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  • George Torok, speech coach, presentation skills training
    Presentation skills training for managers and sales professionals
    Presentation skills training, executive speech coaching, communication skills training from the  Speech Coach for Executives, George Torok
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    10 Dynamite Tips on Presenting
    with the Overhead Projector

    It's medium tech but it still works. Use these tips when you might need to present with an overhead projector.

    1. Stand on the "right" side. If you are right-handed, the overhead projector should be on your right as you face the audience. If you are left-handed, the projector should be on your left. You will find it easier to change the transparencies without looking and feeling clumsy.

    2. Position the screen to one side, (left or right per above) if you can move it. Place it so you can stand in the centre without blocking anyone's view. You are the show. You, not the screen, should be centre stage.

    3. Protect the eyes of the audience from blinding white light. This can happen as you change slides. The bright light draws and tires their eyes. Avoid this common error by turning the projector off before you remove the slide - then on after you place the next slide. You can achieve the same effect by covering the light with a hood or covering the glass with an oversize piece of paper between slide changes. I prefer to turn it on and off. This reminds the audience that you are the show and the overhead is just an aid.

    4. Use frames. The frames block the excess light from leaking around the edge of the slide. This leakage draws and tires their eyes. You can use the cardboard frames or the clear sleeves with the fold out flaps. I prefer the sleeves because they take up less room in my briefcase and they protect the slide from smudges.

    5. Test your text for size and legibility by placing your slide on the floor. Stand up and try to read it. If you can read it on the floor then your audience will be able to read it on the screen. I try to use 40 point size - but never smaller than 24. Use sans serif font, (e.g. Helvetica), for your titles to catch attention and serif, (e.g. Times Roman), for the points to make it easier to read. Be frugal with italics. They catch attention but are hard to read.

    6. Follow the 7x7 rule. List a maximum of seven points on a slide with no more than seven words per point. Less is better.

    7. Stand and talk to the audience. They need to look you in the eye. Do not talk to the screen or turn your back to them. Check the screen by glancing over your shoulder. If you need to point to your slide or read from it - do it at the projector. This keeps you talking to the audience.

    8. Use a cartoon to inject humour into a dry topic. The cartoon must relate to the topic. Photocopy the cartoon as big as possible onto a transparency. Always read it for your audience. Pause after you read the punch line to give them time to think and react. To help them laugh - smile and look at them expectantly.

    9. Use a computer graphics program such as Power Point to design and print your transparencies. Never do it by hand. Maintain a consistent look from slide to slide. It does not have to be snappy - but it must be clean and professional looking.

    10. Be prepared. Always check the equipment and room before you present. Advise the facilities co-ordinator how you want it set up. Then arrive early so you can test and make any changes. Practise turning the projector on and off. Try the switch for the second bulb. Focus before you start. Put your busiest slide on before anyone arrives then walk around the room to test for readability.

    © George Torok is licensed to present Power Presentations™ by Peter Urs Bender, author of the best seller 'Secrets of Power Presentations'. Torok is co-author of 'Secrets of Power Marketing' and host of the radio show Business in Motion. He delivers seminars across North America on thinking and communication skills. He can be reached at (905) 335-1997 or Coach@Torok.com For more tips visit www.Torok.com and www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com

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    George Torok
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