presentation skills & etiquette

High School Business Heroes
Arnie Strub
McMaster University
DeGroote School of Business
12 March 2012
Consider designing your presentation backwards
 Know your purpose. Start with the destination
and work back to the opening. You will write
your speech faster and clearer if you start with
the end in mind.
 Write
the closing line that hammers home your
message. Then write the points to support that
close. Then write your opening that launches
you into that presentation.
great presentation does not just happen. It
is planned, rehearsed then delivered with
 A good presenter is one who learns the skills
of presentations - not one who hopes for
talent to carry them.
 Public speaking is a set of skills not a talent.
You can be a good presenter if you learn the
skills for presentation success.
 Great presenters start as poor speakers –
then they get better.
Consider using one of the following:
 Ask
a rhetorical question: “Isn’t it frustrating
when you…” “Have you ever found yourself…’
 Add/Use
a prop: “I’m going to pass the device
around so you can all see how lightweight it
is.” “As you’ll see in the brochure, the beforeand-after shots are quite amazing.”
 Demonstrate
something: “Once you click on
this link, the drop-down box will appear.”
“This yoga position is especially good for your
Experiment with your rate of speech, pauses, dynamic builds, vocal variety, gestures and
movement. There are a number of steps that should be included in your preparation.
STEP 1: Read your speech several times silently to yourself. You still have the opportunity at this
step (and the next) to make changes in your script. Is the grammar correct? Does it flow from
one idea to another? Have you included transition sentences between major points?
STEP 2: Read the speech several times aloud. You are still practicing alone at this point. Shut
the door and let yourself hear the presentation. Does it sound exciting/motivating/stirring? Do
you include vocal variety? Are you speaking too fast or too slow?
STEP 3: Now get on your feet and practice it, alone, in front of a mirror. Watch yourself speak and
take note of your gestures, eye contact and facial expressions.
STEP 4: Videotape yourself giving the speech. The camera catches everything, good and bad,
and you’ll be able to see every little facial expression, gesture and nervous habit. Record yourself
again after making adjustments and see how you’ve improved.
STEP 5: Incorporate any equipment and props you plan to use—overheads, Powerpoint, flip
chart, etc. You need to practice with it, otherwise you’re only rehearsing part of your presentation.
STEP 6: Continue rehearsing the speech aloud as much as possible. This will keep it fresh in
your mind and you’ll continue to find new and interesting ways to say it.
STEP 7: Visualization. Picture yourself being introduced, walking to the lectern, speaking
confidently and the audience applauding. The brain records these pictures and will increase the
likelihood of presenting a successful speech.
 “God
is in the details”
– Aby Warburg
“The devil is in the details”
– English Proverb
 Whichever one you believe, the point is –
details matter. Shined shoes, white teeth,
clean fingernails, and combed hair convey
respect for ourselves and respect for others.
 “The
apparel oft proclaims the man.”
– Hamlet, Shakespeare
 Most of us take others at face value and we
believe what we see is what we’re going to
get. How do you want to be perceived by
 Take control of your appearance and let it
tell the world who you are and what you
want. Your image will speak for you before
you even open your mouth! What’s yours
saying about you?
 “Life
be not so short but that there is
always time for courtesy. ”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
 Etiquette is a kind of universal language. It
allows us to meet, greet, dine, travel, and
do business together comfortably. Knowing
the nuances of business and social etiquette
can help you develop long-term
relationships, build your business, and
enhance your career. It provides polish to
business dealings and communicates to
others that you are a person with class and
Look your best
Smile. You look your best when you smile. You look
most trustworthy, friendly and confident when you
smile. Don’t grin like a fool all the way through your
speech. Instead smile before you start. Smile when
you say something important. Smile when you end.
Make it a warm friendly smile. When you smile you
look confident and help to improve the confidence of
your audience. Smile.
Sounding your best
Drinking water before you speak will lubricate your
vocal chords. Breathing deeply and slowly will allow
you to project your voice and pause when you want
to – not when you need to. Speak slower that you
normally speak. The audience needs to hear you,
think about it and internalize it.
you’ll be presenting and test all of the equipment.
breathing exercises to slow your racing heart. Try
shoulder shrugs, head rolls and leg and arm shakes
to relieve body tension. Warm up your face
muscles by chewing in a highly exaggerated way.
 While waiting to be introduced, do not sit with your
legs crossed. Sit with both feet on the ground and
let your arms dangle at your sides.
AT THE LECTERN: Before you begin speaking,
establish eye contact with a friendly face in the
crowd, smile and take a breath. Glance down at
your opening word. Now you are ready.
Final Words of Encouragement for you
 Public Speaking is a set of skills. It is not about talent. It is a
set of techniques practiced, rehearsed and delivered.
 No one has ever delivered the perfect speech. But you can
and will deliver a powerful and effective speech.
 The skill of public speaking is both an art and a science. The
more you learn and practice the science, the easier the art
will work for you. It will take time, practice and energy. And
those are the elements of greatness.
For success with your presentations:
 Speak well
 Speak effectively
 Speak with confidence
 Speak to make things happen
High School Business Heroes
Arnie Strub
McMaster University
DeGroote School of Business
12 March 2012

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