There are several types of presentations, and the best practices for each type are different, so it is important to understand the type of presentation you are creating. In this episode, we are going to specifically focus on how to create a presentation for a meeting.
First, you need to determine if you are putting together a presentation or a reference document.
True or False:
1. Does your presentation regurgitate information that is already available in another type of document, such as Excel or Word?
2. Are you tempted to say ‘I know this slide is an eye chart’?
If you answered true to both of the above, you are creating a reference document. A reference document is not intended to be engaging—it is intended to be available for reference.
But, if what you have is not reference material, then you can start planning for your presentation. First, you need to determine the objective you are trying to accomplish. What is the objective from your perspective? What is the objective from the participant’s perspective? Why are you having the meeting and why did you invite the people that you did?
Thinking through this will help you with defining the objective of your meeting.
Next, you should start to think about the Content of the meeting. What is the content that needs to be covered in the meeting? Are you introducing a problem that needs to be solved? A new product or idea? A new initiative?
Thinking through this will help you with defining what material needs to be covered in your meeting. You can think of this as a meeting agenda if it helps.
Now that you are clear on your objective and agenda, you can start working on the presentation.
Follow these guidelines for an engaging presentation:
1. Less is more—everything you are going to say in the meeting does not need to be on the slide. This isn’t a reference document – you will be presenting the information verbally – which is more engaging.
2. Connect the dots for your audience – use pictures, a flow chart, a graph
3. Stories always help
4. Don’t rely on the slides only—demonstrate in the system, show reference material, etc
Spending a little time on your presentation will help set you apart.
At some point in every career, we reach a point where we are good at what we do, and it doesn’t really challenge us anymore. And, at different points in your career, you may be good at certain things and still learning others.
A lot of people fall into the trap of not actively managing this process. It is important to be conscientious of where you have mastered your role and where you still have room to grow.
Understanding where you are in your overall career growth will help you plan a way forward. You can start by understanding what Todd Henry calls the aspiration gap.
Aspiration Gap: The difference between the work that you want to create and the work that you are capable of creating at this moment.
Look for an area where, if you learned a new skill, you could take your career to the next level. This will help you focus in on objectives that make sense for your career at your particular point in your career.
By thinking about where your skills, interests, and strengths can be improved to take your career to the next level, you are giving your career its own unique flavor. Nobody else is going to do your job exactly the same way you do.
Take stock of your current job and where you want to be. What can you do to move yourself toward your goal?
Our worksheet for this week contains a list of questions to help you think through this. If you’d like to receive, it, sign up for our newsletter.
It is a natural cycle to want to improve yourself. The question is—when do you reach the point where you’ve stopped learning and you need to become a freshman again?
When you are an expert—you don’t get a day off.
When you are a freshman:
· You can ask questions that an expert wouldn’t ask for fear of looking stupid
· You can take risks that would look like career suicide for an expert
· You can try things and not worry about failure— because for a freshman, it is about learning
· Use the phrase “I’m no expert here...”
· Use the phrase “Let’s try this and see if it works...”
For your current job or area of expertise:
How can you look at it with a fresh set of eyes?
What experiment can you do to see if it improves your job?
Outside of your current job:
What is something you don’t know much about that you could learn more about?
I teach people how to thrive at work. Let's connect on LinkedIn
Listen and subscribe wherever you enjoy your podcasts, including: