On the 4th of March 2015, the CyHRMA in collaboration with the University of Cyprus organized a lecture on “Effective Presentations” for the students of the University. Mr Yiannakis Mouzouris, Head of Consulting and Training at Conicon Ltd, was the presenter of the lecture.
The aim of the presentation was to provide participants with useful tips on planning, organizing and delivering effective presentations.
According to the presenter, a successful presentation should be captivating but also inspire the audience to take action. The presenter made a reference to the ancient Greeks who were following the principles of Ethics, Passion and Speech. This means that, Who speaks and How he/she presents something, are far more important than What is being said.
The above remarks highlight the importance of the human factor in a presentation and especially the personal characteristics, the motivation and passion of the presenter for the topic, as well as his/her communication skills and particularly the non-verbal ones (posture, facial expressions, hand movements etc.).
The success of a presentation is also associated with the engagement conditions created by the presenter when interacting with the audience.
Mr Mouzouris also mentioned the technical part of a presentation which consists of 3 phases: 1) Planning and Organizing, 2) Implementation 3) Feedback.
The first phase (Planning and Organizing) includes analyzing the subject, identifying the audience, determining the purpose and the presentation objectives, getting familiar with the presentation venue, the budget, audio visual selection and determining the duration of the presentation. A good planning and organization of the presentation, ensures more than 70% of success.
The purpose and objectives of the presentation should be short and concise and clearly stated. They should relate to the presentation incentives, meaning what we want to achieve.
Factors such as the venue and the layout of the venue area are especially important, as they are associated with the comfort of the presenter and the audience, accessibility and interactivity of the presenter with the audience, as well as the use of audiovisual aids and other means.
Regarding the use of audiovisual aids in a presentation, it was stated that they should be used as an aid rather than as a point of reference and they should not be the main focus of the audience. In any case, the attention and focus should be on the presenter.
Finally, this stage involves rehearsing by using simulations, in order for the presenter to feel comfortable and confident and also to adjust the presentation within the available time.
The Implementation phase includes the capacity of the presenter to deliver a presentation which is associated with how comfortable and confident he/she is (good planning and preparation contribute significantly to that), his/her communication skills and the ability of handling the audience and its questions. Equally important is the appropriate distribution of time to the subjects of the presentation.
Finally, the stage of Feedback includes a quick summary of the main issues covered, a closure to inform the audience that we have reached the end and an impressive exit. Also, at this stage we make sure that we have met the expectations of our audience.
Following the presentation, the audience participated enthusiastically in a Q&A session.