Practitioner Skills 3: Giving Presentations

In the third article in this series, we take a look at the Project DPro Practitioner activity “Giving Presentations”.  This a free election “Giving Back” activity.

One of the ways to give back to the project management profession is to provide your peers with the benefits of your experiences and learning in the form of a presentation. For the purposes of the Project DPro Practitioner certification, presentations can be either to colleagues or local or community groups.

Many project managers are already very experienced in giving presentation; nevertheless, here are some tips for making the most of your presentations:

  1. Set specific objectives for your presentation. This will help you to avoid going off-topic.
  2. Less is more. Attention spans of listeners can be very short. Try and be as succinct as possible.
  3. Variety. People respond to stimuli in different ways. In order to attract the attention of every kind of person, make sure your presentation contains spoken, visual and written stimuli.
  4. If you are using written text, for example in PowerPoint, make sure you don’t simply read what is written down. Notes in presentation should be brief and allow you to embellish by adding more details.
  5. Questions at the end. Allowing questions during a presentation often risks breaking up the rhythm and losing focus. Allow people to ask questions but at the end of your presentation.
  6. Audience participation. While questions can be reserved for the end, you can plan other ways to actively engage your audience in the presentation. Suitable ways for audience collaboration include opinion polls and rating activities. As an added bonus, these strategies can foment deeper discussion at the end of the presentation.
  7. Round off your presentation with conclusions which encourage your audience to think about the topic further. A good tip here is to say something surprising or controversial.

If you follow these simple guidelines, your presentation will be a resounding success!

The last article in this Practitioner Skills series will discuss how to write a Case Study.

Until then, good luck with your Practitioner activities!

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