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CannibalRabbit is occasionally called upon to make a presentation; thankfully it has been very rarely.  But whenever it does happen (as with most people) it is accompanied by a queasy, sinking feeling.  What I have found is that a presentation is not the same as writing, it needs to flow the in much same way that you talk.  An elegant turn of phrase is absolutely useless if it leaves you tongue-tied in front of a group!

One of the key things is practice, and practice on a trial audience.  One thing that I have found is that if at least part of the audience has been exposed to the big ticket items in the presentation before the big days is that they have had time to digest, question the concepts and form a reasoned opinion.  This does at least two things to help you: it makes you question what you are presenting; and, it makes it obvious if there is a gap in your logic or a missing slides before you get to your last chance.

The other day a newsfeed [^] hit my work inbox that does a really good job of outlining the process of making a good presentation.  This isn’t a what to write, or a template layout, but how to.  Rands reinforces the point that every presentation is different, they have different audiences, and different content, but the same concepts can be applied to the preparation of the presentation.

If you are questioning the amount of effeort that you have to put in, then it is worth remembering this :

“. . . an audience can smell an immature presentation on the very first slide. It has nothing to do with the quality of the content; it’s you standing lamely in front of your slide and silently conveying the “Ok, what I am going to talk about here?” vibe, and it’s presentation death.” [^]

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