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You are going to listen to an interview with Matt Gerrard, chief consultant at Technical Business Solutions based in Brussels, Belgium.

Before you listen to expert Matt Gerrard, see how much you know about presentations by answering the following true or false questions.

1. The four main reasons people give presentations are to sell, entertain, persuade and pass information.
2. The secret to giving a successful presentation is preparation.
3. It’s important to know what time of day you are going to give your presentation.
4. ‘Visual aids’ can be anything that helps you to make your presentation clear to the audience.
5. Most presentations are in four parts.
6. It’s better to read your presentation that be completely spontaneous.
7. It’s a good idea to practise in front of a mirror.

Listen Now listen to the interview and Answers check your answers.

Here are some of the questions that Matt suggests you ask yourself before you give a presentation. The words are in the wrong order. Write the words in the correct order. Follow the example.

Example: making why I presentation this am?
1. to making am I this who presentation

presentation am where I making this?

I this when presentation am making?

be long will how it?

should presentation I make this how?

say what I should?

Listen Now listen and Answers check your answers.

Listen Listen and repeat the questions.

Listen Listen to the interview again and complete the following transcription. Use the pause button on your media player to give you time to write, and listen as many times as necessary.

Matt, lets start by asking you for your definition of a presentation.

A presentation is a formal talk to one or more people that "presents" ideas or information in a clear, structured way. All presentations have a . People give presentations because they want to communicate something. It could be to inform, train, persuade or sell something.

Business people often get so nervous when they have to give a presentation, don’t they Matt?

Yes, that’s right Sue, people are sometimes of speaking in public, but if you follow a few simple rules, giving a presentation is actually very easy.

So, what’s the most important thing when giving a presentation, Matt ?

By far the most important thing is preparation. That’s the secret to giving a successful presentation. With good preparation and planning you will be totally and less . And your audience will feel your confidence. It’s important to take control of your presentation. With control your audience will to your message.

That makes a lot of sense Matt. So, how should we begin our preparation?

Well, I like to start by asking myself some questions:
Firstly, Why am I making this presentation? Do I need to inform, to persuade, to train or to sell? If your is not clear in your mind, it cannot possibly be clear to your audience.
Secondly, Who am I making this presentation to? Sometimes this will be obvious, but not always. So find out as much information as possible about your audience. How many people? Who are they? Are they business people? Professional people? Political people? Experts or non-experts? Will it be a small, intimate group of 4 or a large room of 400 ? How much do they know already and what will they expect from me?
The next thing to consider is Where am I making this presentation? In a small hotel meeting-room or a large conference hall? What and equipment are available? What are the seating arrangements?
The time and length of the presentation are very important, so I ask myself when am I making this presentation and how long will it be? Will it be 5 minutes or 1 hour? Just before lunch, when your audience will be , or just after lunch, when your audience will be ?
Now we come on to method. So. how should I make this presentation? What should I use? Formal or informal? Lots of visual aids or only a few? Will I include some personal stories and humour?
Next I ask myself the question, what should I say? So, now I must decide the content. First, I of ideas. When I have a lot of ideas on paper I start to select the best. I include only information that is relevant to my audience and my objective. I then prepare my visual aids

What sort of things would you include in visual aids, Matt?

Well, maps, photos, diagrams, charts, power point slides etc. Anything visual that could help you .

I see.

Then I think about the structure of my presentation. A well organised presentation with a clear structure is easier for the audience to follow. It is therefore more effective. You should organise the points you wish to make in a . Most presentations are organised in three parts, followed by questions at the end.

So, everything is very organised and clear before you start?

Exactly Sue! however, when you give your presentation, you should be, or appear to be, as as possible. Don’t make the mistake of reading your presentation. You should be so familiar with your subject that you do not need to read a text. Reading a text is and will probably make your audience go to sleep!

But just a second Matt, if you don't have a text to read, how can you remember to say everything you need to say?

With notes. You can create your own system of notes. Some people make notes on . Some people write down just the title of each section of their talk. Some people write down keywords to remind them. The notes will give you , but because you will have prepared your presentation fully, you may not even need them!

And I suppose you would need to practise a lot before you give your presentation?

Yes indeed. Rehearsal is a vital part of preparation. You should leave time to practise your presentation two or three times, in front of a mirror if possible. This will make you more familiar with what you want to say, help you to in your presentation and to practise difficult pronunciations. You will also be able to check the time that your presentation takes and make any necessary changes and . You could even practise in front of your family or friends.

So, preparation is the key then Matt?

Absolutely. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Prepare everything: words, visual aids, timing, equipment. Rehearse your presentation several times and time it. Is it the right ? Are you completely familiar with all your illustrations? Are they in the ? Do you know who the audience is? How many people? How will you answer difficult questions? Do you know the room? Are you confident about the ? When you have answered all these questions, you will be a confident, enthusiastic presenter ready to communicate the subject of your presentation to your audience.

Matt, thank you very much for your time.

You’re more than welcome, Sue.


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