For immediate release
EdSIG/PMI Webinar Offers Presentation Pointers For Project Managers
Staten Island, NY: Aug 19, 2004 — Over 20 participants across the country attended “Communicate Your Message with Impact: A Process Approach to Presentations,” an interactive live-Webinar sponsored by EdSIG/PMI and Microsoft held yesterday August 18th at 11:00 AM EST. Attendees learned how to go from staring at a blank page to writing a winning presentation in no time by applying a simple system for organizing thoughts and bringing out good ideas.
The one-hour Webinar was presented by Diane DiResta. Diane is the author of the Amazon best-seller Knockout Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message With Power, Punch and Pizzazz (Chandler House 1998) and President of DiResta Communications, a speech coaching and training firm located in Staten Island, NY (www.diresta.com). Diane’s Webinar outlined the following simple steps any project manager, trainer, or team leader can use to create a successful presentation from scratch:
1. Analyze your audience: “People make the mistake of writing their presentation before profiling their audience. Many presentations break down because of style or personality differences,” Diane said. “Ask yourself before you write, ‘How does my audience like to receive information?’ If they are highly directive take-charge types, skip the chatter and get down to business. If they are social, chatty, and image conscious spend time finding common ground and breaking the ice.”
2. Start with a hook: “Most people are not interested in you or your ideas. They want to have their problems solved,” Diane said. “Begin with an opening statement that gets the listeners’ attention. Use ‘power words’ like Increased Sales, Higher Productivity, Stronger Retention, Stronger Morale, and High Profile Image. You’ll know you have a hook when your audience starts nodding. Presentations must be listener-centered not speaker-centered.”
3. Have a clear outcome and objective: “You need to know exactly what outcome you want to take place as a result of your presentation – what the purpose of your message will be,” Diane said. “Say to yourself, ‘At the end of the presentation, the audience will do blank.’ This will help you find the objective you’re looking for. Having a clear intention in mind will drive the whole structure of your presentation and keep you on target.”
4. Sell benefits, not features: “Too often presenters focus on the features of their ideas. But what’s exciting to us, may bore the audience,” Diane said. “People are always thinking WIIFM — what’s in it for me? They’re interested in how your ideas benefit them. If you are not sure what the benefit is, ask ‘So What?’ Your answer to ‘So What?’ is the benefit.”
5. End with an action step: “People remember the last thing they hear. So don’t say thank you for your time. Let them know what you expect,” Diane said. “An action step has two parts: a what and a when. If you tell your audience what you want without a time frame, you will have no commitment.”
Participants described Diane’s Webinar as “informative” and “helpful”. EdSIG Chairperson Hollis Nan Wagenstein said the presentation was a hit. “What a fabulous presentation. It went even better than expected,” Wagenstein said. “Diane kept things lively and interactive. I can’t wait to see the evaluations.”
The Education and Training Specific Interest Group (EdSIG) is part of the Project Management Institute (PMI®). It is a virtual and global organization with more than 1000 professionals worldwide interested in the field of Training and Education of Project Management.