Hi Liam here

In this weeks post I wanted to explain why you should arrive early for your presentation.

To show you why this is important I wanted to share a recent experience I had when I was presenting.

When I present I like to move around the room that I am presenting in because I want to engage with the audience.

I recently did a presentation for Social Media Day Seoul where I gave a presentation on social media. I prepared for about two weeks before, practiced and felt great about doing the presentation. I presumed that I was going to be presenting in a nice big room (I was expecting about 50 people to attend).

I got to the presentation room a little over an hour before people were going to start arriving. The room was nice and big as I expected but there were some things I didn’t expect.

  1. The room had desks ( I was expecting only chairs).
  2. The projector was on a table.
  3. No one was going to introduce me ( I was expecting this to happen).

Although these don’t seem like major problems I needed to re-think my presentation because I had a clear plan about what I was going to do, I needed to make some changes. This is what I did.

The room had desks

The reason I don’t like desks in a large presentation room is because the audience might be inclined to use the desk.

  1. They might lean on the desk in front of them making them feel tired.
  2. They might lean on the desk and start using their smart phone, tablet or lap top.
  3. They could also start tapping the desk or putting things on and off of the desk creating noise.

How did I solve this?

At the beginning of my presentation I said that they were welcome to take notes during my presentation. Most of the audience took this opportunity. This made the desks useful.

The projector was on a table

The projector was on a table in the center of the room.

  1. The projector was at waist height.
  2. I was restricted to where I could walk in the room because if I walked in front of the projector I would block the slides.

How did I solve this?

I always move away from the podium (lectern) when I present as I like to engage with the audience. In this situation I was very restricted as to where I could walk.

To solve this I started my presentation behind the podium and then walked around the podium to the front. Although I was limited in how far I could move I was still able to engage with the audience because I wasn’t behind the podium.

No one was going to introduce me

Because this was a publicised event I expected someone to introduce me.

How did I solve this?

I looked at this as an opportunity rather than a problem.

When people were arriving for the seminar I waited outside the room and greeted everyone as they showed up by introducing myself as the presenter. By doing this I was already engaging with my audience before my presentation. This helps with that all important connection.

The reason I wanted to share this experience with you is because I wanted to show you that sometimes you may have to make some last minute adjustments to your presentation because of circumstances you didn’t expect.

You can only make these changes if you arrive early though.The important thing is not to panic but rather to look at any unexpected circumstances as opportunities rather than problems.

Please LIKE this post on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter and share through other social media, help others improve their presentations.





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