PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

“This stuff is so dry!”

I’ve heard this complaint from scores of presenters over the years.

Whether their presentation features scientific data or a financial analysis, they feel defeated by the material.  They despair of being able to hold an audience’s attention.

Last week I was working with someone who is scheduled to present to a group of clinicians who will be conducting a pharmaceutical research study.  She is charged with explaining the study guidelines. 

We had only reviewed a few of her slides when she declared: “This stuff is so dry!”

I challenged her to think back over what she and her associates had gone through in developing these guidelines.  What hard-learned lessons from previous studies had they drawn from?  What debates had they engaged in?  What rationale formed the bases for some of the less common guidelines they were insisting on?

Answers to questions like these take an audience behind the scenes.  They reveal interesting (read: non-dry) stories about the otherwise “dry” content detailed on the slides. 

Including some of these behind-the-scenes stories and explanations will both enrich a presentation and energize a presenter.

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