing article on a topic you find interesting and turn that into a presentation. It is good to note that An Article is The Backbone of a Great Seminar. And we are happy to provide you with all the tools necessary to make sure a great article turns into a spanking presentation!

b) Context

Now, your story needs a really good ‘wrapping’ to turn it into an appealing gift for the audience! You need the appropriate tools to achieve a good packaging of your seminar, and the most common tool being used is a set of slides. What we advise you to go for is more color and less text on your slides as outlined in Presentation Design Principles – Part 1 and Part 2. And just to make sure you don’t fall into any of the numerous traps present in the treacherous realm of PowerPoint, learn The 10 Steps to Take Towards a Bad PowerPoint Presentation, for reference as to what to avoid!

3. Connecting with the audience

The day of your seminar has arrived, your presentation is ready and it is brilliant! But that is what it is; just a set of slides that needs a powerful medium to transfer the message to the audience! By taking the stage, you come in as a facilitator and to be able to deliver the content of your seminar most effectively, a strong connection with the audience must be established.

How about then starting off with a really cool introduction and ice-breaker as is suggested in The Meet n Greet of Public Speaking?

Once that is done, it is a good idea to introduce elements within your seminar that will make it interesting, because this is how you will get the audience to care for it and give you their attention. Therefore it is advisable to learn the skills involved in Connecting with the Audience and Getting the audience on your side.

Aside from the things we say, the way we say them is just as important. It helps to visually connect with the audience via proper ‘Tells’ of Body Language – Part 1: Importance,
Part 2: Being the Sender and Part 3: Being the Receiver.

You also need to think about how the content will be organised in order to connect with our audience most effectively. A recommended approach by us is to deliver your seminar as a story. Your audience is the hero in your story, so obviously they are what the seminar topic focuses on as discussed in Story Telling 1: The Hero. A mentor is needed to guide the audience through the challenges posed by the nature of the topic, and we deal with the finer points in Story Telling 2: The Mentor.

4. Avoiding Mistakes

No performance is flawless, and it is precisely those tiny bits of errors that make us and our approach more human, however massive blunders are to be avoided as they would surely get in the way of our delivery. Learn how to Avoid the Common Mistakes – Part 1 and
Part 2.

5. Time Management and Organization

To make all this possible you need to be able to organize your time efficiently, especially if you are a busy judge who spends a lot of time travelling. These guides are pretty useful regarding how to best utilize your time while On the Road – Part 1 and Part 2.

6. Developing Specialised Skills

Here are the finer points involved in mastering specialised presentation skills.

a)Managing Focus Groups

Managing a focus group or a workshop requires a specific set of skills over and above the ones required for merely being able to present effectively. You can find guidance on how to effectively manage focus groups as There’s a “we” in “weapon”! – Part 1 and Part 2.

b) Controlling the Environment

Whatever the format of your seminar, you should be on top of things, and controlling the environment is vital for achieving that. So here we have The No-Distraction Rule.

7. Self Improvement and Feedback

That’s what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it? Self Improvement is a life-long process achieved through both an equal measure of self-reflection and invaluable feedback by our peers. Here we specifically focus on how to deliver and receive Seminar Feedback!

Hopefully this has been an enjoyable as well as an educational read, and we look forward to hearing success stories from your seminar adventures!

Is this an interesting read? Do you also have something to say about slides and seminars? We are always looking for feedback, but even more for collaborators! It doesn’t matter if you want to help writing already scheduled articles, or share entirely new ideas. Contact Theo, and let the Judge Community know what you think.