Monday, December 16, 2013

Tips for an Effective PowerPoint Presentation

Making an effective PowerPoint presentation is an acquired skill, and one that can help you succeed in your career. It's important to make sure you know what is necessary to deliver a good PowerPoint presentation before you step in front of a room filled with an expectant audience. Otherwise, whatever important information you present will likely be lost on your listeners.

Write a Script
A little planning goes a long way. Since the point of your slides is to illustrate and expand upon what you are going to say to your audience, you should first plan what you intend to say. Then, figure out how to visualize and present it in PowerPoint.

No Paragraphs
Your slides are the illustrations for your presentation, not the presentation itself. They should underline and reinforce what you are saying as you give your presentation. Save the paragraphs of text for your script.

One Point at a Time
Plan your presentation so just one new point is displayed at any given moment. What should be on the screen is the thing you are talking about. Your audience will almost instantly read each slide as soon as it’s displayed. If you immediately display the next four points you plan to make, the audience will be three steps ahead of you waiting for you to catch up rather than listening with interest to the point you are making.

Avoid clutter
A headline, a few bullet points, and maybe an image. Anything more than that and you risk losing your audience as they work to sort out the information on the slide.

Ask Questions of Your Audience
Engage in a little Q&A with your audience. Questions arouse interest, pique curiosity, and involve audiences. Build tension or anticipation by posing a question and letting your audience think a moment before moving to the next slide with the answer.

With a little preparation and attentiveness to the needs of your audience, you will effectively deliver the important information from your next PowerPoint presentation.

David Schuchman

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Your Goals Should Always be SMART

You prepare goals for many situations. Whether for project management, employee performance management or personal development, use goals to validate a level of achievement and success. In order for a goal to provide value, it must clarify exactly what is expected and identify the measures used to determine if the goal is achieved. Your goals must be SMART!
Specific: Clearly write and define what you are going to do. Your goal must identify what you will accomplish, an expected result, the purpose or benefit, who are involved, where the work will occur, and any external requirements or constraints to consider.

Measurable: When your goal is measurable, you can determine the progress you are making towards its successful completion. It is difficult to stay motivated to complete your goal when it has no milestones to assess your progress.

Achievable: While a goal should make you feel challenged, the goal should not be extreme. Do not set a goal that is out of reach or well above your ability to perform. You must possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to achieve the goal.

Relevant: Choose a goal that is important to successfully complete. Your goal needs to pertain directly to the performance or challenge you manage.

Time-bound: Give your goal a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date. This is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise, and to establish a sense of urgency.

Setting goals is a powerful way of motivating people and of motivating yourself. SMART goals are effective in providing the details and clarity needed to ensure you complete your goals successfully.

David Schuchman