How To Use Slides During A Presentation

Pick up just about any book that you find at the store about how to become a better speaker and you’ll probably find a chapter (or two!) that talk about the dangers of using PowerPoint or Keynote slides as a part of your next speech. I agree that there are a lot of different things that you can do incorrectly when you use these tools; however, they are so valuable that because of the importance of public speaking we all end up using them in the end. Now the big question that you are going to have to find an answer to is just exactly how you can make your slides work for you and not against you during your next presentation?

How To Make Sure Your Presentation Doesn’t Use You

When we decide to use slides as a part of our presentation we open up a door to complexity that we may not be well positioned to deal with. When we agree to give a speech and we decide to use slides with that speech, we will often spend a great deal of time making sure that our slides are perfect. What this means is that we may end up spending less time that we should preparing the speech itself.

One of the biggest problems that I see speakers dealing with is the simple fact that they forget who the star of their presentation is. The answer is that it is them. However, they forget this and they agree to take backstage to their slides. You need to make sure that you don’t end up doing this.

The first thing that you’ll need to do is to turn off the projector before you begin your speech. You want your audience to have their attention focused on you, not your slides. What this means is that you’ll need to either turn off the projector or you’ll need to display a black slide. This removes a visual distraction and allows your audience to focus on you. Don’t be afraid to turn the projector off (or display another black slide) during your presentation if you want to make sure that your audience is paying very close attention to what you have to tell them.

Movement And Presentations

Once you’ve got the mastery of slides thing taken care of, the next issue that we need to have a discussion about is just exactly what you need to do with that body of yours during the presentation.

The addition of slides to a presentation can have a dramatic impact on just exactly where you can stand and move. In most speaking situations, the projector will be placed on a table in front of you and will be shining on a screen that is located behind you. What this means for you is that a great deal of the space in front of you is now taken up by the light beam coming from the projector and going to the screen.

This is important to understand so that you know where you can go during your presentation. I always think that it is a good idea to move around while delivering a speech because it is a great way to show your audience when you have completed one idea and are now moving on to another idea. However, the addition of a large light beam to your presentation is going to narrow your options here.

I have attended some presentations where the presenter crossed in front of their display multiple times. Each time that they did this, it was rather jarring. All of suddenly they were lit up with bright colors and then just as suddenly they were not as they emerged on the other side of the slides. I’m going to suggest that you decide to never move in front of the screen. Stay on one side of the display and feel free to move around there. By doing this you’ll keep your audience’s attention and not lose it by becoming part of your slides as you move in front of the screen.

What All Of This Means For You

In a modern presentation the use of slides to communicate the benefits of public speaking no matter if they’ve been created with PowerPoint or Keynote is almost a given. However, all too often speakers have not been provided with any training on how to use this powerful tool. The key is to make sure that you end up using your slides and you don’t let them use you!

In order to make sure that you don’t allow your presentation to use you, you’ll need to take control of your speech from the start. What this may mean is starting your speech with the projector off (or displaying a black slide), standing in front of the projector and turning the projector off when you don’t need it to be on. You are also going to have to make a decision on where you’ll want to stand during your presentation because you don’t want to pass in front of your slides while the projector is on.

Slides can provide a speaker with a powerful way to support the message that they are delivering. However, if you are not careful your audience can end up spending their time during your speech simply staring at your slides and not watching (or listening to) you. Use these suggestions to make sure that the next time that you present using slides you control the speech – not your slides!

Negotiating With the Government

I have had the opportunity to negotiate with a number of government agencies for clients, and there is a difference between private industry and administrative agencies and how you should approach them. Research into the “Attorney’s Practice Guide To Negotiations, 2nd Edition” by Donner & Crowe also provides many general considerations when negotiating with the government. In this column, I will share a few thoughts and considerations on the topic to assist you in your next negotiation with a government agency.

Administrators often have an objective that is grounded in public policy rather than in furthering monetary or other less principled goals. While some may say this about every interaction or negotiation, it is especially true that the first step in any negotiation with an administrative agency is to establish a good working relationship. As long as the negotiator acknowledges that social welfare must play a role in the process, it is usually possible for private entities to negotiate with administrative bodies in a friendly, cordial manner, without turning to combative techniques.

When litigating against an administrative agency, it can often be difficult to craft a monetary settlement which will resolve the matter due to the political nature of many administrative agendas. These agendas often have more weight in the matter than mere monetary matters. Additionally, private parties that have long-term stakes in the resolution of the particular case may have a stronger interest in precedent, making it all the more important that their attorneys focus their attack on those aspects of the case which are governed by some aspect of public policy. Therefore, it can be very advantageous to bargain rather than litigate with administrators.

