Presenting: From Daunting to Prepared

Presenting a bill or an idea before any group can be a daunting task;  for those of you planning on presenting to AS&F Government, we wanted to help you feel more prepared and like you can breath a little easier before your presentation  with some tid-bits of advice for presenting: 

  • Practice, and make sure that whoever from your group is well-prepared to answer questions that may come up.  The executive board and program assistant are in the AS&F office many hours a week, and any one of us would be willing to go through your presentation with you so that you can be more prepared for the types of questions that will commonly be asked.
  • Choose only 1 or 2 presenters.  Although it is nice to see how many people are passionate about your presentation, it is very distracting and confusing to have more people than necessary at the front of the room.  An idea that might help if you would like to showcase the amount of people passionate about your presentation is to let those people remain seated and recognize them during your presentation.
  • Especially if you are requesting money during a quarterly, be prepared with a budget of the amounts you need total for your group, but also be prepared with the money you need at the quarterly you are presenting at.  There is only so much money per quarterly, and more often than not, a motion will be made to cut funds that may be able to wait until a later quarterly.  If you prepare your group for this prior, you may have more control over the bottom-line.
  • Check in again, a day or two before your presentation with the executive board to ensure that things are good to go with your PowerPoint and bills.
  • Make sure that your presentation and points about why your group should receive funds are clear and are valid according to the constitution.
  • Breath!  Public speaking is challenging for most, but remember that AS&F exists because of your funds, and it is encouraging for us when others present, speak up, and get involved.

Here are some more general presentation tid-bits that may help:

    Before the Presentation

  1. Public speaking can be an anxiety-producing situation, but this anxiety can be reduced in a number of ways. The best advice is to practice, practice, practice. While rehearsing the presentation, check your breathing patterns. Take a deep breath, and speak at your normal pace. Create notes with bullet points to ensure all the key topics are covered, and have extra notes with more detailed information for audience questions. Check the order of the presentation to ensure that one key point flows logically to the next. Practice with any visual aids to minimize potential technical difficulties and to learn how to effortlessly integrate them. Know your subject thoroughly. Practice in front of people who know nothing about the topic, then ask them to critique the presentation.

    Presentation Opening and Body

  2. Begin the presentation with a story or another attention grabber. State the value that the audience will gain from the presentation. Engage the audience by asking members what they expect to learn. List their responses on a flip chart, then briefly explain the three to five points that they will learn from the presentation. For the body of the presentation, use the PREP (point, reason, example and point) technique. State the position or point of view, provide a reason for the position (this is a good place to provide background/historical information), give an example of why the position is important and then restate the position or point of view. During the presentation, check the audience’s understanding of the material. Ask members questions about the material. If someone gets a correct answer, reward him with a piece of candy or small trinket. When the other audience members notice rewards are given for listening, they will become more engaged with the material.

    Use humor during the presentation. Even if a mistake is made, make a joke of it and move on. The audience will appreciate that you made light of the situation and that you are not taking yourself too seriously.


  3. At the closing of the presentation, restate the three to five key points for the audience. Return to the original audience expectations list, and check back with the members to ensure their earlier learning expectations were met. Allow the audience to ask any clarifying questions. If you are unsure of the answer to a question, document the question and get the contact information of the person who asked it. Reply to the question as soon as you can, and consider including it in future presentations on that topic.

Read more: Oral Presentation Strategies |

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