As an exercise, try
identifying each of your slides by type (Type A, B, C, D, or E) and multiplying
by the appropriate "typical" time requirement shown above. Hmmm.....
When Iím first organizing a
pitch on my own, for planning purposes I figure on an average of 3 minutes per
slide. Then I generally donít like the arithmetic implications of my trying to
pack so much info into the budgeted time. So (A) I decide to eliminate (or
condense or combine) some of the slides, (B) I decide to change some of the
slides from Type B (above) to Type C (the content of the slide remains
unchanged; only the length of time I talk about it has changed), and (C) I
re-figure the timing based on an average of 2 minutes per slide.
Then because I know Iím
probably lying to myself, I DO THE PRESENTATION OUT LOUD and actually TIME IT
(just as I am suggesting that you do).
When I do my own presentation
out loud, I confront the fact that ó smooth-tongued devil that I know myself to
be ó I still canít make the words come out sounding like a normal person.
So I set off to practice.
My personal rule:
I try to do a presentation at least half a
dozen (i.e., six) times OUT LOUD.
This technique really works.
My very last piece of
advice (to be re-read the morning of the presentation or incorporated into
your presentation as a note that you will see before you start talking). Itís
Audience-members will be more
inclined to pay attention to what you are about to say and they can understand
you better if ó before you start to speak ó you simply (A) take a deep
breath, (B) make a silent pact with yourself that your first word will not be
"Well..." (or "Uh" or "Ummm"), and (C) SMILE (this last is the most
And, oh yes... as you proceed
through your presentation,
SMILING (this is called the "Figure Skaterís Rule).
You donít have to look goofy.
Just look pleasant.
Remember, you enjoy
talking about this stuff because, yes, you enjoy what youíre doing.
With luck, your pleasant
demeanor communicates to your audience (A) that you may be a decent guy to work
with and (B) that they too might enjoy coming on board.