In a short summary of advantages to good faith bargaining versus litigating with administrators by Peter H. Schuck, Yale Law School, as quoted in the Attorney’s Practice Guide To Negotiations, 2nd. Edition,” he includes such reasons as unearthing solutions lying between those extreme positions that will be asserted by the parties in litigation, exposing the true intensity of the preferences rather than exaggerating those intensities, and stimulating the flow of information between the parties rather than constricting interparty communication. Schuck also acknowledges the important advantage that because a bargained solution is essentially voluntary and emerges from a process that helps build consensus, it is likely to generate support by both parties for its implementation. Therefore, a cooperative philosophy, while limited in value in some contexts, is of particular importance in the context of administrative matters.

Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the adversarial process and forget how important it is to strive for a friendly, productive relationship with an administrator or regulator. It is basic human nature to be more receptive and trusting to someone you know and remember. It might be a good idea to remember the old cliché, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” the next time you have to deal with a government agency. This saying suggests you can win people to your side more easily by gentle persuasion and flattery than by hostile confrontation, and it can be especially true when dealing with government agencies.

Usually, the first contact with the agency by an attorney is in the form of a letter informing the agency that the attorney has been retained. The letter should be firm and professional, and should indicate a willingness to reach an amicable solution. Harsh or threatening initial contact may cause the agency to develop an overly defensive attitude that may hamper or frustrate future negotiations. Establishing a favorable first impression with the agency and its counsel can go a long ways toward successful bargaining.

Establishing a relationship of mutual trust and respect between the parties creates a greater likelihood that a settlement will be reached. Additionally, any future relationship between the parties will be easier. To assist this process, we should demonstrate our commitment to cooperation from the outset. We must convince the agency, or the agency attorney, that not only are his or her best interests being considered, but those of public interest are as well. There are many ways of effectively appealing to the aesthetic needs of the agency, but one of the most simple is to remember the golden rule and treat those you are dealing with the same as you want to be treated. Respect and consideration go a long way in all negotiations, but especially when dealing with government agents that may often be the recipients of hostile communications over policies they are required to enforce but did not enact. One then must remember to keep their commitment to cooperation throughout the entire negotiation process, even if it ends up being litigated.

While the advice in this column will help most negotiations settle, there are situations when your client’s concerns may not be addressed and it will be necessary to consider the possibility of filing suit. If you exhaust every other means of recourse, and you have been unable to negotiate a satisfactory settlement of obtain a favorable decision from an administrator, a lawsuit may be appropriate. This may also aid your negotiations and is why I stated above that you must keep your commitment to cooperation even during litigation. Filing suit can be useful to encourage administrators to rethink their positions and will also allow for the participation of counsel who may not otherwise have been involved. If you have established a relationship of mutual trust, the lawsuit may be only a stepping stone toward settlement rather than an ugly adversarial quagmire that they can sometimes become. The bottom line is that attorneys must always keep their client’s goals in mind and recognize that negotiations with the government are often different from those with private industry and therefore negotiation strategies and tactics must conform to the situation at hand.

New Generation of Realtors – Presenting Abstract Offers!

I`ve seen it all! We`re dealing with an agent who continues to call me with strange requests on a home that we have listed in Marion Oaks,Florida.

This particular agent would like our seller to agree to certain changes prior to placing an offer on the home! The agent continues explaining to me, she would only be wasting “Her Time” if the seller didn`t accept.

I don`t know about you but is this typical in your area? “Agents now believe it`s a waste of time,putting an offer on paper”.

Who the heck teaches these things or is this just a new concept in Real Estate Sales?

During these last two days, this agent wants to know what our seller will do for her buyer,as if we have an executed contract!

Yesterday, I went ballistic and told this agent “We`re done dealing with abstract offers” Either Put up,or Shut up!”

Our seller will not entertain a verbal offer and instructed me to stop all “Verbal Abstract Negotiations”.

The conversation is as follows:

Abstract Agent: Has the seller agreed to painting the interior beige, the kitchen needs to be painted white, and the carpet in the master bedroom needs to be cleaned. Are they willing to do this?

Me: I spoke to the sellers, they`re curious what you`re buyer wants to offer.

Abstract Agent: We`re not on the offer yet! It`s important that you`re seller agrees to what we want prior to us discussing price or closing dates.

Me: So it`s your opinion that we entertain an “Abstract Offer” is that it!?!

Abstract Agent: We do it ll the time. In fact my Broker encourages it!

Me; That`s a first, we discuss redoing a home, I have nothing to “Present” and you`re doing a good job for the Buyer? This is really a new way of doing Real Estate.

Abstract Agent;Well if you`re seller will agree to what we require, we`ll be ready to write an offer, you need to HURRY UP!

I haven`t a clue if this agent is joking or is quite serious! I`m wondering if she really understands what the heck is going on!

Each time she calls asking if our seller is prepared to make changes to the house I keep asking her about the offer being “Presented in Writing”.

She keeps responding that we must 1st agree to their terms,before she informs us on a price!

There`s nothing left to say or do! I hope this agent can read my sellers mind, the answer is NO!