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Tips for survival
Your training environment is the most essential and important element of your presentation. It is the difference between a good presentation and one that will keep the participants asking for more.
The five most important features of your training environment will be:
1. White Board
5. Body Language
A good presenter uses his training environment in the most effective and coordinative way possible. Here are a few tips that will help you use your training environment in a more effective manner, while giving presentations.
The white board is your medium of writing and projecting the presentation. In the modern world, white boards have revolutionarized and have added features in built such as a play, pause and stop button for you presentations and images. They can be connected to your projector to run your presentation more effectively and easily.
But as much as technology may change, the basics of the white board will stay the same, and they are:
• Leave margins on the corners of the board. Do not fill up the board too much especially around the corners. Keep a spacing of 5 inches from the left/right and top/bottom corners of the board.
• Always use a non-permanent marker on the white board. This ensures easy reusability of the board at various levels.
• The color of the markers should be bright and solid. Do not use faint markers as they are not clearly visible. The purpose is easy visibility, not the formality of writing.
• The letters should be at least ½ “ high and should be in capital letters. Caps case is easier to read.
• Use a variety of color markers for highlighting and adding variety to what is written on the board.
• When using the white board as the projection screen make sure is cleaned and has no patches of ink. If you have written over the projection on the board then ensure that you wipe it before proceeding to the next slide.
• Do not stand in front of the board if there is something written on it.
The flip chart is your medium of that extra unit of writing and displaying your points. It is often termed as the trainers “companion”. The flip chart is mostly used as a tool for writing or illustrating points that are a part of the presentation, but may or may not be a part of the power point slides.
Some key tips for using the flip chart are:
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• Always use a new flip chart for a different presentation. Do not overwrite on old flip charts.
• Flip charts with lines are better to write on and view than the one’s that are boxed.
• Preserve and store flip charts that are specific to certain presentations and the points can be used over and over again.
• While writing on the flip chart stand next to it with one arm around it, and the other writing on it. Stand next to it slightly perpendicular. The need for being slightly perpendicular is so that you can write on the chart with out hiding it.
• While writing on the flip chart, ensure that the letters are 1 inch high and you are using a bright inked marker.
• If you have already prepared your notes on the chart, reveal (flip) the pages one by one and make sure that they are in sync with the topic that you are presenting.
• If the pages have finished, then you may turn the flip chart around and write on the back side of the pages. But use this technique in a chronological order. For e.g. If the pages have finished, then when starting to write on the back side of the charts pages, start from the last page.
The purpose of this would be that, while re-capping or revising the pages in the end, you will start from the beginning of the chart with the first page(front side), and continue on from the last page(back side) in reverse order to reach the beginning of the chart again.
The projector is one of your most powerful tools in the training environment, without which it would be impossible to use your multimedia presentations, and run PowerPoint. The projectors of today have amazing technical features and are available in various sizes and shapes. But nonetheless, the conventional usage of these gizmos will remain the same.
Here are some tips on using the projector;
• The projection image should be displayed on a projection screen or a flat clear surface.
• The projector image should be in the area that is meant for the projection image, whether in a screen or on the white board. The image should not over-ride the corners or borders of the screen.
• The image should not be too bright or dull, nor too colorful. The image should be soothing to the eyes and should not be too sharp as that hurts the eyes. The adjustments have to be made prior to the beginning of the presentation.
• The “MUTE” option should be used when the focus has shifted away from the projection image and on to something else, or a discussion is alive. This is very important as if the image is on, it acts as a distraction.
But do not switch off the projector every time you want to shift focus or highlight something else. It takes too long for the bulb to warm up again and again. This results in wastage of time.
• Use the pointer key in the remote to highlight key words and areas on the screen. But do not over use the laser pointer as it may act as a distraction. Also, switch the pointer off when not pointing towards the image. This prevents it from highlighting and glaring other places in the room.
• Do not stand in front of the projector when it is on. This will distract the participants and is an absolute “no-no” on the presenter’s presentation skills.
The presenter’s space is defined by his style of presenting, and the availability given to him. However, proper utilization of presenting space is a key determiner of the presenter’s capabilities.
Here are some tips on how to manage your space while presenting:
• Review the space available and the sitting arrangement of the participants. After that, draw out a projected path of movement in your head so that you will at any given point of time be able to view and target 85% of the audience.
• Use the “corridors”. They are the isles you may have in the room. Movement here is very effective to give the surround effect and cater to the corner audiences as well.
• Keep your projector, flipchart, table, computer or any other blocking out of your projected area of movement.
• Move around in a formation of “8” or in a horizontal and vertical path of trajectory. This induces the impact of your movement and makes the participants alive and re-active to your movement.
• Place the flipcharts, posters, projector, and white board in a central and easy to view position and area. Ideally the projector should be mounted overhead, the white board in the middle, the flipchart in the left side of the room and the posters posted up on the wall all around the room, but not on the back wall and ceiling.
Your body language much more than you can imagine. For people who understand it can tell a lot about a person’s personality and even his behavior.
But it can act as one of the most powerful tools of presentation if it is used wisely. Here are a few tips:
• Always look at your participants, evenly and randomly. But do not stare. Eye to eye contact announces the fact that you are concentrating on the individual, and by looking at the entire class, you tell the point that you are concentrating on all of them.
• Use your hand when explaining a particular point, and move your arms and display a picture of what you’re saying. This increases the comprehension ability and makes the presentation more alive and les monotonous.
• Do not move your hands and arms very fast and beyond your body frame. This takes the attention away from the point that is being addressed and shifts it to the movements.
• Do not sway while presenting. This action will again act as a disturbance than a “feather in the cap”.
• Do not present with your hands in your pockets. This shows a sign of leniency and is unprofessional.
• Do not lean into a participant, even if you are trying to create an impact it would not give out the right message.
• Try to show your back to the audience as least as possible.
• Try pausing at a single point after changing places. This makes the participants focus still stationary on you, even though you are not.
• Avoid traveling in blocks. That is moving in points, from one to another, and pausing for long time.
• Try to use facial expressions while describing a point, and especially when you are verbally loud or descriptive. Try joining that with expressions. That will leave a good impact on the trainee.