Presentations for Non-presenters

Who is a presenter?

I am an instructional designer and a facilitator, I am a presenter.

My sister is a director at a sustainable energy non-profit, she is a presenter.

My husband is a Civil Engineer for the department of transportation, he is a presenter.

The difference between my job and the other two I mentioned is that developing and delivering presentations is defined in my job title. I study instructional design theory and practice my craft regularly. I present at Toastmasters, or to my team, or clients at least weekly, and I am comfortable keeping presentations on track and sticking to objectives during facilitation sessions.

My sister and my husband also put together presentations confidently and effectively. As a Ph.D., my sister knows how to facilitate like a rock star, and my husband’s room presence is indelible. They are both great presenters, but neither of them sees themselves as presenters.

Many more people in our organizations are presenters than we realize. We are tasking our managers, technologists, engineers, and many more with creating and delivering presentations. These presenters are expected to deliver at high profile events like board meetings, team retreats, project check-ins, and various other gatherings. Because instructional design and presentation development isn’t a part of most people’s everyday job role, it is a cumbersome and downright difficult task to put something well-designed together.

Our organizations are asking people to perform a task in which they are not trained and expecting them to put out good work. That seems like a bad plan to me. As Brian mentioned in his post about Chart and Graphs people frequently open PowerPoint and start putting words on slides long before their ideas are fully baked. Of course they do. They were never taught there is a better way.

A Method for Creating Presentations for Non-presenters

We here at Train Like a Champion believe there is a better way. We think scientists, doctors, directors, etc.  should spend less time on presentation development, and more time on doing their job. We think developing a presentation should be as accessible as any other work task. We believe everyone can be presenters, they just need the right tools.

To start streamlining presentation design and development, presenters should start with three key steps.

  1. Make sure all presentations use objectives effectively.
  2. Give people information in a meaningful and engaging way.
  3. Take time to and look for inspiration develop better presentations.

All presentations should be meaningful and engaging and it is likely that more people are presenters at your organization than you think. To make sure all presenters are creating presentations that are meaningful and engaging, please share these tools with a presenter you know.

Do you have tips for presenters? Do you support the development of presentations for non-presenters? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

This post just scratched the surface on this topic. We will be talking more about this in the coming months. Stay tuned.

 

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