Tips For Presenting To A Group

Preparation Tips:

1. Get a good work out the day of or night before you present. Exercise helps get rid of excess adrenaline, increases confidence, posture etc.

2. Practice does not make perfect – but it does help with confidence. The definition of confidence is not that you won’t ever get nervous. We all get nervous. Confidence is knowing that if you get nervous you WILL recover. Practicing your material helps pave the way to recovering in a moment of nervousness or distraction.

3. Tell your co-workers and loved ones in advance that you are utterly and completely unavailable for an hour before the program begins until an hour after it is scheduled to end. Have back up childcare etc. if you have small children or pets that might need attention.

4. Print out your PowerPoint SLIDES so that you can add notes for yourself and so that during the presentation you can always see what is coming next without having to advance the slide on the viewing board.

5. Always, always, always check your AV at each location, each time you need it- far ahead of your start time. Even if you are sure-still check it. Check sound, electricity, computer connection etc.

6. Arrive early so you can own the room. Check temperature (too cold is better than too warm-but don’t try to please everyone-tell them to bring a sweater).

7. Tell your team what to bring, what you expect and how to behave BEFORE they show up.

8. Try and plan for every possible thing that can wrong and then let go.

“It’s all about the message-not the messenger.” Juanell Teague (speaker coach)

During the Presentation:

9. Take your time with the material. Remind yourself that there is a lot of wisdom and experience in the room. Rely on your teaching partner and honor the group, your teaching partner and yourself. If you do this you cannot go wrong.

10. Avoid checking email, texts etc. during the presentation because that could cost you your presence. Don’t allow others to talk to you about business unrelated to this program while you are giving the program-it will keep. You have worked this hard to assemble all of these people-stay in the room with them. On the breaks connect with individuals-not the outside world. Prep for the next section.

11. If you forget something or make a mistake say-”I forgot” or “I made a mistake” and let it go.

12. Remember that what you say from the front of the room is what people will think about and remember-so avoid apologies about temperature, environment, handouts or any other things that YOU cannot change. Talk about what you want them to remember- how great they are, how honored you are, etc.

13. Relax, everything will turn out fine. If everything fell apart and the slides did not work and the preparation all failed and you did nothing but talk to people and ask for their feedback and wisdom about up selling and cross selling and talked about your guests then it would have been a great day. Everything else is a bonus.

“Be sincere; be brief; be seated.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Interpreting Productivity Rate

Productivity rate is an important economic concept that measures the efficiency of a production process which is basically the transformation of inputs into certain outputs. It may be affected by factors such as technological advancements, change in firm size and other changes in the organizational structure.

Some economists simply define productivity as the ratio of the return or output to the investment or input. Inputs of production may be material or immaterial. These pertain to the factors of production which are labor, energy, capital, services and raw materials. These are combined through the production process to create tools for consumption. Output, on the other hand, pertains to the number of services and goods that result from production. Productivity is not the same as production output although they may be related. In fact, gains in productivity may be obtained even without an increase in output if inputs are utilized efficiently.

Productivity can be measured in two ways. It can be measured by using a combination of all factors of production or it can be measured from the standpoint of one production factor alone. When all production factors are considered, it is called multifactor productivity. When only one productivity factor is measured, it is called partial measure of productivity. Among all partial measures, labor productivity is the most frequently used. Multifactor productivity refers to the output per unit of a combination of all production factors. On the other hand, labor productivity refers to the output per hour worked. In terms of data, it is more demanding to measure multifactor productivity. This is because sufficient data on output and input volume and value would have to be obtained. A method to aggregate all production factors into a common index may also have to be devised.

According to economists, there are three ways to improve productivity. This can be done by increasing the output rate on the same input rate or it could be done by reducing the input rate on the same output rate. The same is also the result when the cycle time, or the time needed to complete a process or a sequence, is reduced on the same productivity rate. Productivity gains stand to benefit a lot of people. They will translate to wage increases and increased purchasing power of workers. They will also mean higher profits for businesses and higher tax revenues for the government. Aside from increasing profits for businesses, productivity gains will also mean an increased competitiveness for them because it reflects the correlation between prices of resources or inputs and productivity.

Several productivity studies have already been undertaken to identify ways on how to increase the productivity rate of organizations. It has been revealed from these studies that efficiency or the value of output vis a vis the input costs, has a tremendous effect on productivity. In addition, these studies revealed that automation and computerization have allowed companies to increase their productivity. Social experiments conducted also revealed that steps undertaken by companies to make the working environment more comfortable such as air-conditioning systems, ergonomic designs, influenced their employees to be more productive.

How to Give an Awesome Business Presentation!

Few of us have been fortunate; most of us have been victims of “death by PowerPoint”. Long, technically heavy, dry & business serious presentations has taken off ever since 1997 when it really took off with significant changes in Microsoft PowerPoint 97 and became widely available. Lots of people have presumed that business related presentation has to be content heavy and dry to display knowledge and seriousness. This often leaves the audience in a semi-catatonic state of mind, not listening or following, often resulting in the audience eager to make a run for the exit! This post is going to discuss some key ideas to keep in mind when you are presenting a new product, business proposal, research finding or sales pitch. It’s going to engage your audience, communicate your message and make you look good! We’re also going to have a look at some examples to see what mistakes not to make!

