Presentations of Government Proposals
Whether providing a
computerized presentation or
utilizing slides, there are several "do's" and "don't's" to ensure a
preparing your presentation, be sure that you:
- Consider your
audience. What do they want to know? What do they need to know? What is
the best, most easily understood, most interesting method of conveying
- Organize your
presentation in a logical manner. Have a consistent look for the
presentation. Make sure that it can be identified with your company
and/or product or service. For example, this could be achieved through
use of a consistent color scheme or your company logo.
- Consider any
time limitations on your proposal. Try to keep your presentation as
brief as possible while still covering any information your client will
want or need to know. For lengthier presentations, plan on scheduling
breaks every 30 to 45 minutes, if possible.
- Consider any
supplementary material your client may need to go along with the
presentation. This might include company information (such as brochures
or business cards) or even an outline or copy of the presentation
- Carefully review
and follow any instructions your client may have regarding what they
want in the presentation. For example, the Government usually has very
specific requirements regarding the length and content of
presentations, up to and including the font size of the type used and
the supplementary materials that can be provided.
- Plan on spending
no longer than two or three minutes on each slide or graphic. The
interest of even the most attentive member of your audience will wane
after two or three minutes on the same slide.
the presentation, you should:
To have a
successful presentation, follow the rules of public speaking:
- Practice. Make
sure you are familiar with all of the material, slides, graphics, and
any other items you will use. If possible, practice in front of
colleagues and/or videotape your presentation so you can work out any
problems prior to the actual presentation.
- Try to
anticipate anything that could go wrong and how you would cope with
that situation. You don't want to dwell on things that could go wrong,
you just want to be prepared in case something does go wrong.
- Visit the site
where you will be giving your presentation. Bring at least one other
person with you. Have the other person sit in the various places where
your audience will sit and practice saying a few words so that you'll
know how to modulate your voice. If you will be using a microphone,
practice with the microphone. You want to be sure that your audience
will be able to hear you clearly, but you also want to be sure that
your voice won't be too loud. If you will be using equipment other than
your own, ask if you can practice with the equipment so that you'll be
confident in your ability to use it.
- Verify the date
and time of the presentation and the number of people who will be
there. Make a list of all of the items you will need for your
presentation and the quantity of handouts and supplemental materials
you will need. Review this list with one or two colleagues to make sure
you haven't forgotten anything. Make sure required equipment will be at
the presentation site and arrange for sufficient supplemental materials
prior to your presentation. Double-check all of the items you will need
for your presentation: make sure you have all of the slides and that
they are in the correct order, that you have sufficient supplementary
materials, and the like.
- Get a good
night's sleep the day before your presentation. Being well-rested will
help you feel more confident, less jittery, and enable you to better
deal with any surprises that might arise.
appropriately, but dress comfortably. You don't want to be distracted
by ill-fitting clothes or clothing that requires constant adjustments.
Avoid distracting accessories, as well, such as jangling bracelets or
necklaces. If you will be speaking in front of a large audience, wear
brighter colors or accessories (vests, jackets, or ties) to help make
you more visible. If you will be speaking in front of a camera, don't
wear stripes, houndstooth, or other intricate patterns that will be
distracting on film.
- Eat a light meal
or snack before your presentation. You don't want to feel too full, but
you don't want to be distracted by hunger, either.
- Leave early for
your presentation to allow for travel delays and any other problems.
- Make sure water
is available for you to drink. Nervousness and prolonged speaking are
likely to make your mouth dry. Avoid drinking caffeine or sweetened
drinks, which can make it more difficult to speak clearly.
- Of course, don't
do anything distracting during your presentation, such as chew gum or
tobacco products, smoke, or eat.
- If possible,
have someone familiar with your presentation with you to help assist
with slide transitions and passing out any supplementary materials.
This will provide you with a friendly face in the audience as well as
someone to help you remember all the critical details of your
presentation. You may also want your assistant to help monitor your
speaking time; if necessary, your assistant could signal you with an
unobtrusive, previously established signal to let you know when you're
running long, when you're running short, or when you need to stop for a
- Be sure to
introduce yourself and any colleagues with you to your audience and
thank them for this opportunity to provide your presentation.
- Speak naturally,
rather than read directly from your presentation. You may use an
outline or briefing notes to help keep you on track during your
presentation, but avoid reading directly from your notes. Be yourself,
but be professional.
- Try not to get
upset if something goes wrong during your presentation-visible
agitation on your part will only make it harder for you to overcome the
problem and will make your audience uncomfortable. If appropriate, make
a small joke while you fix the problem. If the problem can't be fixed
easily, just continue with your presentation, adjusting it as necessary
to fit the circumstances. Being familiar with your subject and your
presentation will help you continue despite any technical difficulties
that might occur.
presentation, be sure to ask if
there are any questions and respond accordingly. Once your presentation
is complete, be sure to thank your audience for the opportunity to
speak with them.