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10/18/12
Presentations. Dealing with the unexpected
Filed under: Interviewing, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 6:34 pm

Yesterday, we presented a seminar workshop on Giving
Presentations:  Managing Nervousness and Dealing
with Unexpected Situations.

Earlier posts have discussed the nervousness conundrum.
 2   This post offers some observations of poster
presentations, presentations with power point and
behaviors in unexpected situations.

POSTER PRESENTATIONS
It is illustrative to skim the the history of poster
presentations learning that they are used to explain
or promote work and often considered of lesser
importance than formal lectures.  Let me pose, however,
that posters provide a more intimate conversation in a
informal, win-win way with people who are interested
audience members
.

So audience analysis is one of the first things to
engage in after informal personal introductions.
Assess quickly details about your listeners  AUDIENCE
Analysis

Understanding
Demographics
Interests
Environment
Needs
Customization
Expectations
and
4 Ts–

time
timing
tone and
tactics
In fact, it should be possible to deliver the poster
presentation without the poster at all.  That is what
we did in our exercise.

POWER POINT AIDED PRESENTATION WITH
QUESTIONS
A formal checklist aids a presenter in giving a winning
talk.  Seeing the room, knowing the availability of
equipment and cordless peripherals, who is in the
audience and testing everything out in advance helps.
Thinking through all that can go awry and having a
back-up ready to go– batteries, memory stick,
copies of slides, pointer and slide advancer.
Voice control, eye contact with a friendly face
and strong confident presence having your first
2 minutes down pat and your conclusion fresh
for recall.

You should also be able to give a shortened
version of the talk if asked offering the high
points.

UNEXPECTED SITUATIONS
The last part of our seminar had the attendees
discuss and come up with what they would do
with:
1.  unexpected interruption
2.  questions that interrupted the flow
3.  sound equipment failures
4.  large room few attendees
5.  hecklers
6.  changed length of presentation
7.  different attendees than expected.

We also talked about the propriety of
agenda slides in short talks and visibility
of slides and figure labeling.

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