We’re going to break this down into key points:

Your presentation objectives.
Information; research, collecting & organising.
Aesthetics; theme, font & color.
Layout; slides, content & multimedia.
Supplementary materials; hand outs, pamphlets & notes.


What are the objectives & parameters of your presentation?

Whether it be team meetings, annual meetings, sales, consulting or new product overview your presentation objectives need to be clearly defined. Presentations should be tailored to your target audience. For what purpose are they here and what information are they seeking? This is the very first step in building an enjoyable, engaging and most importantly informative presentation.

You must be aware of the parameters for the presentations such as how broad or specific the topic needs to be and other factors such as time, size of audience and characteristics of your audience i.e. mums and dads, shareholders, executives, team colleagues, department colleagues or customers.


The type of information research, gathering and organising will largely depend on your presentation objectives and audience needs.

This is the stage where all the information required to make your presentation informative to the audience and in line with your objectives are collected and analysed. Organising the information is not vital yet, that will be required in the Layout stage of presentation building.

Research and collect any data that is relevant to your topic the visual layout of the data itself will be handled later. To emphasize it is extremely important to collect all relevant information, ensure their accuracy and be thorough.


Here is where we begin looking at the aesthetics of the slides; themes, color, font type & font size. I highly recommend not using fancy font, repetitive bold, italics, underlining or strike through. This complicates and reduces the readability and impact of the content itself. Don’t change font types in each slide and keep font size consistent i.e. headings, key points and sub points. Font color should also remain consistent throughout the slides, color can be used but sparingly and for emphasis. Other visual cues including fade away and sound effects should never ever ever be used! The only visual cue that can work effectively is content pop-up. This is where the slide appears with the heading only and as you list key points in your talk you can use the remote to make those dot points appear on the slide, no sound effects, fade-in or “fly” in, just appear.

Aesthetics are an important factor to consider in presentations, however content and its understandability always take priority. In saying that, good aesthetics should not be noticed since it is supplementing the material at hand.


How are you going to present your data, findings, product, performance or sales pitch?

These dynamics will determine the way you layout the information. It’s important to keep in mind that even the slides are supplementary to your talk. Slides should not have significant meaning or useability without you. So what does this actually mean? It means that the content on the slides are kept to the essentials. Presenters in the past have a plethora amount of information and data causing information overload in each slide. This creates a difficulty for the audience in processing, reading, understanding and building questions for you in Q & A time. Presenters who overload slides with information need to trim the “fat”. “Fat” here is the less significant but relevant data for the topic at hand i.e. there is an internal meeting on stock A performance and volatility. Instead of showing daily prices over the past 12 months which 1) shows price trend 2) shows price volatility, why not compress the data points to weekly or monthly price points with candlesticks (more on that here)

Some sub topics in presentations are technical heavy. And whether you your audience is there for the technical content should have been decided in the objectives section. If it was no then cut out whatever “fat” possible from the slides. If it was a yes then spread the technical information over a number of slides by breaking the information into more consumable pieces or do some creative thinking in presentation method e.g. cluster histograms, line or distribution charts.

Layouts for chart organisations and processes should be kept as concise as possible. As a rule of thumb keep one process to one slide to maximum of two highly related or integrated processes. This will keep keep the readability and focus high for the audience and will simplify your discussion points for the slide. If it is a highly complex and long process or chart, again, break it down. Start with a simplified bird’s eye view and then zero in on certain sections in subsequent slides.

Keep word counts to a minimum, use short and direct sentences. You can use your verbal material to expand and clarify any points you need. Where possible and appropriate use imagery that is in line with your discussion point, i.e. main qualitative KPI (Key Performance Indicator) maybe be team work, then use a sporting team image or it may be strengthening business relations with customers/vendors then an image of a handshake could be utilised. The utilisation of images is to provide visual stimulation and evoke curiosity amongst your audience. Your verbal material will be supplemented by the visuals.

If you are still having issues with the layout try story boarding, it will effectively help you plan the “story”and how you’re going to tell it to the audience. I will post about story boarding specifics in a separate post at a later date, alternatively you can email me at terence.tam1 @ gmail. com and request it early!

Supplementary materials

Since the slides are kept to essentials and some slides may not even have content but images only, it is and should be pointless to provide slide handouts. Instead provide supplementary materials to your audience that are relevant to the slides. These materials can range from complete company financial statements, product brochures, advertisement concepts, departmental KPI criteria report, sales performance or single page mission statements.

An audience take-away document can be made and handed-out after the presentation for those who want to review or pass on the keynotes. These types of material can be thorough since the audience do not have a time constraint to review the material.

If possible it is always useful in making auditory recordings of your presentation prior or during the actual presentation itself. This will allow the take-away supplementary material to compliment to the recordings and vice versa. I recommend making auditory pre-recordings of your presentation because it is more technically manageable with a time buffer to make edits and are readily available to distribute to the audience at the end via email or CD.

Remember, the slides are there to supplement your talk. So keep the slides to the essentials and use imagery where possible & appropriate to keep the audience visually engaged. Announce that supplementary materials will be provided and extensive materials handed out at the end. This will stop the audience from frantically taking notes down and falling behind with your presentation.