Last week, I prepared and delivered a presentation for a client at a boardroom style seminar. The aim of the meeting was to review recent industry developments, and look at what the future holds.
There were around 30 delegates, some of which were potential new clients sitting around a very long rectangular table with a screen at one end. It was a slightly awkward shape for connecting with the audience as the room was very narrow, leaving little room to move around. Due to the ‘around the table’ approach, those sitting at the front were very close and those at the back almost invisible.
Until we arrived at the event, we didn’t know the exact layout so it involved some quick thinking to come up with an effective delivery style.
It can be tricky to deliver a presentation, manage the equipment and field questions, especially when the subject is technical.
In the end, we did a joint presentation which worked very well. I sat at the end of the table with the controls to the presentation, and my colleague stood at the side of the table where he could see everyone in the audience. As I presented each slide, he was able to scan the audience and see where there was interest, or where a point could be expanded. It also gave him some extra time to collect his thoughts and adjust the topic where necessary.
Another benefit for the audience was the change of pace and tone of voice – it can become quite boring listening to the same voice, so switching over keeps it fresh and lively.
The slides of the presentation became the stepping stones through which an engaging discussion was held with some very useful insight and involvement from the audience. This wouldn’t have been possible had I been on my own.
Although this was a happy accident, I would certainly use this approach in future. Give it a try!