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Devising Plans for New Business

Presentation Phases and Related Skills

Any presentation has three phases: preparation, delivery, and follow-up. All presentation skills fit into one of these three phases.

Preparation means doing the research and creating the presentation. This may mean crafting the entire text (or at least writing notes) and creating any slides or other supportive visual or audio materials. You will also have to make sure that the appropriate venue is available and properly set up beforehand, that the projector works (if you’ll need one) and can connect with your laptop, and a whole host of other logistical details. You’ll also want to practice your presentations as many times as you need to feel comfortable to deliver it with ease and confidence.

Skills related to preparation include:

  • Conducting research related to your presentation topic.
  • Devising charts and graphs depicting your research findings.
  • Learning about your audience to better tailor your presentation to their needs.
  • Creating PowerPoint slides.
  • Breaking up a presentation into parts of reasonable length.
  • Using statistics effectively to persuade an audience.
  • Incorporating concrete examples and stories to illustrate points and maintain audience attention.
  • Preparing handouts or digital references so the audience isn’t preoccupied with note taking.
  • Promoting presentations effectively to generate an appropriate audience.

Delivery is the part the audience sees. A good delivery depends on careful preparation and confident presentation, and requires its own distinctive skill set.