This follows our earlier article which covered the preparation and choosing of the venue for your presentation
With all the equipment available today it is possible to prepare, check, amend and polish a presentation before you enter the venue. No matter what format and equipment you are going to use, you have the opportunity to put together a comprehensive, detailed and convincing presentation. As we have previously pointed out in the Preparation article, the more you do in advance, the better the project will be. This also applies to choice and use of presentation media. From giving just a simple speaking presentation to the most advanced computer assisted one, checking equipment and facilities is extremely important. Obviously, a spoken presentation will require a simple desk or lectern, possibly a microphone and speakers. A sophisticated presentation will require more advanced technical equipment and backup. If you are using a flip chart or white board always make sure you have sufficient marker pens of various colours and erasers available. When using an overhead projector check it is working and is focused correctly before your meeting begins. Also Check your transparencies are in the correct order, are clear and not damaged and focus them so the information is available to all of the guests. Don't forget to have a suitable pointer to hand as you will probably need one. If your choice is a full PowerPoint computer assisted presentation or similar, you will have done all the preparation in advance. When you arrive at the venue ensure all the services you require are available and in good working order. You will, of course do all this before the presentation and before the guests arrive. The right equipment is a tremendous help when making a presentation. Technology is now so advanced that choosing the right equipment is a pleasure, not a chore. Having the right equipment improves your chances of making a successful presentation.
Most presentations include some sort of handout to give to the guests, possibly a brochure, fact sheet, specification details or maybe a report. Again, this is an important element of your presentation. Always present the information in an attractive folder, rather than using a few sheets of paper stapled together. The cost of small binders or folders is very cheap and will make a much better impression than papers stapled together. If you have printing facilities in your organisation have some folders printed with your logo or other promotional advertising as they will help to advertise your company and also look professional. During your presentation mention the promotional material (handouts) and tell your visitors exactly what they contain. Encourage them to read, examine the information and take it away with them for further study. This method helps to keep your presentation in their minds long after it has been completed. I was once at a presentation in Berlin given by General Motors. They were announcing new models and they handed out three full size A4 ring binders to all the guests, each containing full technical details of the new models. There were about two thousand delegates at that conference so you can imagine the cost of producing, shipping and handling that amount of literature. Obviously General Motors thought it was well worth it. Very few brochures remained in the conference venue after the event. Therefore, you need to give careful consideration to the compilation of your handouts if you are using them. They will become an important part of your promotion.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Small Business